Conference Abstracts 2012


Session 1 - Panel: Policing and (In)security in Canada

‘Accountability Across the Policing Field’
Jacqueline Tarantino, Criminology, KPU

The private security industry, while not a new phenomenon, has seen rapid growth in recent years. This expansion has a number of societal and political ramifications in the understanding of policing. Private security is a multifaceted industry which is being retained by both private and public organisations to perform a variety of tasks including those traditionally seen to be the domain of public police. The continued view of public and private security as distinct entities perpetuates a lack of clarity with regards to powers of private security agents and how to implement needed regulatory measures.  Public policing organisations are also adopting practices traditionally associated with the private security industry (e.g. contract policing services and pay-duty) promoting security as a commodity. As there is considerable overlap of the activities of public and private agencies, review mechanisms should be established to oversee all policing activities.

‘Agent Provocateurs’
Karissa Paull, Criminology, KPU

The paper presents a discussion of the phenomenon of police agent provocateurs, based on a exploration of several historical and contemporary cases. The development and activities of agent provocateurs and their impact on the criminal justice system are addressed. The paper poses a question: how does this ‘high policing’ practice relate to justice?

‘Comparing "Extraordinary" indefinite detention against other methods of indefinite social control’
Cory Rypkema, Criminology, KPU

Since the September 11th, 2001 attacks, we have seen the rise of precautionary measures to protect against the perceived terrorist threat. One of the more controversial methods in the "war on terror" is that of indefinite detention: incarcerating someone for an unspecified length of time, often without due process and in extremely poor conditions. This seems to raise very fundamental human rights issues, yet it continues to happen for a variety of reasons. This paper first looks at more "extraordinary measures" of indefinite detention such as the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba. These issues are then compared with more "socially acceptable" methods of indefinite detention and indefinite control, primarily long term and dangerous offender designations. Ideas such as that of "counter-law" are used to explain why these methods are sometimes seen as necessary to protect our "national security".

Session 2 - Policy Analysis

‘The Adoption Act: Adoption for Same Sex Couples’
Sim Badesha, Sociology, KPU

Canada is a leading country in protecting the legal rights of the homosexual community, and adoption rights are a crucial part of many couple’s path to having a family (Ross, Epstein, Goldfinger & Yager 453). The Adoption Act was introduced in 1996. The Act replaced legislation from the 1950s, adapting to social change (Ministry par 1). In Canada, adoption is under provincial or territorial jurisdiction (Ross, Epstein, Goldfinger & Yager 452). Potential parents may adopt in British Columbia through two systems: the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) or through adoption agencies. This paper will examine the Adoption Act in BC, exploring its rules and regulations, why and how it was envisioned, and the process through which parents or a parent can adopt. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Adoption Act in regards to same sex couples who choose to adopt. Same sex marriage is legal in Canada, and homosexual couples can adopt in BC. However, research has shown many Canadians were and still are opposed to same sex couples adopting. This paper will explore how equal the Adoption Act is to same sex couples and homosexual individuals who choose to adopt. 

‘Young offenders’ legal Rights Comprehension’
Maria Goldin, Psychology, KPU

My paper looks at the psycholegal assumptions made by the Youth Criminal Justice Act and their implications for young offenders.  I examine a famous case study looking at young offenders’ legal rights comprehension and found research that tested these assumptions. One of the main assumptions is that youth understand the repercussions of waiving their rights, and my paper looks at the research support for and against it. I finish the paper off with policy recommendations. 

‘Roadside Memorial Policies and Perspectives in the City of Langley, BC, Canada’
Aimee Fauteux, Sociology, KPU

The purpose of this research is to explore the social, cultural, economic, and religious reasons for the rise of roadside memorials in Langley, B.C. As part of this research, I will create a virtual map of the locations and types of roadside memorials that are found in the city of Langley, highlighting the characteristics of each memorial site in terms of the age, gender, “race”, social class, and ethnicity of the victims and their creators and the symbolic meanings of roadside memorial artifacts for both the public and their creators. Through a qualitative approach to content analysis, I will analyze the interviews, policy papers, by-laws and contents of roadside memorials through a thematic approach by highlighting how the life experiences of the deceased individuals are presented for public viewing and how the pain of the survivors are portrayed for public consumption.

