Conference Abstracts

Sociology and Criminology Undergraduate Student Conference

Session 1 - Education Under Fire

'Education Under Fire'
Bobby Fahandez and Arash Abbassi, Baha'i Activists

Adherents of the Bahá'í faith, which amount to roughly 300,000 throughout the country, represent the largest religious minority in Iran. Since its inception in 19th-century Persia, members of the religion have been subjected to unwarranted and arbitrary persecution; in wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the mistreatment of the Bahá'ís in Iran has escalated to egregious levels. The government has committed to a state policy to bar any Bahá'í from attending any domestic university. Since 1979, young Bahá'ís have been denied access to pursue higher education. The plight of the Bahá'ís can be viewed as a microcosm of the wide-ranging human rights violations that have pervaded the country of Iran. Such episodes necessitate a call for action.

Session 2 - Aboriginal Peoples, Domination, and Resistance

'First Nations Students within the Western Education System'
Sharon Sen, Psychology and Anthropology, KPU

This paper examines the effects of the Westernized education system on First Nations students. The Western form of education is standardized; its methods include an objective form of teaching and testing. This standardized approach to learning and teaching is problematic since it does not account for how individual perception is subjective. Western education is an inappropriate educational tool/policy for many Aboriginal students because the education system alienates and discourages them from achieving academic success. I propose that although the Western education system has enabled some Aboriginal students to thrive academically, it has also left many disconnected from the process of learning. The hegemonic indoctrination within Canada's education system continues to have a negative impact on First Nations attending schools. This paper explores the various ways by which the education system can be improved to increase First Nations' school success.

'A Critical Look at Indigenous Rights in Canada and Idle No More'
Melinda Bige, Sociology and Anthropology, KPU

The purpose of my paper is to critically analyze the Idle No More movement and apply Indigenous theory, critical race theory, and Marxist theory to the current state of affairs. I pick apart the omnibus bill C-45, and briefly identify other bills recently pushed through parliament.I propose that Bill C-45 infringes on the treaty rights of Indigenous nations in Canada by removing reserves from Indigenous peoples and using the land to exploit natural resources such as oil. This in turn affects the rights of Indigenous peoples to access resources such as fishing, therefore changing the relationship of Indigenous peoples with the land. The Idle No More movement is a response to the direct violation of the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous peoples, through the implementation of bill C-45. The effects of the Omnibus bill on Indigenous peoples of Canada reflect the inherent cultural hegemony that exists within Canadian society. This means that capitalism is ideologically ingrained as superior within the Canadian system. This in turn has created a Eurocentric lens through which the dominant society views Indigenous peoples.

'Indigenous People of Canada and Structural Factors'
Paige Gardiner, Criminology, KPU

I examine the plethora of factors that have led to and continue to affect the present situation of many Indigenous peoples in Canada. I explore the consequences of historical legislation, in addition to more current oppressive legislation, coupled with factors like abuse, addiction, family dynamics and trauma affecting Indigenous peoples. This paper provides both a foundational background for better understanding of how the current situation has evolved to be what it is for many Aboriginal People in Canada, and a critical analysis of several specific factors and situations that continue to negatively impact First Nations communities.

'Understanding the Legacy of Canada's Residential School System for Aboriginal Children'
Nick Chretien, Associate of Arts, KPU

This paper provides an analysis of the intergenerational effects of Canada's residential school system for Aboriginal children in First Nations communities. The residential school system in Canada began operating in the 1880s and the last one did not close until 1996. The Canadian government used education as a vehicle to systematically accomplish the mass removal of Aboriginal children from their families and communities in a way that often involved systematic and forced transfer. Within these institutions, a policy of aggressive assimilation was deployed that many describe as genocidal in its consequences. In light of growing awareness and activism to instil consciousness in Canadian settlers about the ongoing effects of this chapter of nation-building in Canada, it is clear that work must be done to initiate meaningful dialogue about the future relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada.  For a renewal of the First Nations and Canadian relationship to take place, and in order for a meaningful dialogue to begin,Canada must come to terms with its genocidal past and move toward a cooperative,  diplomatic, and non-colonialist model of governance.

Session 3 - Media, Representation, and Deconstruction

'The Breakfast Club: Cliques and Inequalities'
Anoop Bains, Sandreana Chan, and Joey Manaligod, KPU

In every high school, there exist inequalities due to class, gender, and sexuality. Various forms of media provide depictions of these inequalities in the form of cliques. This research explores the issues of classism, heterosexism, and sexism as seen in the film The Breakfast Club (1985). We break down the typical suburban high school experience in comparison to the experiences of students in urban and private school settings. Through analysis of selected scenes and characters, we look at how the concepts of conspicuous consumption, hegemonic masculinity, and emphasized femininity serve as the unifying elements that attempt to both diminish and promote inequality.

