Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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This collection contains digitized SFU theses except for those theses submitted within the last 12 months. If you cannot find the thesis you are looking for please search Recently Submitted Theses as it may be a recently submitted thesis and thus not yet available in Summit.

A critique of Herbert Marcuse's concept of human liberation. --

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1971
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Hari P. Sharma
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology.
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Political manipulation and rewards in the Crowsnest Pass, Southern Alberta. --

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1971
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
A.H. Somjee
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology.
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Early forms of political activity among white women in British Columbia, 1880-1925. --

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1971
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Robin
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology)
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

The political party organization in a federal riding : a case-study of Burnaby-Coquitlam. --

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1966
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
T.B. Bottomore
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology.
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

The challenge of developing sustainability in Tierra Del Fuego: Environmentalist contestation of the Rio Condor Forest Project in Chile

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Globally and nationally, corporations, states, and social movements are key social actors in initiatives to overcome deforestation through sustainable development projects. In Chile in the early 1990s, the Trillium Corporation of Bellingham, WA, US proposed but, after what amounted to a 13-year dispute, failed to develop the innovative Rio Condor sustainable forestry project to extract timber and foster socio-economic development in Tierra del Fuego. Based on my analysis of findings from participant observation, reports, secondary data, and 40 interviews that included representatives from Trillium, the Chilean government, environmental organizations, media and forest industry, it became evident that these key actors adapted and resisted socially constructed ideas of sustainable development and of environmentalism. In addition, the importance in recognizing ecological limits, regardless of one's take on environmentalism for socioeconomic development become evident along with revealing important lessons in the process of developing sustainability.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Marilyn Gates
Department: 
Arts and Social Scienes: Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Re/framing Aboriginal social policy issues in the news: old stereotypes and new opportunities

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

This dissertation examines representations of Aboriginal people and issues in the news media in historical times (1862-7) as well as in the modern era (1991-2003). Previous studies – most notably the review of Aboriginal people and the media conducted by the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) – have found evidence of persistent patterns of racism and ethnocentrism in all forms of public discourse. Techniques of content analysis and critical discourse analysis are applied to news stories about treaty negotiations and Aboriginal child welfare issues appearing in national newspapers, major daily newspapers, community newspapers as well as Aboriginal publications. The findings of this research indicate that news reports about Aboriginal issues display ethnocentrism and stereotyping and utilize dominant news frames that contain and limit Aboriginal voices. Furthermore, the press covers critical issues, which have long historical antecedents that are little understood or known by the public, in a thoroughly de-contextualized fashion. While Aboriginal issues tend to be reported in ways that support the status quo, this reportage is not monolithic. Due to a variety of factors that influence the production of the news, including journalistic imperatives emphasizing "balance" and "objectivity," even news coverage of Aboriginal issues that is steeped in dominance must reiterate contradictions inherent in relations between mainstream Canadian society and Aboriginal people. This affords opportunities for Aboriginal people and others to foster new public discourses that challenge hegemonic values. As well, the public has demonstrated an ability, under certain conditions, to resist racist and stereotypical interpretations of events. Finally, voices of Aboriginal people are increasingly included in public discourse and most Aboriginal organizations have communications or media relations branches which systematically attempt to influence reporting on Aboriginal issues and counteract "bias" in the press. This research furnishes a media resource not only for Aboriginal people, but for anyone concerned with social justice, in analyzing the news and challenging dominant representations of Aboriginal people and issues.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Robert Anderson
Department: 
Faculty of Applied Sciences: Special Arrangements
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

U.K. social workers’ attitudes toward assisted death, policies guiding practice, and transformational collaboration: Holding fast to medico-ethical principles of beneficence, non-malfeasance and social justice

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Social workers play a key, but unacknowledged role regarding end-of-life decisions. The dearth of research on social workers’ attitudes toward assisted death is in stark contrast to the abundance of research on assisted death involving health care practitioners. Through analysis of data collected on members of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) in 1998, this research examines attitudes of social workers toward assisted death (AD) including both voluntary euthanasia (VE) and assisted suicide (AS). Several hypotheses are developed from the available literature on assisted death involving social work and medical practice. The quantitative data are supplemented with written responses by BASW members. There is variation between social workers’ support of AD by country. English social workers are the most supportive, followed by Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland social workers. As a group, social workers support legalizing VE (72%) and AS (72.5%). A majority of social workers (69%) endorsed the Dutch model of legalized euthanasia. A minority of social workers (25%) indicated that they would report a colleague they suspected was involved in an assisted death. Catholics were less supportive of legalizing assisted death and the Dutch model of euthanasia but, regardless of religion, most social workers respect their clients’ wishes regarding end-of-life choices. Although less than 50% of social workers want to be involved in the decision-making making process with clients, over 65% indicated a willingness to engage in policy development regarding assisted death. Given their position, policy development is essential for social workers to be effective in end-of-life care. The theoretical perspective guiding the research shows that social workers support medico-ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance and social justice in assisted death. This finding places social workers in an important position regarding care of the dying. Future research should include the development and test of a collaborative model of training for all practitioners working with those facing end-of-life decisions. As a profession, social work must prepare itself for the challenges posed by growing populations of persons facing end-of-life decisions.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Brian Burtch
Department: 
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Special Arrangements
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Policing As Poetry: Phenomenological And Aesthetic Reflections Upon The Bureaucratic Approach To Human Predicaments

