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 place to be, a place to become: An insiders report on youth integration programs in the lower mainland

Date created: 
2017-06-06
Abstract: 

Immigrant youth face a myriad of complex and interrelated challenges during their settlement and integration into Canadian society. In Canada, there are a number settlement services available to support this process. In the past, these services have focused on adults; however, they are increasingly responding to the needs of youth. Youth integration programs, in particular, represent one of the most common settlement services available to immigrant youth, yet little research has been conducted on such programs and even less from the perspective of the participants. This qualitative study explores the role of youth integration programs in the lives of twelve young newcomers through in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus groups. My findings reveal that such programs represent a powerful resource for newcomers, with participants describing these programs as spaces where they can develop meaningful relationships, strengthening their communication skills, and improve their overall sense of self. This research confirms, challenges, and extends earlier research on this topic, while also demonstrating the importance of engaging with the subjective experiences of newcomers.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Wendy Chan
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Ritwik Kumar Ghatak: Subaltern Auteur of Bengali Cinema

Date created: 
2017-07-31
Abstract: 

In 1947, as the British colonial rulers left, the local leaders chose to have the entire South-Asian subcontinent partitioned into two countries basing on a sectarian ground: India and Pakistan. Pakistan was born into two slices apart from each other by sixteen hundred kilometers of Indian territory to home the Muslims of the area and human history experienced the largest exodus ever. The border between the then East Pakistan and India remains the "most porous border" till today (Ghosh, 2016). This border divided the people of Bengali ethnicity into two in the name of religion; riots broke out, trauma lingered. Usually, such significant historical events get wide coverage in film and literature. But, that did not happen to Bengal as the people of both the countries chose national/religious identity over ethnic identity. The uprooted and migrated people who were looking for 'home' in exile become the subalterns who could not speak out their trauma. Gayatri Charkarvorty Spivak suggests in her 1988 piece titled "Can the Subaltern Speak?" that subaltern-ness is a position without identity (University of California Television [UCTV], 2008). And even they managed to speak, they were often overlooked and silenced. Ritwik Kumar Ghatak, being a refugee himself, wanted to communicate his trauma and identity crisis caused by the Partition'47 through his films; all his films failed to reach the audience of his time. After decades of his demise, his films remain as indictment of a time the people of Bengal wanted to overlook. This paper attempts to read Ghatak as a subaltern filmmaker who tried to pen down what his people i.e. the refugees wanted to speak out, by providing a close reading of his Partition trilogy, Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960), Komal Gandhar (1961) and Subarnarekha (1962).

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Zoë Druick
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Fabricating Perceptions of Crime: El Salvador’s mass media and gang repression

Date created: 
2017-08-16
Abstract: 

The mass media in El Salvador has acted as an ally to the conservative ARENA party, promoting its political and economic agenda and helping to preserve an exclusionary elite political project. When ARENA’s political dominance was threatened in 2003, the media increased and sensationalized reports on gang crime to garner electoral support for ARENA’s repressive Mano Dura security policies. Since then, the media’s elaboration of gang news stories has promoted repression and legitimized state violence. After the electoral triumph of the FMLN in 2009, the media obstructed attempts to reform the public security system with integrative measures, portraying the government as ineffective against gangs and inciting moral panics over crime. The resulting heightened perceptions of insecurity at times when homicides have decreased significantly demonstrate the extent of the media’s manipulation of public opinion through a near monopoly of information that favors conservative interest at the cost of citizen security.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Alexander Dawson
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: School for International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Who is telling the “truth”? Wikipedia articles on Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement as a Case Study of Alternative Knowledge Production

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-29
Abstract: 

Wikipedia is considered as a challenge to established forms of scientific knowledge production, which has been dominated by the West for centuries, for shaking its superiority over other forms of knowledge to determine what is the reality. Through a comparative discourse analysis of Wikipedia articles on Umbrella Movement in Chinese and English as well as editors’ discussions on the “Talk Page”, this research demonstrates how this event has been presented differently in global and local contexts. By examining this particular case study, the author presents the difficulty of “translating” local knowledge to global. The marginalization of local editors on English page and the dominance of activist opinion on Chinese page make local knowledge production become the reproduction of western epistemology, which is far from creating an alternative to the knowledge hegemony.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Chris Jeschelnik
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Gendered Images in Oral History Documentary: A Case Study of Wode Kangzhan