Session 3 - Panel: Postmodernist Readings of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables

Greg Chan, English Department, KPU

This panel discussion grew out of ENGL 4401: Topics in Canadian Literature ("Decoding the Canadian Hero"), in which the class spent the semester critically analyzing a Canadian dilemma: who gets to be counted among our national heroes? Drawing from an array of iconic Canadian artists (Emily Carr), intellectuals (Marshall McLuhan), athletes (Terry Fox), musicians (Leonard Cohen), and activists (David Suzuki, June Callwood), and literary figures (L.M. Montgomery/Anne Shirley), we unpacked the problematic concept of the "Canadian hero" to give agency to the contenders. Anne of Green Gables, an enduring literary heroine for all ages, has proven to have renewed resonance--cross-culturally, academically, and politically--for a 21st century audience of Canadianists. Two papers comprise this panel discussion: Rachelle Hall's "Equality Through Competition: Anne's Relationship with Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables" and Kathy McClement's "Finding Canadian Identity in Anne of Green Gables." Greg Chan will moderate the discussion. Each paper will take 20 minutes to present. The presentation will include an accompanying PowerPoint slideshow.

‘Finding Canadian Identity in “Anne of Green Gables”’
Kathy McClement, English, KPU

My paper answers the question: How is the story of Anne in L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables like the story of Canada? Looking at it from a Canadianist perspective, the heroine, Anne Shirley, can be seen as a metaphor for new immigrants to Canada. Anne is an orphan who, like immigrants to Canada, develops a sense of belonging by gradually overcoming social deficits and committing to improving herself and her community, from which emerges a unique Canadian identity. As an orphan, Anne is unwanted and displaced, like an immigrant. She comes from unhappy circumstances and has a need to belong, to be loved, and to be respected. From humble beginnings ‘Providence’ steers Anne towards being a part of a true family. Anne of Green Gables derives her identity from the name of the household to which she belongs (Drain 120). Anne’s story demonstrates that gaining a sense of belonging is a process and achieving a unique Canadian identity is not a stationary endpoint, but a dynamic continuum.

‘Equality Through Competition: Anne’s Relationship with Gilbert in “Anne of Green Gables”’
Rachelle Hall, English, KPU

Anne’s relationship and rivalry with Gilbert Blythe demonstrates the subtle feminism within Anne of Green Gables. Gilbert’s teasing of Anne causes her to see him as an academic rival. Afterwards, she ignores romance with him, and instead takes the time to learn from the strong women in her community. By competing with him, she learns that intellect is a more worthy goal than simple beauty. Anne gains confidence and autonomy for herself.  Feminist critics of Anne of Green Gables argue that Anne is not a feminist role model because she chooses to put her education on hold and to remain in Avonlea in a traditional female capacity by novel’s end. However, this event is not a feminist defeat because Anne is independent. The final scene of reconciliation between Gilbert and her shows the opening of dialogue and mutual respect between the sexes.

‘An “Outspoken Morsel of Neglected Humanity”: Anne Shirley, the Unexpected Feminist Icon’
Jennifer Hodgson

The purpose of my paper is to explore Anne of Green Gables as a Canadian literary heroine and a feminist icon. Her influence is widespread throughout the world, as seen in her popularity even today. Anne Shirley is an ideal feminist icon because she does not conform to her period’s societal expectation of a proper woman, and instead takes her place at the head of the household at Green Gables. Anne is also a Canadian literary hero because of her evolutionary journey as she transforms from a young, materialistic girl into an educated mature woman, similar to Canada’s own evolving landscape. L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is a significant novel in Canadian history because its themes are relevant both historically and presently in our society.

Session 4 - Aboriginal Identity and Health

‘Understanding Within Indigenous Frameworks: A Book Review on “Dancing on Our Turtles Back” by Leanne Simpson’
Melinda Bige, Sociology and Anthropology, KPU

This paper explores the extent to which, as Indigenous people, our Aboriginal identities are fundamental to our existence. Our surroundings, languages, cultures, and communities help to shape and mould us. The way we relate to others, to ourselves all lay within these influences. Our cultures are innately tied to us despite the process of cultural genocide. The world that has been created around us was not through the intention of our ancestors and elders. We know this. Although we can choose to do what we will with this information, the path in which we choose toward our own culture is one that sets us apart from society. The ways in which our ancestors understand, teach, interact, and express themselves is central in the process of reinventing a sense of cultural identity that reflects Aboriginal histories and worldviews. 