'Empowerment or Misogyny? A Woman's Role in Rap Culture'
Rick Kumar and Calvin Tiu, English and Counseling, KPU

The sub-genre of music known most popularly as rap has been scrutinized for its objectification of women and its misogynistic undertones. It has been generally believed that rap music denigrates women, that is to say, it unfairly criticizes women and subjects them to a coerced sexualization. In mainstream hip hop/rap today, this coercion is most noticed because it is the most publicized. Rap has taken on many faces as well as many styles but it is clear that no matter the era, women have not had their chance to represent themselves appropriately. There are many artists in the genre that play against these beliefs and try to change these chauvinistic views that reverberate through hip-hop culture. As the genre continues to evolve and move forward, it is clear to see that rap is moving away from silencing women, allowing them to flourish, albeit contouring that voice at times.

Session 4 -  Digging Deeper: Investigative Research in Criminology

Session Abstract
This session includes three papers from student researchers who have employed Access to Information (ATI) and Freedom of Information (FOI) laws as investigative research tools. The papers explore each researcher's substantive research topic and provide a commentary on the opportunities, challenges, and implications of ATI research.

'Restricting Access to Information: a process open to all?'
Chris Howell, Honors Criminology, KPU

My research on the Northern Gateway pipelines Project included accessing information (through the ATI process) from the National Energy Board, specifically the judicial review panel for the Northern Gateway pipelines Project. The process started out very positively, in that I was able to receive previously released requests quickly and easily. However, the process became progressively more difficult during the "brokering" stages; the process felt similar to our legal system, in that it requires a certain process and if you do not know or have someone to help you through the obfuscated process then there are many obstacles that aim to deter you from continuing with the process. I found in my ATI research that the information sent was primarily around media lines (any public news surrounding the area of interest), which exemplifies the extent that a government agency is willing to go, to ensure they appear positive, or prevent or diminish negative press surrounding a politically contentious area (NGP review panel process). In addition, I found there are many loopholes that enable government agencies to redact information that may be seen as negative towards them.

'Networked security and the oppression of Anonymous'
Jordon Tomblin, MA Candidate, Sociology, Carleton University

The Internet has come to be one of the most significant innovations of our time. It has redefined community and it has undoubtedly changed our world in phenomenal ways. However, it has also enabled new opportunities for crime and civil disobedience that have commanded the attention of governments. This paper investigates how Canadian policing and security intelligence agencies are responding to hacktivist activity and cybercrime. Specifically, it focuses on the rise of the hacktivist collective "Anonymous" and how networked security practices of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have established an online presence to respond to these new circumstances. As a method to gain insight into the inner workings of Canadian security intelligence, informal and formal access to information requests were submitted to the above agencies. As societies symbiotic relationship with technology continues apace, discussions around balancing personal privacy and upholding national security will be of vital importance in the years ahead.

'ATI Research and CSC ... What analysts don't want you to know'
Nikki Dhesi, Criminology, KPU

Through Access to Information (ATI) research, this project attempts to explain the position of Security Intelligence/ Security Intelligence Officers (SIO) within the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). Drawing on multiple ATI requests as well as previously completed ATI requests for information regarding job descriptions, policies and regulations, and incident reports, this paper explains the challenging ATI process that ensued in regards to obtaining those documents. Due to Security Intelligence being a "classified" position, it was difficult to obtain certain types of records. This paper outlines the information that was received throughout the process, documents that were requested and denied, as well as outlining the techniques of opacity that were used by the government analysts to delay and obstruct the process.

Session 5 - Educational Issues, Textbooks, and Inequalities in North America

'Whose Body Matters? Representations of Race in Medical Textbooks'
Patricia Louie, Honours Sociology, UBC

Research suggests that racial minorities in Canada and the United States receive a lower standard of care than their White peers. While racial disparities in health care have been extensively documented, little is known about why these discrepancies exist. This paper extends the analysis of race and health by considering whether the representations of race in medical textbooks influence the quality of care that doctors provide to racial minorities. Through an analysis of four current medical textbooks, the role of textbook images in reproducing racial bias in medical care is evaluated. 7146 textbook images were coded for the representation of race, gender, doctors and patients. The results show that White males are overrepresented in standard anatomy chapters at 85.7%. The race of patients is compared, finding that Whites represent 92% of patients, while only 6% of patients are Black. The implications of these findings for the perpetuation of racial and gender bias in clinical practice will be discussed.

'Dropout Rates: Questioning the American Dream'
Prabhpreet Brar, Sociology, KPU

In the United States, one of the major educational dilemmas is the striking number of dropouts, considered as the "most damning evidence of the nation's educational failure" (LoMonaco, 2008 cited in Wolk, 2011, 74). From a critical pedagogy perspective, dropping out is a complex phenomenon that requires an analysis of the structural factors responsible for some students to quit their education before graduation. The decision to drop out is often discussed in light of the discourse of individualism and is explained by references to individual characteristics, abilities, and choices. This paper explores the extent to which geographical location, the dominant forms of cultural capital that inform school structures and pedagogy, and tracking and streamlining function and cause the dropping out of marginalized students based on factors such as social class and "race"/ ethnicity. I argue that the causes of dropping out go beyond individual choices and are reflective of the effects of classism, racism, and other forms of oppression (Dance, 2009). Social class and "race"/ethnicity are two of the main factors that cause/influence students to leave schools. Available statistics have clearly shown that certain categories of students are pushed out of schools due to their social class positions as working-class individuals and their "race"/ethnicity.