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Police-citizen encounters in late modern society occur as the enactment of a bureaucratic approach to human predicaments. Police praxis depends upon the ability to translate these complex situations into bureaucratically resolvable "problems." This process of translation is part of the overall interpretation of experience, whereby meanings are created and ascribed to a given moment. The creation of meaning inherent to any kind of praxis is understandable as an elemental form of poetry. This poetic aspect of praxis represents the existential intersection of experience with the specific ontological first principles that provide the basis for its interpretation. In the case of bureaucratic praxis, such as policing, these principles enable the problematization of human being, whereby human presence becomes meaningful through its reification as abstract subjectivity. The underlying ontology of bureaucratic problematization exists in parallel form in the approach of mainstream social scientific praxis. Hence, the two forms of praxis are essentially interrelated. While the dissertation's immediate focus is upon the analysis of the ontological foundations of bureaucratic police praxis, it further represents a philosophical engagement with the disciplinary self-conception of criminology. The dissertation pursues these intersecting goals using the approach of a phenomenological aesthetics of encounter. The guiding thesis of a phenomenological aesthetics of encounter holds that the ontological foundations of praxis may be disclosed using aesthetic forms to reveal aspects of human presence, which are otherwise overlooked in the selfinterpretations of everyday action, and their second-order interpretations by mainstream social science. The dissertation presents narratives of police-citizen encounters, drawn from the author's professional experiences in policing, and interprets them through the juxtaposition of aesthetic representations of encounter, which are chosen from several genres, and used to illuminate aspects of human presence that are effaced when it is approached as an abstract, reified "problem." These reflections upon the ontological foundations of praxis and their enactment in policing lead to an explanation of the inherently self-subverting nature of the bureaucratic approach to human predicaments, and of allied approaches in mainstream criminology. If it is truly to progress, praxis must develop critical knowledge of its underlying first principles.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Robert Gordon
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Intellectual identity and the culture industry: Critical thought about intellectuals and mass culture from Adorno to Seinfeld

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

intellectual Identity and the Culture Industry: Critical Thought about Inte11'ectuals and Mass Culture discusses the life of the intellect and the intellectual as they relate, or fail to relate to, the problems of mass culture. In Chapter One, I evaluate the work of Theodor W. Adorno. I consider Adorno's critique of jazz as the prototype for his formidable assault on the culture industry at large and its role in the downfall of intellectual discourse. I identify comedy as a potentially subversive strain within mass culture. I advance what is not so much a methodological or historical approach to intellectuals and mass culture, but an attitude toward the phenomena under investigation, one that is, following Adorno, both uncompromising and intellectually rigorous. Chapter Two charts the fate of the intellectual both in and outside of ac:ademia, particularly as addressed by critiques of The Last Intellectuals. Russell Jacoby, Andrew Ross, Richard A. Posner and Noam Chomsky are discussed in terms of intellectual life in our time. Chapter Three surveys the mass cultural landscape, singling out the television comedy Seinfeld as exemplary of the best of what mass culture is capable of, demonstrating my own ability to 'do' Critical Theory, and to forward a cultural critique reflecting moral, ethical and spiritual criteria of judgment. The partial absence of a completely unified resolution between these two chapters resonates with an apprehension of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School as breaking with the intellectual tradition of foundationalism that emphasizes unity. As such what is presented is a critical alternative to the dominance of the intellectual tradition running from Descartes through positivism. I contend that the problem of intellectual life in relation to mass culture resists harmonious integration into a singular conceptual totality, because I maintain hope that the individual intellect can retain a degree of integrity and efficacy in spite of a monolithic cultural apparatus bent on deluding us at the junciture where culture comes to function as social control.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jerald Zaslove
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Special Arrangements: English, Humanities, Fine Arts, Communication - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Medicine, metaphors and metaphysics: An interdisciplinary analysis of the ethical, medical and sociocultural questions raised by therapeutic equivalence

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

The practice of medicine is the latter-day solution to that intensely human and social predicament we call illness. Medical discourse, however, increasingly tends towards guidelines, protocols, cost considerations and other institutionally-derived issues. This dissertation examines a single concept, therapeutic equivalence, and utilizes it as a metaphor for this focal shift, arguing that this reduced perspective not only ignores the considerable socio-cultural context in which illness takes place, but adversely affects the paradigms and practice of medicine - as well as research, policy and clinical care. Therapeutic equivalence is the basis for a health (pharmaceutical) policy usually called reference-based pricing, used in many jurisdictions and institutions around the world (such as New Zealand's Pharmac, the BC Reference Drug Program and the majority of American HMO's), in which pharmacoeconomic analyses determine the most costeffective drug(s) within a certain class of drugs in order to restrict general access. Using the well-studied BC reference drug program (RDP) as its primary example, this work examines the regulatory and evidentiary framework of the term 'equivalence', analyzes the medical research on therapeutic equivalence and delves into the deeper socio-cultural and epistemological questions the term raises to demonstrate how institutional and statistical interpretations of pathology now dominate medical discourse. The many uncertainties, ambiguities and variations inherent to physiology, pharmacodynamics and pharn~acokinetics are thus ignored; risk is minimized and subjective states and individual narratives of illness, largely disregarded. Moving from drug classificationsldefinitions and the conceptual underpinnings of medical research to the increased convergence of corporate and research interests, this work examines the limitations of ontological disease classifications which assume knowledge is static and questions the current emphasis on biomarkers and numeric results (e.g., blood pressure or cholesterol readings). This work argues that such classification systems are limiting and frame illness in reductionist ways - and have ethical, iatrogenic, medical, social and personal consequences. Broader and more nuanced communications, with greater patient input, are called for. Keywords: equivalence, therapeutic equivalence, reference based pricing, reference drug program, health economics, ethics of pharmaceutical policy, health policy criticism, epistemology of health, sociology of pharmaceutical policy, patient involvement, participatory action research and empowering patients

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Patricia M. Howard
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Special Arrangements: Communication, Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.