‘Aboriginal Health in BC: Intersectionality in Political Discourse’
Lee Van Wagoner, Sociology, SFU

It is a well-known fact among BC residents, practitioners and even the Ministry of Health that there continues to be a gap in health status between First Nations peoples and other members of society. As the British Colombia Ministry of Health puts it, "Aboriginal people continue to be challenged by longstanding inequalities in health when compared to other British Columbians." (BC Ministry of Health, 2011). This paper seeks to examine the policy issue of Aboriginal health in British Columbia through discourse analysis. Critical discourse theory will be used to analyze the language used in Aboriginal health policy and how it constructs the Aboriginal citizen as a health policy challenge.  A close examination of political discourse reveals that the use of intersectionality in government research has only deterred government from acceptance of social responsibility. I will use two BC government publications and two articles from and Aboriginal publication called Windspeaker, to illustrate the effectiveness of neo-liberal discourse over time. I believe that the case study reveals discursive success. Intersectionality discourse has served the government’s interests in persuading First Nations British Columbians to accept individual responsibility for effective distribution of health services.  I believe this has spurred movement towards the normalization of marginalization. Analysis of articles and interviews in Windspeaker over time reveal that at first the Aboriginal communities opposed decentralization of government and the pressures it put on smaller organizations and advocacy groups. They were worried that this was leading them away from self-determination. Seven years later in 2009 First Nations groups are more accepting of the responsibility and have adopted popular discourse.  This is particularly troubling because as new challenges arise in Aboriginal health there will be no one to advocate on their behalf. Government power will continue to manipulate Aboriginal health service providers with ease in the absence of voiced disapproval. 

Session 5 - Panel: Criminological Perspectives on Human Rights

‘The Conflict Between Science and Politics: A Content Analysis of Media Representation of Insite’
Viktoriia Kovalska, Criminology, KPU

The use of addictive substances is a complex phenomenon that includes the history of the drug, the social religious, and economic background of society who uses it, the media representation of the issue, and public opinion associated with the drug use. The objective of this paper is to explore the perspectives of various stakeholders on the issues around Insite, as represented in Vancouver Sun articles. The research results show that in the Sun, the debate over Insite is identified as a conflict between a criminal justice model that views addiction as a legal matter and a public health model that conceptualizes drug addiction as a medical issue. The proponents of the public health model frame Insite as a “medically legitimate facility“, “safe environment”, and “health focused place”. Contrary, the supporters of the criminal justice model perceive Insite as a “safe house for criminal behaviour” and “heaven for drug addicts”. 

‘Guantanamo Bay and the Violation of Human Rights’
Janroop Pannu, Criminology, KPU

This paper will look at various reasons as to why the Guantanamo Bay facility of the United States should be shut down. This facility came into operation after the United States launched their war on terror following the events of September 11th 2001. This facility has been used to detain and interrogate individuals apprehended during this conflict. Detainees are labelled as enemy combatants, and moved to this facility. The continued detention of Omar Khadr (a Canadian citizen) raises questions about American counterterrorism policies. This facility is synonymous with various cases of prisoner mistreatment, including torture, all in the name of obtaining intelligence. The fundamental existence of Guantanamo Bay is based on shaky grounds, the activities being conducted at the facility clearly violate various international statutes, and the military tribunal methods of prosecuting detainees are also flawed.

‘Aboriginal Rights vs. State Sovereignty: Exploring the Right of Aboriginal People to Safe Drinking Water’
Narpinder Rehallu, Criminology, KPU

This paper will delve into how the Canadian state choses to guarantee its own sovereignty over that of First Nations people. It guarantees its sovereignty over Aboriginal title with a legal interpretation of property rights. This paper explains the issue of Aboriginal property rights and sovereignty through four issues. First, examining the manner by which the Canadian state has infringed the rights of Aboriginal people historically. Secondly, examining Canada’s obligation to the U.N Declaration of Indigenous Rights. Thirdly, examining the issue of water to illuminate the deeper question of crown sovereignty and aboriginal title. Fourthly, examining the case of the Kashechewan reserve in Ontario and its connection to the state’s exercise of it’s sovereignty while undermining the Charter and Human Rights of Indigenous people.