'Gender Streaming in the United States'
Monica Saggu, Sociology, KPU

This paper examines gender differences and inequalities in the United States education system. I question and analyze the functions of schooling, and problematize the extent to which the process of streaming, based on gender, places men and women into gender specific fields of study that are not reflective of their interests or based on their merits and aptitudes. I explore how streaming is manifested in the contents of textbooks and is practiced through the hidden curriculum (cues from others about what is appropriate behaviour). I argue that the gendered process of streaming starts at an early age and affects women's future career choices.

Session 6 - Gender, Sexuality, Inequalities, and Representation

'Do Gender and Sexuality Matter?'
Joey Manaligod, Creative Writing, KPU

This paper explores existing inequalities in the work force in terms of factors such as gender and sexual orientation. I argue that due to the effects of heterosexism and homophobia, homosexuals have limited employment opportunities. Gender biases also affect the employment opportunities for males and females in various occupations. Through the lenses of conflict theorists, post-structuralists, and queer theorists, this paper explains how social inequality due to sexual orientation is developed and practiced and how policing of people's identities is administered and achieved through upholding the normalizing dominant discourses of sexuality. Research in the United Sates suggests that despite the shift to a more progressive and liberal outlook since the 1960s, discrimination based on gender and sexuality continue to produce socioeconomic instability and inequality for homosexual individuals.

'There is a man in MY bedroom and he wasn't invited: An Analysis of Patriarchy in Sex'
Jenn Clark, Psychology, KPU

Most of us go through life in an automatic fashion. We don't question the processes that function in the background to shape social structures and forces. When we begin to look deeper we see that our world is restrained by ideological beliefs put forth by the dominant few. Even after an understanding of how our world is shaped, we still believe that our bedrooms would be a place in which we are fully in control. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Our sexual lives are just as influenced by patriarchy as our public lives are. This presentation will illuminate several sexual domains that seem to be heavily influenced by patriarchy.

'The Pressures That Men Have to Face in Regards to Their Image'
Adrianna Spkyer and Andrews Owusu, Sociology, KPU


Just like women, men also face a significant amount of pressure to conform to hegemonic notions of masculinity. The media images of the 'ideal man' influence how a man "should" be. Various men's health magazines provide many tips and guides for men to transform their bodies based on 'ideal' body types. We argue that the dominant forms of body image in the media influence the construction of masculinity and femininity. In this presentation, we illustrate how men's perceptions of their bodies are shaped by the media images of the 'ideal masculine body'.


'The Forces Behind: The Canadian Sexual Experience' Aimee Fauteux, Sociology and English, KPU


Sexual preferences and identities are not fixed entities, they develop unevenly and often times are contradictory constructions. The institutionalization of the so-called 'approvable' and 'respectable' sexual social identities, within the context of the dominant and ruling concepts of hetero-normativity, deny social spaces to "alternative" sexual experiences as acceptable and normalized relations, which legitimize the 'common sense' notions behind the discourse of heterosexuality. This paper will look at the social, political, economic, and historical factors responsible for the normalization of a hierarchical system of sexual identities in Canada.

Session 7 - Social Movements, Media, Knowledge, and Oppression

'How the Corporate Media Marginalizes and Discredits 'Radical' Social Movement Groups and How They Can Fight Back'
Omar Faruqi, Psychology and Counselling, KPU

In the last two decades the corporate media in the west has failed to accurately report on the ideologies and intents of protestors to the general public, and instead has managed to marginalize and discredit them. While these groups can avoid this fate by turning to alternative media or social media, it still does not solve the issue. Perhaps it may be wiser to understand why the corporate media portrays them in this manner. By doing so a solution on how to adjust to the situation may arise. Alternative political ideologies and solutions to old and new problems will only strengthen Western democracies, and if the media fails to report these to the general public, we all stand to lose.

'The Effects of Able Bodied Media on Perceptions of Disability and Sexuality'
Alexandria Parsons, Psychology and Counselling, KPU

For individuals with disabilities, inner beauty is often overshadowed by what society deems a grotesque outer appearance. Because our society places such great emphasis on appearance and physical prowess, individuals with disabilities who do not fit into the strict categories of what is deemed acceptable or attractive in advertising often suffer increased stigmatization. The marginalization and invisibility of individuals with disabilities in the area of advertising and other forms of media only serves to further isolate and stigmatize this group. While much research has been done on the detrimental effects of advertising and mass media on issues such as body image and sexism, no such research has ever looked at whether the same images that encourage young boys and girls to take drastic measures in order to achieve perfection have any impact on attitudes towards disability and sexuality. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to determine if exposure to ads featuring images of individuals both with and without physical disabilities would affect attitudes towards the sexuality and sexual expression of women with disabilities.

