Simon Fraser University Undergraduate Collection

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This collection contains undergraduate honours theses and certain other selected undergraduate works by SFU undergraduate students.

Video Games and the Ideology of War

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-08-09
Abstract: 

Video games have become a central part of Western popular culture, and while the academic study of the medium has progressed greatly in the past decade, analysis of games is still profoundly underdeveloped in comparison to analysis of other popular media such as film and television. Moreover, in the context of a highly mediated society characterized by volunteer-based militaries, direct experience with the reality of warfare is rare, and for the majority of citizens, war is something that is understood and engaged with primarily through the distorting lens of popular media. War is often a central theme in video games, but it is rarely examined with any substantial level of criticism. The goal of this project, therefore, is to explore the question how is ideology present in the depictions of war and political violence in video games?

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Department: 
School of Communication

Running Out of Time at Hyperspeed

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-04-15
Abstract: 

This paper attempts to map the rise of neoliberalism - as political economic policy and related ideology- to provide the necessary context for Putnam's generational change thesis, examining the American trends, this paper explores similar changes within a Canadian context. The components of civic engagement considered here include non-voting political activity, participation in elections, and participation in community activities. Neoliberalism refers to "a theory of political economic practices proposing that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, unencumbered markets and free trade" (Harvey, 2007, p.22). Inherent in this paper's mapping is the recognition that advancing the neoliberal project requires the continual increase in consumption demand, an increase which manifests through the acceleration of consumption practices and the creation of new markets (Harvey, 2010). Focusing specifically on the development of information and communication technology (ICT) markets, this paper details how this industry exploded in the mid 1970s (Dyer-Witheford, 1999) and has continued to expand since (Sciadas, 2006). 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Department: 
School of Communication

Getting Up or Selling Out? Contemporary Street Art as Public Communication and Artistic Practice

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-03
Abstract: 

The past thirty years have seen the increasing ubiquity of a multitude of forms of urban inscription in our cities. While significant academic work has been committed to exploring graffiti in a number of ways, less attention has been paid toward the emergence of the specific practice of "street art". Focusing on the prolific UK based street artist Banksy, this paper presents a case study and discourse analysis ofBanksy's book Wall and Piece in order to explore the intersections ofart, politics, and commerce, and how they come to be configured through this emerging form of urban inscription. Principally drawing from Michel de Certeau's conceptualization around tactics, Pierre Lefebvre's idea of appropriation, and Howard Becker's characterization of the maverick artist, I suggest that the apparent contradictions between the antiestablishment themes in Banksy's work and the trajectory of his own commercially and critically successful career gesture towards a negotiated flexibility that is inherent in this emerging form ofurban artistic expression that meaningfully differentiates street art from other forms of graffiti. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Department: 
School of Communication

The Economics of Television and Sport: Creating a New World

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2003-08-05
Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Department: 
School of Communication

Pubs in Public Life: A Place for Liquor Spaces in the City of Vancouver

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-04-22
Abstract: 

Vancouver liquor licensing bylaws has been described by members of the media, industry, government and general public as overly restrictive, especially in the areas of hours ofservice, geographical distribution and the cultural diversity ofpublic liquor spaces. According to the City of Vancouver, the objective of city stewardship is to provide for the social, economic and physical well-being of citizens. A consultation of both academic research and the Vancouver community suggests that public liquor consumption sites can contribute positively to the social, economic and physical well- being of citizens. This paper explores how a reexamination and considered relaxation of liquor licensing bylaws could strengthen the viability and vitality of Vancouver. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Smith, Richard
Marontate, Jan
Department: 
School of Communication

A Cross-Cultural Study: Sociological Appropriation of Short Message Service (SMS) A Taiwanese Canadian Experience

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006-12
Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Smith, Richard
Department: 
School of Communication

The Media Analysis of the Canadian Navy Centennial

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-03
Abstract: 