Session 6 - Race/Ethnicity and Gender: Discrimination and Oppression

‘Muslim Females within France’s Schools’
Muhjah Abousaleh, Psychology and Counseling, KPU

The main argument in this paper is that, in France, Muslim females are portrayed as oppressed individuals who need to be saved, which results in taking away their rights and freedom of religion. When Muslim women are portrayed as being oppressed, then Islam itself will be interpreted as a threat to society. The hegemonic portrayals of Islam and Muslim women in the dominant French media will not only create conflicts, but will also be the end result of the separation between the French Muslims and non-Muslims, which the French State claims is trying to avoid (Marshall & Sensoy, 2011).

‘Immigrant Women and Domestic Violence’
Sim Badesha, Sociology, KPU

Canada is a country that is well known for its broad, and even welcoming, immigration policies. As a result of changes to immigration policy since the 1960s, Canada is now home to diverse ethnic, racialized and national groups. In 2001, Statistics Canada accounted for 34 ethnic groups living in Canada. As a result, immigration and migration have become popular topics for researchers (BWSS, 28). However, the experiences of immigrant women and abusive partners continue to be an almost taboo subject, just as the matter of domestic abuse itself. Thus, this paper will explore the issue of intimate partner abuse faced by immigrant women. Although partner abuse can be experienced by either gender/partner, this paper will focus on women. I will examine the experiences of women in three immigrant receiving countries: Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. These countries share similar views on domestic violence; having legal implements against abuse. They also share similar needs for immigration. For example, all three have diverse immigration populations and depend on immigrants for economic growth. By drawing on various studies and personal experiences as a crisis line worker, the objectives of this paper are to bring attention to how domestic violence affects immigrant women and how social service providers can assist them in dealing with domestic abuse. 

‘Misuse of Assumptions: Runaway Brides and Grooms’
Robin Curry, Anthropology, Sociology and Asian Studies, KPU

In this presentation I explore the issue of marital fraud within various Indian communities in Canada and India. I explore the discourses that influence the issue of runaway brides and grooms through interlocking themes such as the ‘Other’, education, patriarchy, class, alienation and globalization. In light of these themes and by drawing on discourse analysis, several stories of both Indian and Indo-Canadian wives and grooms will be examined. This presentation will look at the causes of marital fraud, how it can be prevented and how the communities in both Canada and India are affected. The main goal of my presentation is to raise awareness about marital fraud and the serious emotional, physical and financial effects it has on the “victims”, 

‘Does Race Matter in International Beauty Pageants?’
Selena Zhong, Sociology, UBC

Most research on race and beauty pageants use qualitative research methods and focuses on national beauty pageants. For this reason it is unclear whether there are broad patterns of racial inequalities in international beauty pageants. My study addresses this issue by using a quantitative approach to examine whether race affects success rates in international beauty pageants. I operationalized race as white and non-white countries. I look at countries that have competed in the Miss World pageant from 1951 to 2011 and examine each country’s probability of winning and being in the semi-finals. The analysis shows that race matters. White countries have a much higher chance of winning and being in the semi-finals than non-white nations. Furthermore, white nations have been over-represented as winners and semi-finalists while non-white nations have been under-represented in both those categories. The patterns of success for white nations and lack of success for non-white nations demonstrates that beauty is not neutral and that global beauty pageants can be seen as a reflection of existing racial hierarchies.

Session 7 - Media: Impacts and (Mis)representations

‘Social Influences of TV Sitcoms’
Preet Mondair and Faaria Patel, Sociology, KPU

Throughout history women living in patriarchal societies experienced many forms of oppression. As women began to take steps towards equality, they faced barriers and were constantly discouraged by male dominant ideologies. In this presentation we will do a critical analysis of TV sitcoms such as “I Love Lucy” and “All in the Family” on their impacts on gender equality. We argue that these TV sitcoms reproduce patriarchal and androcentric ideologies and practices.