'Bollywood and Construction of the Beauty Myth'
Zeenat Taki, Sociology, KPU

As the events surrounding the latest Miss America pageant controversy and the prevalence of Indian Beauty Myth among south Asian societies (primarily descendants from India) attest to, physical beauty continues to be defined based on the discourse of Whiteness and fairness, locally and globally. It is not surprising that this notion of fairness continues to influence how beauty is perceived within the households of South Indians in Canada. Globally, many Indian elite individuals (such as Bollywood celebrities) also endorse products, such as whitening creams and body washes, that emphasize concepts such as "Fair and Lovely" based on Euro-centric conceptions of beauty. These products promote an ideology that states that you are beautiful if you are also fair and White. In this presentation, I will explore the history of the relationship between the discourses of Whiteness and beauty in light of analysis of colonial and post-colonial relations and structures. I will examine the theoretical perspectives that critically analyze the effects of these ideologies on the identity construction of Indian people in India and Indian Diaspora. I will investigate the roles of different Bollywood celebrities endorsing such branding, and those Bollywood celebrities who are critical of these hegemonic notions that define beauty solely based on Whiteness and Eurocentric characteristics.

'Applying for Netizenship: Foucault, Cybercrime and the Digital Age'
Jordon Tomblin, BA, KPU; M.A. Student in Sociology, Carleton University

There is a trust and distrust shared by citizens and governments. In the twenty-first century, contingents of both parties understand the power of an individual online. At present, international debate on cybercrime and the regulation of the Internet has commenced. Citizens of the Internet want freedom online, yet sovereign states have never advocated for a community without control, rules and conventions. This paper shall investigate how Michel Foucault's discussions on disciplinary power and governmentality can be applied to the online virtual community. Trends in both prevalence and incidence of cybercrime, as well as discussions on possible Internet regulations, will be explored. To date, the Internet has become a domain that has mobilized and radicalized the existence of online and offline communities. Much of the progressive online development is akin to those who challenge the constraints of modernity and who have a global commitment to security. Accordingly, mechanisms of social control online have brought hierarchical observation, normalizing judgments, and examination techniques. The inherent confrontation and its consequence of online subjects have also created new strategies and circumvention techniques have surface as citizens attempt to escape the gaze of the state.

Session 8 - Social Practices, Gender, and Sexuality

'Female and Male Circumcision in Canada'
Jasveen Bunwait and Yousef Hosney, Sociology, KPU

This presentation examines what has been documented about female and male circumcision in Canada. Circumcision is a topic that has received little to no discussion in our nation. For much of Canada's history, male circumcision has been a cultural norm in Canada, while female circumcision has been newly introduced by specific immigrant populations. This presentation is based on our research team's findings about what has been said about circumcision in Canada's legal codes, in child-, medical- and cultural- based associations in Canada; and in the Canadian news media.

'The Whore Complex: An exploratory study comparing and contrasting female derogatory terms in Western and Eastern Societies'
Alyssa Nielsen, Sociology and History, KPU

Working from a feminist and comparative analysis perspective I explore the following questions: What are the worst female derogatory terms throughout the world?   What parts of modern society make these terms have the impact that they do? What historical influences impact the meaning of these derogatory terms? Is there a difference between Western and Eastern female derogatory terms? Why or Why not? This presentation reflects the development of this research, showing my methods, my goals, and my current results.

'Ethnocentrism: The Issue of Organ Donation in Japan'
Katarina Gallagher and Amanda Kalmar, KPU

Japan's history with organ transplants has been highly controversial and strongly criticized by both the outsiders looking in and the insiders within who must experience it. The main issue with organ transplantation is that it violates Japanese tradition and parts of their identity associated with the ie. It is hard enough to withstand the international scrutiny that their traditional values are "backwards" and purposely allowing people to die while alternatives – organ transplants – exist. The international perspective lacks empathetic appreciation of the differences in the way the Japanese view brain death, a condition required for vulnerable organs, such as the heart and liver, for transplant. For the Japanese these are seen as theft and mutilation from a still living being. For those who practice traditional values, they are potentially risking the harmony of their entire ie. Is the cost of organ transplant really fair to force upon the Japanese when they are a society generally at peace with the idea of an imminent death?

'Spousal Violence among Indo Canadian Women'
Pardeep Thandi, Criminology, KPU

Following several recent deaths, I have been interested in seeking to understand how and why these educated and independent Indo Canadian women become victims of spousal violence. Unfortunately, it has been found that many women in the East Indian community continuously are living in abusive relationships because of the fear of social stigma attached to divorce and separation, and the lack of social support from family members and the community. Despite increased awareness, intimate partner violence, particularly against Indo Canadian women, still occurs. This paper explores several contributing factors including patriarchy, gender inequality, alcoholism among Indo Canadian men, and issues related to immigration. I also consider the nature and effectiveness of preventive measures than have been taken.

Session 9 - Developmental Disabilities & Employment: Research in Progress

'Developmental Disabilities & Employment: Research in Progress'
Sonya Madeya, Melissa Long, and Adrienne Lee, Sociology, KPU

Panel Abstract
We will be hosting a round table discussion on Melissa Long's study of individuals with developmental disabilities and employment. We explore factors such as past successes and failures of individuals with developmental disabilities and their employment experiences in Canada. In addition, Sonya Madeya will be presenting her current research on special needs students and their inclusion in the education system, looking into factors such as the use of technology and school experiences as a whole. Lastly, Adrienne Lee will also be presenting her current research exploring the factors affecting access to educational opportunities and the inequalities that the educational system reproduces. All three research topics are currently in progress and have no firm conclusions.