This paper reports on comparative study of the treatments of the Canadian Navy Centennial celebrations of 2010 in selected Canadian military and civilian press, with the intent ofrevealing similarities and differences between the two information sources. Employing a content analysis protocol I developed for this purpose, I analyzed a sample of 50 articles from selected civilian and military publications. My intention was to identify the elements that comprised the news discourse in both information sources. The quantitative data revealed significant differences in treatment, especially with respect to amounts of'hard" and "soft" news reported respectively by military and civilian news sources.The high frequency ofpoliticians quoted as sources and news actors reveal that civilian publications have a stronger political standpointas reflected in news when compared to military publications. The study also showed that the historical context ofthe navy was reported with a higher percentage within civilian publications. The similarities between military news publications and civilian publications brought forth to the discussion of how the Canadian Navy's Centennial navy was represented as a public relations campaign by the Canadian Armed Forces. The similar ways on how primary topics are presented within time frames, the equal amount of mentioning of military wars and operations, and the prominence of regional news being presented, were all examined within the research to observe the strategies involved in promoting this national commemorative ceremony. A range of topics surrounding journalism discourse were discussed which includes the following: nationalistic discourse, discourse ofreporting future news, targeted representation, media framing, and hybrid promotional news discourse. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Onufrijchuk, Roman
McCarron, Gary
Department: 
School of Communication

"Something Must Be Done" Institutional and Public Empathy in the Case of Darfur

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-08-29
Abstract: 

What are the limits to one's empathetic responsibility for other human beings? In a world in which we are all connected in increasingly complex ways and are vicariously witness to some of the most horrific tragedies ever imagined, the justification has never been stronger to examine the role of empathy as it moves through these stages. Using scholarly texts and media or official reports, I describe the connections between media treatments, public opinion and the allocation of international aid in the Darfur situation as a case study. The rationale for this work is to investigate the extent to which institutions and publics, particularly in Canada, are guided by the empathetic imperatives ('something must be done') which are regularly expressed through notions of nationalism and global citizenship. Should these actors -institutions such as the Canadian Government and the United Nations and the publics they represent - behave as if empathy mattered in the practical exercise of responsible power? This question is explored conceptually and practically in the dramatic and contested context of Darfur in southern Sudan, a humanitarian crisis that demonstrates staggering discrepancies between public political representations of empathy and their translation into practice. The findings of my investigation suggest that presumably responsible institutions lack the political will with which to achieve the full translation of empathy into practice, despite the theoretical position they have adopted that prioritizes this empathetic regard for other human beings. While further research in this area is essential to grapple with these issues in more depth, my hope with this work is that the atrocity of Darfur can demonstrate the importance of a method that prioritizes the alignment of action with theoretical principles and that this might enhance the ability to prevent future occurrences. conclude that it must finally be made acceptable both on the domestic front and internationally that indeed, 'something must be done'. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Anderson, Bob
Laba, Martin
Department: 
School of Communication

Documenting Picture Our World

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007-04-11
Abstract: 

Picture Our World is a project created by university students giving cameras to children in order to communicate cross-culturally through photography, empowering its participants to be empathetic global citizens. This paper will present the rationale behind the Picture Our World project and suggest why its story should be told through a documentary film. This rationale will be contextualized through a study ofglobalizations affects on children. I will present a literature review of the work done to date on this subject demonstrating that the Picture Our World project is both unique and important in its processes and aims. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Department: 
School of Communication

Imitation, Technology, and the Western World

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011
Abstract: 

The aim of this study is to determine the function of imitation through a comparative study of several perspectives: philosophy, social science, and neurophysiology. A significant aspect of the communication field, imitation is the study of mimicking, specifically in the development of languages, human behaviors, and human interactions. This mimicking nature of humans also relates to work being done on nurturing technology, such as in twenty-first century robotics research and development.

In this comparative study on imitation, I explore imitation in its contemporary manifestation: neurophysiology. By drawing on the work of neurologists Rizollatti and Sinigaglia, who explore the function of mirror neurons in humans in their text Mirrors in the Brain. I also compare the definitions of imitation through such authors as Plato, Aristotle, and Tatarkiewicz. Prior to defining imitation, however, I outline of my methodology. Following this outline, I look at the importance of imitation in social communication, the development of social life, and its influence on technology. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Onufrijchuk, Roman
Laba, Martin
Department: 
School of Communication