‘Perceptions of Teen Parenthood and Media Portrayals’
Aliya Rahiman, Ania Jedrzejewska, Sally Chen, Ashley Palmarchetty, and Taamisah M., Criminology and Sociology, KPU

This presentation will be looking at the different perceptions and portrayals of teen parenthood in blogs, movies, music and TV shows. We analyze these different media outlets for the ideological messages that inform media representations of teen pregnancy. We draw upon the discourses of hegemonic masculinity and hegemonic motherhood in analyzing the media and its construction of teen pregnancy. We critically look at manufactured myths regarding teen pregnancy, such as how teen parenthood is viewed as a “minority” problem and how teen fathers are excluded from such depictions. We argue that teens in such a situation are no different than a traditional family that stands as the ideal form of a household. The nuclear family is seen as white, middle-upper class that is predominantly favoured as opposed to those who are non-white or white of the working class. We argue that Teen parenting experiences should not be pathologized and viewed as social problems.

‘Captain America Media Project’
Ashley Hoyem

This presentation analyzes how the ideal American hero is constructed in the Captain America motion picture and four Captain America comic books. We look at how factors such as racism, sexism, hegemony and political ideology have shaped the narratives behind Captain America comic books as tools of propaganda, promoting US imperialism and military interests. We explore how the ideal American hero is constructed through various discourses, such as emphasized femininity, hegemonic masculinity, and patriarchy. We argue that the ideal conceptions of the American hero are depicted through racialized and patriarchal misrepresentations of women, men and Japanese and African American characters.

‘The Changing Face of Ghanaian Media: A Representation of Homosexuality in the Ghanaian Media’
Faith Bates, Criminology, Sociology, and Counseling, KPU

This paper examines how homosexuality is represented in the Ghanaian media.  More specifically, it will focus on newspaper articles from GhanaWeb for the years 2008-2011. This research shows the negative stereotypes of homosexuality that are depicted throughout the media. According to the findings, the research illustrates that the type of language used by the Ghanaian media stigmatizes the homosexual population, which then results in dehumanization and subjugations.

Session 8 - Knowledge Building and Research Methodology 

‘Barriers Experienced by a Visually Impaired Student‘
Yvonne Stewart, General Studies and Counseling, KPU

There is a popular belief that 80 percent of what we learn is through visual means. This may be true, but what if you can’t see? This belief fails to acknowledge the learning of blind people since the great majority of teaching methods have been designed and targeted for the sighted. As a mature student new to vision loss and university, I simply want to share my experience. Many barriers are obvious and can be overcome through the use of adaptive technology and equipment. However, the majority of the barriers faced by the blind are unforeseeable, making independent learning in the classroom often impossible. This has created a relentless sense of anxiety for many visually impaired students. I believe that through collaboration and minor adjustments to instruction, many of these barriers can be eliminated.

‘Support and Oppositions of Sex Education Predictors’
Barbara Talkington, Sociology, Western Washington University

The purpose of this study is to expand on the predictors of support and/or opposition of sex education. Over the past 50 years, sex education has been a centrepiece in political and social debates. The present study will be using methodological components of Chappell, Maggard, and Gibson’s 2010 article, “Public Attitudes Towards Sex Education,” to test predictors of sex education attitudes, while focusing on Reiss’ theoretical piece “Sexual Customs and Gender Roles in Sweden and America” (1980) first hand to reduce confusion during the research process. Data for this study was collected by the U.S. GSS by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) during the years of 2006, 2008, and 2010. Logistic Regression was used to obtain our statistical results. These results will help with the understanding of what populations will find sex education morally sound or offensive.

‘Longitudinal Ethnographic Research on Social Mobility’
Yousef Hosny, Sociology, KPU

In this paper, I explore the usefulness of Longitudinal ethnographic research by analyzing the “The Up Series”, a documentary that tracks children starting from the age 7, for every seven years, trying to determine if their location and social class has a bearing on where they will end up in the future. Longitudinal ethnographic research may be difficult, but is a very effective method to conduct research.

‘A Further Look into Multidisciplinary’
Saed Abu-Haltam, Sociology, KPU

If given the honour to speak the at the second annual sociology conference at KPU, I will present a link between Psychology’s “Emotional Intelligence” and Sociology’s “Sociological Mindfulness.” As sociologists, we always work on embracing the need for progress. The connection between the two theories helps deconstruct and reengineer the power pyramid to include the vulnerable and the ordinary. I would like to invite everyone for a multi-disciplinary critical analysis of change by creating an interactive atmosphere where audiences will be able to experience a powerful moment of self-actualization. This exercise will educate the audience on how to work on their self-improvement and award them with a stronger sense of social responsibility.