'Educational Policies Affect Equal Educational Opportunity: Analyzing the Equality of Access and Quality of Education'
Adrienne Lee, Sociology, KPU

Many studies reveal that students who come from lower income families have lower educational achievement and less educational opportunity compared to those from higher income families. This paper explores the factors that affect educational policies in regards to the equality of access to education. What processes affect communities that have access to education? Why is the public education system in lower-class communities of less 'quality' in comparison to higher socioeconomic neighbourhoods? As a preliminary research I will explore these questions and analyze the reproduction of inequality in the education system itself. As students, the education system plays a role in our social mobility, competition and our current attitudes towards the public education system.

Session 10 - Human Rights in Canada: An Examination of the Discourse and Practice of Rights

'Women and Poverty: The Impacts of Equality Rights Violations in Canada'
Vanessa Vilardi, Criminology, KPU

With the establishment of equality rights, which were enshrined in the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, came the problem of monitoring, enforcing, and guaranteeing these new rights. Women today face a number of inequalities in comparison to men that include: lower wages, minimal government assistance, costly child care, and negative public perceptions. These are inequalities that are not being socially addressed through our current regime or implementation of rights. Through a discussion of these gender-based inequalities, which force women to remain in socio-economically compromised positions, this essay argues that Section 15 Charter rights are being violated.

'Human Rights Violations on Canadian Aboriginal Reserves: Highlighting Deplorable Housing Conditions that Violate Article 25 Of the UDHR'
Jaswant Padda, Criminology, KPU

The reserve housing conditions for First Nations peoples are comparable to those found in third world countries. The picturesque Canadian environment flaunted on tourism advertisements is non-existent in these communities. On the contrary, reserve housing is a threat to the health and well-being of First Nations residents. This paper frames this racially systemic housing practice as a human rights violation under Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Article 25 states that housing conditions must be safe and adequate so that they protect the health  and well-being of the residents ( OHCHR, 2009). However, the housing conditions of reserves expose residents to health and safety hazards that threaten their well-being.

'Human Rights Violations Created by the Live-In Caregiver Program in Canada'
Cyrll Santos, Criminology, KPU

Due to a shortage of individuals filling the gap for live-in care work, the Canadian labour market has been filled through the employment of migrant women worldwide. The vast majority of these overseas workers come from the Philippines, the Caribbean and Europe, through the enactment of the Live- In Caregiver Program (LCP). Although the LCP is recognized around the world for offering temporary migrant workers a way to obtain a permanent resident status in Canada, many migrant women who come to Canada as live-in caregivers continue to experience exploitative and abusive employment situations because of the live-in requirement of the program, and the fear of deportation or denial of permanent resident status. This paper details the manner by which many migrant women continue to face abuse and violence, and suffer the consequences of contract violations perpetrated by their employers.

Session 11 - Education, Activism, State Policy, and Social Inequalities

'The Limits of Environmental Activism in Education'
Charmaine Leung and Betty Yeung, Psychology and Counselling, KPU

Our recent analysis of environmental educational literature reveals three problems. First, there is no consensus as to what environmental education is. Second, teachers, faced with an already heavily packed curriculum, encounter a significant pedagogical burden as they attempt to add further attention to environmental issues. Lastly, there is an expectation that the next generation be fundamentally better than the current one. On the basis of intergenerational justice, we argue that this is ultimately dubious. According to principles of intergenerational justice, all generations carry the responsibility of maintaining a just society for future generations. We find, however, that future generations are burdened with solving today's environmental problems. We propose to broaden the educational focus from dealing primarily with students to dealing also with currently adult citizens (in this case, teachers). As the present generation, we can better serve our students by first examining our own roles in improving the environment.

'The 'No Child Left Behind Act' and its impact in U.S schooling'
Eugene Choi, Sociology, KPU

The 'No Child Left Behind Act' is an educational reformation policy in United States that was initiated by Bush administration in 2001. This education policy was introduced to improve the academic achievements of American students. The system is considered to promote the neoliberal ideal, since it reduces the role of public education and induces a market-based education system. Coercing standardized testing systems on schools has opened a new market for textbook conglomerates and private learning institutions. Some textbook companies have made contracts to publish the standardized tests for certain schools, and private tutoring programs have helped improve test scores of students whose families can afford these services. By accentuating the role of the market in schooling, the role of teachers has reduced to transmitting the official knowledge rather than developing innate talents of students. Through an examination of the problems caused by this policy, I address the importance of the autonomy of education systems that are undermined by ideological political interventions.