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-17
Abstract: 

This essay explores the discourse construction of gender images in oral history documentaries through a case study of an influential Chinese oral history documentary series called Wode Kangzhan (My War of Resistance). It first outlines the rise of oral history studies and in recent years and its benefits. Besides, it introduces the influence and importance of Wode Kangzhan. Then, the article examines the overall gendered images in the documentary through data analysis and employs discourse analysis to reveal the documentary's gendered discourse through selected story lines. It finds out that Wode Kangzhan has a gendered discourse disciplined by gender hegemony.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kirsten McAllister
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Cultural Identity and Cultural Capital: An Exploration of Chinese-Canadian Immigrant Families’ Reading Practices and Chinese Literature

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-24
Abstract: 

This paper explores Chinese immigrants’ reading practices of Chinese literature and relies on the concepts of cultural identity and cultural capital to consider how families in Vancouver read Chinese literature. This case study consists of interviews that I conducted with fourteen participants from twelve Chinese immigrant families in Vancouver, B.C, Canada in 2017. This research shows that within immigrant families, active readers of Chinese literature tend to be mainly immigrants who emigrated as adult and youth. And their reading practices indicates how Chinese immigrants deal with their Chinese cultural identities and the cultural capital that Chinese literature carries in the context of immigration.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Christine Kim
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

A case study of print on demand and short-run digital printing at the University of British Columbia Press

Abstract: 

The advent of digital print technology has irreversibly affected the publishing industry, causing many, if not all, publishers to review and restructure their methods of production and distribution. Scholarly publishing, a niche sector, has been similarly impacted and, in response, the University of British Columbia Press, a world-renowned publisher in the field, has adopted two management strategies – print on demand (POD) and short-run digital printing – to optimize its workflow and output. This report documents UBC Press’s objectives regarding both POD and short-run digital printing models and reviews the advantages and challenges posed by each. Based on this review, the report then speculates upon the future of digital scholarly publishing for UBC Press.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

The culture of small press publishing in the Pacific Northwest

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-11
Abstract: 

This report focuses on small press publishing within the context of the Pacific Northwest and has been written in two sections. The first section traces the history of small press publishing in the North American continent, explores its current state of operations—especially within the Pacific Northwest community—lays down the features that set it apart from big press publishing, and highlights the various risks these small press publishers take to continue enriching literary diversity. The second section is a case study of Ronsdale Press as an example of a Pacific Northwest small press publisher. It traces the history of Ronsdale Press, then explores its current work flow and its identifying features, thus establishing it as an essential member of the Pacific Northwest small press publishing community.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mauve Pagé
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Venezuela’s media war: Coexistence and confrontation in the struggles of the Bolivarian Revolution

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-18
Abstract: 

In the midst of economic crisis and violent anti-government protests, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, convoked a Constituent Assembly in May 2017. The initiative aims to transform the State and craft a new Constitution without consulting the Venezuelan people. The response of the population has intensified the division between government and opposition, generating unexpected turns that make it difficult for media to provide a proper and accurate coverage of events. This paper uses critical discourse analysis of newspaper’s articles and Twitter trending topics to suggest that these media platforms have constructed a dichotomy. This dichotomy addresses the Constituent Assembly as a victory for the Bolivarian Revolution, but a misfortune for the opposition. It also denotes the use linguistic means to validate the political ideology of the media platforms analyzed. I argue that this construction keeps fragmenting media spheres in Venezuela, perverting their role and fostering confrontation and inequality within both groups. A thorough study of the complexities of Venezuela’s political realm and an inter-political approach to transforming the legal framework are proposed to foster freedom of expression over the defense of political ideologies in media.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Katherine Reilly
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Rise of the independent publisher: How Greystone Books rebuilt itself

Date created: 
2017-08-10
Abstract: 

After D&M Publishers filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012, Greystone Books relaunched as an independent publishing company in March 2013. In the time since, the company has not only picked up where it has left off, but has gone on to expand its operations in terms of staff, partnerships, and projects. Maintaining a consistent editorial direction involving different sources of publishing material, Greystone has kept costs to a manageable level, and has been able to build and grow business relationships that benefit both the publishing house and its partners. Its connections with other organizations as well as an established editorial brand have contributed to the company's survival. Greystone's business model and practices have shown how an independent publishing house can address the many challenges of a relaunch in the Canadian publishing industry.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.