Session 9 - Stigma, Identities and Culture

‘Bitch, Slut, Cunt, Whore, Words and Identities’
Alyssa Nielsen

You Bitch!  You are such a slut!  I cannot believe you did that – you whore!  She is such a giant cunt! … Are you offended?  Some of you will say yes; you are completely horrified that I wrote these words on the page. Others will brush it off; ignoring it as you did the other fifty times you heard these words today. Then there are the select few of you who will embrace these words as a source of empowerment, claiming them or reclaiming them from the past, as an identity of pure womanhood. A word can be a powerful thing. It can destroy a person’s self-esteem, crush a person’s willpower or it can simply offend. In that same breath a word can also be uplifting, warming and a source of empowered identity. This paper explores the power and history of the female derogatory terms bitch, slut, whore and cunt. These four words specifically have been around significantly long enough to be a usual part of everyday western society and are generally known by the average person. By uncovering the history we can see where the roots of these words have come from, explore how they came to mean what they do today and why they carry the negative stigma that they do. Then taking it one step further, I will be exploring how women are taking it upon themselves to change or reclaim the meaning of these words to carry a positive connotation versus the everyday stigma. Essentially identifying how these words are becoming sources of women empowerment. 

‘Humour and Homophobia: Interactions and Implications’
Jenn Clark, Psychology, KPU

We spend hours a day watching television. We so fully involve ourselves in what we watch that we feel sadness when the characters cry, we feel intense joy when great things happen to the characters, and we feel anger when these characters are hurt. We also laugh. We laugh at the misfortunes of these television characters, we laugh at the comments that if made in serious nature would be considered discriminatory. Sitcoms in particular seem to gain their humour from disparaging stereotypes. We look upon these sitcoms and laugh along, sometimes to the point of tears; but, do we truly understand the larger societal implications of our laughter? With the increased presence of gay and lesbian characters on mainstream sitcoms, we need to understand how homophobic humour is impacting the perceptions and acceptance of the LGBT community. This discussion will look at the ramifications of this homophobic humour through the analysis of currently airing sitcoms. It will also discuss possible alternatives that would yield more acceptance of the LGBT community.  

‘Increasing Positive Perceptions of the Homeless and Mentally Ill’
Isabel Scheuneman Scott, Criminology and Psychology, KPU

This paper explores the connection between homelessness and mental illness as perceived by four participants who had experiences with the homeless and/or mentally ill. By asking questions that clarified definitions, perceived associations, and personal stories—the narratives’ underlying message held possibilities of improvement in regards to people’s attitudes towards the homeless and/or mentally ill. The main themes uncovered during these qualitative interviews were: appreciation, social support, humanity, and empathy. In general, participants had mostly positive experiences with the homeless and/or mentally ill and their pro social attitudes pointed towards the benefit of service learning as well as volunteering. The importance of creating more positive perceptions of the homeless and mentally ill benefits not only these marginalized populations but the greater community. By decreasing stigmatization of these groups, we can better enable and support the homeless and mentally ill to reach out for help without fear of further punishment and public isolation.

‘Vampires: A Cultural Obsession’
Sim Badesha, Sociology, KPU

What is a Vampire? According to many, it is “the reanimated body of a dead person believed to come from the grave at night and suck the blood of persons asleep” (Merriam-Webster). In other words, it’s a creature that is not quite alive or dead. It’s also a creature that has had people fascinated for centuries.  In a time in which myths and folklore are beginning to be replaced by science, people are more interested in vampires than ever. What is the appeal of the ‘undead’? The purpose of this paper is to explain how the increasing interest in vampires is a reply to our current western beliefs, feelings, and sociological views on death and dying. This paper will explore the history of vampires, discussing how the creatures went from being hated to adored, and finally break down why they are popular with an analysis of our current social attitudes toward death and dying.  

Session 10 - Inequalities: Class and Strategies

‘South Korea’s Competitive Educational System’
Tania Leiva, Psychology, KPU

This paper examines the relationship between globalisation, social class and education in the highly competitive and hierarchal education system in South Korea. Globalisation has produced job insecurity and a demand for English cultural capital which has resulted in an increased demand for private education and acceptance into elite universities. However, higher socioeconomic families have an unfair advantage as they can afford to spend more on private education and have greater access to cultural capital such as English.  Consequently, elite families are more likely to enter prestigious universities and acquire important positions in corporations and government (Kim, 2007). On the other hand, globalisation has allowed middle class families to send their children to English speaking countries in order to obtain fluency in English.