'The Conflict between the Standardization Movement and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in the United States'
Katherine Papiernik, Sociology and Political Science, KPU

In this paper, I focus on standardized testing and culturally responsive pedagogy in the U.S. Both these processes claim to enhance student academic success, but they use very different methods. Standardized testing promotes the use of a standardized, universal, and national curriculum and standardized, universal, and national testing measurements for all students. The assumption behind this method is that it will deliver and provide accurate, objective results and facilitate the ranking of students according to ability. To motivate teachers and students, high stakes are placed on these tests and yield many unintended consequences, including disadvantaging minorities and reproducing hegemonic processes. Culturally responsive pedagogy, on the other hand, allows greater flexibility and results in greater student success without the negative outcomes of standardized testing.

'The Disappearance of Academic Freedom'
Alexandra Devitt, Criminology, KPU

Often times when individuals consider the word "oppression", images of extreme, far-off atrocities come to mind. Many people are reluctant to admit to oppressive actions that occur closer to home. Academic freedom policies are put in place to protect the ideas and research of scholars. It is one of the most important freedoms that a member of a university enjoys. However, what happens when the research and ideas being produced are not in line with hegemonic ideals? Even though controversial research is allowed and even encouraged, some individuals who push the limits encounter hindering obstacles. Are there any administrative actions put in place to protect the scholar when he or she encounters thoughtless threats to end their research? For this presentation, a case will be critically evaluated to determine if academic freedom is adequately protected or indeed respected. Issues regarding academic freedom and the law will also be analyzed. If universities refuse to take a closer look at the policies protecting academic freedom, they are exhibiting an apathetic attitude towards their students and faculty members. If universities encourage and support an intellectual environment free of oppression, they need to re-evaluate their oppressive behaviours.

Session 12A - Iran, Revolution, Feminist Movement, and the West

'The New Battle of the Sexes: A comparison of Western and Eastern Women's Movements'
Jenn Clark, Psychology, KPU

Almost ubiquitously the ideology of patriarchy disseminates worldwide even without a capitalist economic structure. Women's movements have been and are still working to foster more social equality for women. Different parts of the world have approached these movements using different tactics; however, they all have one common goal: to gain upward social mobility for women. This presentation will examine the history of the North American Women's movement in comparison to the Iranian Women's movement. The similarities and differences between these movements may provide insight into how we can achieve an enduring worldwide women's movement.

'Unveiling the Story of Marjane Satrapi and the Islamic Iran'
Sofia Rodriguez, English, KPU

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is a widely studied and well-known novel because it reaches different audiences due to its graphic presentation of historical aspects of Iran's revolution. Satrapi is aware that sometimes images can convey deeper meaning than a text, so she presents her childhood story and the story of a nation in a graphic novel. Her purpose is to reveal that not everyone in Iran is a fundamentalist, and she wants the world to know the injustices that took place in Iran during and after the revolution. She explains in the introduction of the graphic novel the reason for her to create it: "I don't want those Iranians who lost their lives in prisons defending freedom, who died in the war against Iraq, who suffered under various repressive regimes, or who were forced to leave their families and flee their homelands to be forgotten" (Satrapi, 2000-2003). Therefore, it is no surprise that her novel stands for a variety of different perspectives which are evident by the fact that her novel is not specific to any one genre. Intentionally, Satrapi creates a novel that embodies her and allows her to show her artistic talent. The novel can be found under more than one category: autobiography, children's or young adult's literature, graphic novel, Middle East history, women's studies (Naghibi and O'Malley 226). The content in Persepolis creates consciousness about social and political issues to the audience. By presenting her memories in a visual and textual form, Satrapi shows that her story and the story of her country are universal; East and West are not very different when they are placed side by side.

'The Iranian Revolution, 1979: Memory, Desire, and a Search for Identity'
Jessica Singh, History and Political Science, University of Victoria

Numerous contemporary representations of the 1979 Iranian Revolution inadvertently suggest that the Islamic Republic of Iran emerged from a "drive for an 'Islamic' economic and social order." A close analysis of the intrinsic logic of the Revolution, however, reveals that the Republic was founded through a convergence of several distinct ideologies. Many of the individual actors who had united under Khomeini's "anti-imperialist" and "anti-Western" umbrella sought an Iran in which one could simultaneously be "Iranian, Muslim, and modern." Thus, motivations for the Revolution were not solely political, economic, or religious; rather, in addition to a collective desire for a legitimate state authority, many Iranians were driven towards Khomeini's revolutionary cause through a conflicting search for their own individual identity. In this way, the Iranian Revolution, 1979 is an eminent example of how the fusing together of different political, cultural, and ethnic identities with religion, by virtue of the overarching banner of a particular "national identity," creates "anti-regime" attitudes that are far beyond the reaches of resolution even to this day.

Session 12B - Educate, Engage, and Empower

'Educate, Engage, Empower: KPU's Miss Representation Action Group'
Janice Morris, Faculty, ACP English, KPU

With a foundational belief in the transformative power of dialogue, KPU's Miss Representation Group (MRAG)- an interdisciplinary community of learning and practice composed of students, faculty members, staff, alumni, and community partners-has flourished since its inception in January 2012, continually seeking out new ways, as asks, to "unite individuals around a common, meaningful goal to spark millions of small actions that ultimately lead to a cross-generational movement to create lasting cultural and sociological change". Specifically, the MRAG has seen tremendous success with its now annual Documentary Series, an open-access, community wide series of events that aim to promote dialogue, give voice to the KPU community, and raise awareness- of ourselves and our communities both local and global. In this interactive roundtable session, participants will listen to and (hopefully) help build on the MRAG success story: What have we learned? What works? What doesn't? Why? Further, participants will leave with practical, concrete suggestions for organizing and launching their own action group(s) and/or event(s). From the biggest ideas to the small details, we'll cover it all!