‘On hegemonic Deconstruction of Labour Unions in North America and Its Consequences for the Working Class’
Brian Hnatiak, Sociology, KPU

Since the dawn of the twentieth century the mechanisms used to suppress the interests of labour have changed considerably. Early in the history of organized labour, violent force was the primary means of achieving suppression in part because it was acceptable in the absence of a well-developed working class consciousness. Later, the viability of violent force decreased. In spite of the change, the underlying struggle for control of capital has remained, effectively forcing the ruling class to develop new strategies for maintaining control. Today, it is more common than ever before for working class persons to interpret the world within which they work in individualist rather than collectivist terms. This gradual degradation of previously-extant class consciousness, and the corresponding decline of the working-class movement, demonstrates the intersectional relationship of inequality, as it has disproportionately impacted disadvantaged groups, including non-White persons and women, reflecting the plurality of the working class. 

‘Welfare and Income Assistance Reform in BC’
Jennifer Job, Sociology, KPU

The current welfare and income assistance programs in BC are not doing enough to aid Canadians in need. My research looks at a number of proposals to improve the system, in an attempt to discover what income assistance programs are lacking the most. I looked specifically at how gender and ethnicity, among other factors, may intersect in the lives of Canadians to make receiving assistance more difficult. I hope that by improving these programs, Canadians will have more equal and efficient access to support when they are in need.

‘A Critical Review of the Intersecting Social, Political and Economic Forces Faced by Non-Profit Organizations in Canada’
Jessica Lee, Sociology, SFU

This paper explores the struggles of voluntary sector organizations within a society entrenched by neoliberal ideals.  At a time when poverty is a serious and urgent issue in Canada, people more than ever are relying on the free services provided by non-profit organizations as the government continues to cut back on social services.  Furthermore, due to lack of funding and restraints on how they operate, these organizations are being reduced to only being able to do service work.  Unlike their counterparts prior to the 80’s, voluntary sector organizations are being forced to cut back on their political work and advocacy work.  I will argue this is problematic because of their potential to play a crucial role in policy debate to change our society for the better.

Session 11 - Canada and Beyond

‘Fundamentalism Breeds Fundamentalism: South Asian Diaspora in Britain’
Lliam Easterbrook, English, KPU

In Britain, racial, religious and ideological differences reflect a growing divide between immigrants and Britons since the 1970’s. The purpose of this paper is to discuss fundamentalist rhetoric in Britain as it applies to the South Asian Diaspora and the British majority, and to showcase the notion that fundamentalist approaches to rectifying this divide only segregates and alienates immigrant communities from the majority. Ultimately, anti-inclusionary policies—attempts by British politicians and intellectuals over the last thirty years to hold onto the ideal of “Britishness”—has led to reactionary terrorism by a growing fundamentalist Muslim community that feels marginalized by a country that continually views them as “other.” This paper is an attempt to detail aspects of this divide by showing that fundamentalist rhetoric on the behalf of the majority only seems to promote a fundamentalist reaction from parts of the marginalized minority.

‘Famine in Somalia: Putting an End to Starvation’
Saadia Sheikh, Communications, SFU

For two decades now, famine hit Africa and thousands of men, women, and children die due to starvation. Mothers are left hopeless when their children die one by one, fathers worry when they cannot find food and water for their families and move from camp to camp to find resources , and children shed tears when they go to bed  with an empty stomach. According to the Globe and Mail, a child under five dies every six minutes (Al Jazeera, 2011). There are many problems, causes, and hidden truths about the famine in Africa. This paper explores these issues and examines why this problem exists and what can be done to solve it.

‘A Close Analysis on How Canada Influences Third-World Countries’
Sofia Rodriguez, English, KPU

As a newly Canadian citizen, there are certain fears to analyze the relations that exists between Canada and the poor countries around the world because it becomes evident the Canadian companies do not represent a friendly Canada. However, there is a responsibility to disseminate the reality that we Canadians consciously or unconsciously are creating in poor countries. Currently there are mining companies in El Salvador. Although the purpose is to create jobs and to put the geographically small country in the map, the truth is that only a very small percentage of the profit stays in the El Salvador. People are being exploited, and not just in El Salvador. In “New Help or New Hegemony,” Virginia Q. Tilley discusses the ways in which developing countries are being subjugated by the many companies. Latin American countries are to be included in my research as well as the African countries. Their economic, human capital, and the level of literacy are factors that make poor countries easy target for the great international corporations.  

‘Foreign Aid in Africa: A Critical Analysis in Development Assistance’
Iman Ghahremani, Criminology, KPU

This paper explores the extent to which contemporary official development assistance programs (concessional loans administered with the advancement of the economic development and welfare of developing nations in mind) in Africa are influenced by political and strategic factors other than moral, ethical, and humanistic reasons and obligations. Despite the fact that aid funds had amounted to 11% of African recipient’s GDP from 1972 to 2000, and over the past 60 years African countries have received over one trillion USD in development related aid, aid-led development projects have not been successful in achieving their goals and objectives. This paper examine the political, cultural, social, and economic reasons for Africa’s economic stagnation. Furthermore, this paper will focus on issues surrounding aid, particularly, who the major contributors are, to whom foreign aid is given to and why, and the effects of corruption on the distribution of foreign aid. The current study is qualitative in nature and approaches the issue surrounding foreign aid in a holistic manner, while utilizing archival research as the method of investigation.

Plenary Session: ‘From Undergraduate to Graduate Studies: Lessons from KPU Alumnus’ 

In this session, four former KPU students reflect back on their experiences at KPU and their journeys through graduate studies. 

‘From Surrey to Glasgow:  An Alumnus' Reflection on his Experience at KPU and Beyond’
Kyle R. Mitchell, (PhD candidate in sociology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland)

Kyle will share a few thoughts on his academic journey which was initiated and firstly cultivated at KPU – a journey that has most recently taken him overseas to Scotland in pursuit of a PhD in sociology. Kyle will address where KPU ‘fits’ within this academic trajectory and how his experiences at KPU have not only had a tremendous impact on his undergraduate and graduate pursuits but also remain an enduring force in his view of public sociology.

‘Adjusting to Grad School: How Funding Helps?’
Trishia Coburn (MA Student, Forensic Psychology, SFU)

This talk will discuss my transition from KPU Polytechnic University into graduate studies and how obtaining SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) funding assisted with this adjustment, while supporting my research endeavours. I will share some of my key experiences and will explain why obtaining funding prior to entering my MA helped me to accomplish many of my program requirements. Some students may feel overwhelmed in their final year of undergraduate studies, especially if they are applying to graduate school. However in my talk I will encourage students to also apply for funding, specifically tri-councils, prior to commencing graduate studies.  I hope to provide tips that will help students prepare for, and strengthen their applications. 

‘My Road Map to Grad School – Turning Passion into Profession’
Stephan Struve (MA Student, School of Communication, SFU)

In this brief presentation, Stephan will revisit how he started to turn his passion for science and the media into an academic career. Interestingly enough, it was a supposedly "dull" class that has changed his outlook and approach to grad studies.

‘Carving Your Path to Success: Getting a Degree vs. Getting an Education’ 
Sara Yasan (M. Ed., UBC)

Sara will speak about the following topics and issues: doing more than merely meeting expectations/ assignments and readings; exploring and thinking about ideas, theories and applications; familiarizing yourself with available resources; networking & Making Connections- Instructors, Profs, students, staff; if possible pursue a job that is in line with your academic interest / inside and outside school; exploring and researching career interests - do not settle with what can get you a job! Think about what your interests are.

Poster Presentation

‘Neo-Liberalism: Strategies, Efforts, and Methodologies of Right-Wing Think Tanks’
Yousif Samarrai, Philosophy and Economics, KPU

Neoliberal ideologies and doctrines began to emerge in the mid-1900 due to prominent thinkers such as Milton Friedman and Joseph Hayek. The formation of elite societies provided a platform for their ideas to be circulated and distributed, which caused exactly that. Through strategically becoming the “dealers of information”, neoliberal activists began infiltrating the mainstream through their pronounced “expertise”. My poster presentation aims to looks at both the history of how these institutions were formed, and where they are today. While focusing on the Fraser Institute in B.C., my research highlights the strategies, efforts, and methodologies of right-wing think tanks in how they promote their philosophy. The interconnectedness and prominence of society’s elite is clearly evident, as are their effects on educational policy, fiscal & monetary policy, and social policy, amongst others.