Note: This session is cross-listed with the 1st Annual Research & Knowledge Mobilization Day @ KPU (Session 12).

Session 13 - Theory, Activism, and Domination

'Liberties Unchained'
Chris Howell, Honors Criminology, KPU


This presentation takes an introductory theoretical approach to an important but under-appreciated theory in criminology, 'anarchism', with particular attention to the importance of individual liberties. I briefly explain anarchism in order to address an important ideal, 'absolute liberties'. In order to better understand 'absolute liberties', I critically analyze Canada's charter. The goal is to present anarchism and absolute liberties, then argue why Canada's charter falls short of this ideal.

'State Activism'
Aaron Philip, Criminology, KPU

I make the claim that State activism is outside the power of government. I insist on a neutral state that upholds order and social pluralism. When the state starts creating social policy, I examine how the state as an impediment to, rather than upholder of, freedom. When the State interferes though proscribing social values, or by artificially boosting the economy the result is predictably disastrous. My presentation will look into two examples. I will provide the Canadian example of the Residential School Program whose aim was the social assimilation of the aboriginal population. Also I will discuss the depraved nature of theocracy, which finds justification for enslaving its people.

'The Three D's Theory of Sociology'
Lisa Melton, Criminology, KPU

In this paper, I will explain what I have coined as the 'Three D Theory' of Sociology. I will show that many situations and experiences in everyday life encompass the Three D's. I shall also illustrate how the vast majority of individuals within society are not aware that this takes place. As I progress through items such as False Consciousness, Hegemony, Heteronormativity, and Multiculturalism, I will show how the Three D's are present and working in full force.

'Shadow Powers: the Business of Oppression'
Spencer Gillespie, Criminology, KPU

This paper will examine the role played by multinational corporations (MNCs) in fomenting oppression and inhibiting the advancement of human rights. In an increasingly global world, MNCs are among the most powerful economic and political forces in existence. These corporations rely on cheap labour resources outsourced from nations with sub-par human rights standards. By enforcing working conditions and wages which would be unacceptable in their home country, MNCs can offer affordable retail prices while maintaining exceptional profit margins. In fact, the existence of MNCs is predicated on the exploitation of individuals who do not enjoy the same protections North Americans do. While MNC involvement in developing nations does offer economic benefits, their value is dubious; as they continue only while cheap labour remains accessible, discouraging the implementation of human rights legislation. Ultimately, this paper will argue that 'the corporate entity' is amongst the most prominent forces of oppression in the modern world.

Session 14 - Special Session KPU Sociology Instructors & Their Pedagogies and Research

'Where is My Public Servant?'
Cherylynn Bassani, Sociology, KPU

This presentation focuses of the purpose, need and evaluation of the "Where is My Public Servant" youth program in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The intent of this presentation is to highlight the need of applied–or practicing sociologists in our society and to encourage dialog between future sociologists and the wider community.
'How I Teach the Sociological Imagination'
Charles Quist-Adade, Sociology, KPU

Canadian mass communication scholar and social philosopher Marshal McLuhan put us all in the "Global Village," where willy-nilly, for better or worse, we inhabitants are increasingly becoming integrated, intermixed, and interconnected. What happens at one corner of the village has almost instantaneously repercussion on other parts of the village. Our actions, and indeed our inactions, affect and are affected by the actions and inactions of legions of people, most of who live in far flung corners of our global landscape, and whose paths may never cross ours in our lifetime. In my courses, I introduce the concept of Global Sociological Imagination (GSI) to my students using two short slideshows I created out of a short article and a poem I wrote about a "slice of my life-story" to illustrate the concept of globalization. The GSI is an extension of the sociological imagination (SI), a concept developed by US sociologist, Charles Wright Mills. I introduce the SI and GSI as part of my introductory lecture on critical thinking. After the lecture, I ask students to create their own stories or poems using the sociological imagination.

'What does sociology have to do with water? A KPU instructor's account of his introduction to the
political economy of water as a student at KPU'

Kyle Mitchell, Sociology, KPU

Kyle was first introduced to the power of water when he was a student at KPU. The importance of water in relation to social and environmental justice objectives has since kept him engaged and inspired in the struggle over the right to water for many years, culminating in his PhD thesis entitled, The Political Economy of Water: The Struggle over the Right to Water. From the perspective of a faculty member and PhD candidate, Kyle will share his research as well as how he came to be inspired by the topic many years ago as a student at KPU.

'Why Sociology?'
Esayas Bekele Geleta, Sociology, KPU

This paper introduces students to the subject matter of sociology, and it provides them with an understanding of what sociologists do. The paper outlines transferable skills students develop in the course of studying sociology and undertaking sociological research. It also highlights the carrier choices available for graduates with a major in sociology.

Poster Session

Poster 1 – 'The Portrayal of Food and Nutrition in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"(2009)'
Co-presenters: Jaclyn Vandenkerkhof, Jennifer Boorman, Nikki Hollinson, and Fraser Readman. Sociology, KPU

This presentation is a poster presentation of how attitudes towards food are portrayed in the movie 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' (2009). We conducted a content analysis on the movie and will discuss major conclusions based on our observations (Research in Progress).

Poster 2 – 'Social Environment and Crime Activities'
Da Chen Yang, Wan Ju Ni, and Gao Xin, KPU

Our research examines social background and criminal activities. Using content analysis we examine the movies "Johnny Mad Dog" and "wall street". We analyze how social environment affects criminal activities by looking at factors such as income, family background, education and social class.

Poster 3 – 'Political Advertising and Public Perceptions'
Mohomad Al Samarrai, Trevor Crane, Kristin Unger, and Fabio McLeod, KPU


This presentation is a poster presentation of Barack Obama's political campaign. The research for this presentation was conducted via content analysis of his campaign ads. We observed over a dozen ad campaign pictures and drew a number of conclusions based on this research. (Research in Progress)

Poster 4 – 'Mrs. Clean: residue of targeted marketing'
Nisha Chauhan, Amrit Johal, Nish Chauhan, and Cecillia Zhu, KPU

This is a poster board presentation of women in cleaning product and home appliance advertisements that are played on television during prime time daytime television. We compare these advertisements in women's magazines, i.e. Chatelaine. In this content analysis, we review how women are negatively affected by the exposure of the stereotypical housewife that is portrayed in cleaning product and home appliance advertisements. We also observe how housewives succumb to these marketing strategies. (Research in Progress)

Poster 5 – 'An Examination of Emotional Abuse Within Child Beauty Pageants'
Colin Crabbe, Keisha Matthews-Downing, Pak Ning Wong, and Jocelyn Kroeger, KPU

This is a poster board presentation on child abuse, as portrayed in child beauty patents. We observed several episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras and conducted a content analysis on both child and parental behaviour. We dissect the relationship between the child and parent and narrow in on the emotional abuse that takes place. (Research in Progress)

Poster 6 – 'Marginalization of Aboriginal Peoples in Children's Media'
Kenneth Abad, Michelle Lal, Sukjeevan Grewal, and Charo Retuta, KPU
This poster presentation is a content analysis about the marginalization of Aboriginal Peoples depicted in the movie Pocahontas. The purpose of this presentation is to show awareness about the different stereotypes that are shown in children's media.
(Research in Progress)

Poster 7 – 'Objectification of Women In Music Videos'
Amrit Bansal, Amrit Virdi, and Alisha Rao, KPU

We will be doing a content analysis, poster presentation on how the objectification of women and sexuality differ from different genres of music. We have examined several music videos from pop music, as well as hip-top and rap to do the content analysis. (Research in Progress)

Poster 8 – 'Portrayal of Conflict Theory in The Walking Dead TV Series'
Natasa Ivanovic, Leonard Franco, and Haney Romana, KPU

Through content analysis, we will be researching the construction of group dynamics from acritical perspective. (Research in Progress)

Poster 9 – 'Disney and the Marginalized Man'
Kate Gibbs and Jaime Munch, Sociology, KPU


In this presentation, we examine the portrayal of genders in the Disney film Cars. We consider two of the main characters and analyze how, when and if they are portrayed as vulnerable, proud, accepting of failure and open to love. We propose that males have been marginalized in Disney films. The target audience for Disney films has been female, and this is reflected in the contents of the films and the hegemonic representations of masculinity and femininity. Films are marketed to females and portray men as unbreakable heroes who save the day. We have chosen Cars as our artifact and we will be using the manifest content analysis approach as we try to recognize when two of the main characters are able to feel and express such emotions or feelings as vulnerability, pride, acceptance of failure and openness to love. Our hope is to take an in-depth look at whether or not, in the movie Cars, Disney marginalizes males' emotions. We ask: does Disney construct an emotionally half man and whether or not Disney promotes and perpetuates male stereotypes? (Research in Progress)

Poster 10 'The Consequences of Cell-Phones on Social Interactions'
Djainal Yoshua and Guoman Liao, Sociology, KPU

Although the rapid development of cellphone has enhanced our lives in various ways, there are also numerous negative influences that we should not neglect. This presentation examines cell phone usage and how it may be interfering with our social interaction.  (Research in Progress)

Poster 11 'On Three, Smile and Say 'Police!''
Prince Arora, Criminology, KPU

Over the years technology has advanced. These advancements have allowed the public to have more control over recording police conduct. Good and bad go noticed. Police have the duty to uphold the law and if they do not it may be recorded on someone's phone. There are a variety of apps available. An new era has been created where there is a "new visibility" of policing. Nothing goes unnoticed in the public eye. Technology is available everywhere. This allows the public to record and take pictures of everything that happens. With technology available as an aid to the public the police have no choice but to be held accountable.