The 4th Annual Sociology & Criminology Undergraduate Student Conference
Multidisciplinary Approaches to Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities
Date: Friday, November 7, 2014
Time: 8:00 to 17:00
Place: Conference Centre
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
12666 72 Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada
‘Toccatas of Terror: Music and Narrative in Psycho and United 93’
Mathew Fabick, English, KPU
This paper focuses on the application of auteur theory to the sound design of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (Paramount, USA, 1960) and Paul Greengrass’s United 93 (Universal Pictures, USA, 2006), highlighting the contrasting approaches of the two directors in regards to the usage of both diegetic and non-diegetic sound to supplement the narratives of their films. This paper will display Hitchcock’s formalist approach to filmmaking, evidenced by the meticulously constructed nature of the famous “shower scene” in Psycho, and how both the diegetic and non-diegetic music is designed to elicit a physiological response from the viewer, showing how Hitchcock controls every aspect of the film to have the precise effect he desires on the audience; this paper will also look at the soundtrack’s role in the rest of the film as a primary means of supporting the film’s narrative. The formalist approach of Hitchcock will be contrasted with Paul Greengrass’s realist approach to filmmaking, which is demonstrated through the organic emotion the viewer experiences when listening to the diegetic screams and shouts of the passengers as they try to retake the plane from the hijackers in United 93, with minimal support from a soundtrack. The scene featuring the passenger’s counterattack shows that Greengrass does not manufacture a scenario to generate emotion in his viewers, but instead allows the terrifying nature of the situation to support his film’s narrative, further evidenced by the secondary role that the soundtrack plays throughout the rest of the film.
‘Creativity in a Docudrama: the Case of Paul Greengrass’ United 93’
Ann Kim, English, KPU
As a part of literature, films convey the filmmakers’ interpretations. United 93 (Universal Pictures, USA, 2006) thus exemplifies how Paul Greengrass interprets the events that may have occurred on United Airlines Flight 93, one of four planes that crashed on September 11, 2001. This film incorporates the recordings of Airfone conversations prior to the plane crash, making it possible to consider it a case of cinema-vérité. However, the film does not simply remain as a mere representation of reality since the filmmaker’s creative licence produces the figurative characterization of Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. Through visual techniques, Greengrass identifies Grandcolas as a collective hero, presents her as a cultural product, blurs the boundary between reality and fiction, foreshadows the climax of the film, and expands on the evolving conventions of a generic hero. Therefore, taking a theoretical approach to analyze the film hints at Greengrass’s cultural perspective and highlights how he challenges the modern film conventions.
‘The Feminine Presence: Misogyny and Feminism in Hitchcock’s Psycho’
Fraser Readman, English, KPU
Alfred Hitchcock, the master of the horror film, has been accused by many film critics and theorists of being a misogynist, displaying the brutal deaths of his female characters on screen because of a deeply rooted hatred for females that he had. Hitchcock’s films have also been scrutinized under a Freudian psycho-analytic lens, and these criticisms postulate that Hitchcock’s issues with women perhaps stem from issues with his own mother, and that this subconscious tension has been translated into on-screen brutality against women. The purpose of this essay is to debunk this prevalent myth that Alfred Hitchcock was a misogynist filmmaker, and instead argue through looking at his 1960 classic Psycho (Paramount, USA) that he was in fact in some forms an early feminist, with sharp critiques of the dominant, patriarchal society in which he lived. Hitchcock’s female characters in Psycho provide evidence of Hitchcock’s admiration of females, despite what psychoanalysis of the film might suggest. I argue that Freudian film critiques overlook the fact that the females in Psycho are assertive, dominant, and progress the action throughout the film, while the males are actually for the most part simply passive participants in a film dominated by strong female presences.
‘KPIRG, PIRGs, and Student Activism’
The Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group (KPIRG)
Founded in December 2013 by KPU students committed to social, economic, and environmental justice, the Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group (KPIRG) is a student-funded, student-directed, non-partisan, non-profit, independent on-campus Society that conducts research, advocacy, campus, and community organizing/activism, lobbying, and educational and media campaigns. As a dynamic hub of progressive student activism, KPIRG strives to stand at the forefront of interrelated social, economic, and environmental struggles at KPU and in the community and aims to spur student mobilization around such intersecting issues as colonialism and indigenous sovereignty; class oppression, labour exploitation and socioeconomic inequity; patriarchy and feminism; environmental justice, extractive industries, and divestment from; racism, migrant workers’ rights, and immigration policy; corporate and alternative media; and many more issues. KPU students can participate in their PIRG through, amongst other avenues, action research conducted in collaboration with community organizations; skill-sharing workshops; creation of Working/Action Groups, such as Fossil Free Kwantlen; and events planning and coordinating. KPIRG, the only PIRG south of the Fraser, is one of over twenty PIRGs based out of universities across Canada and follows a forty-year history of PIRGs in Canada. At the 4th annual Sociology/Criminology Undergraduate Student Conference, KPIRG board, staff, and student mobilizers will be sharing KPIRG’s history, structure, objectives, values, and projects with fellow KPU students and will be engaging students through a variety of workshop activities.
‘Canada-USA Safe Third Country Agreement’
Jessica Sanghera, Criminology, KPU
This paper presents the argument that Canada continues to practice discriminatory measures aimed at restricting access into the country for those wishing to enter Canada on grounds of refuge, or seeking asylum, based solely on one’s ethnic identity or origin. This barrier is the Canada-USA Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA). My work begins by providing historical accounts of overt racism that early Chinese and Sikh migrants faced at the hands of the Canadian government in hopes of deterring further migration of such ethnic groups, and keeping Canada a 'white nation'. Fast forward to present day and there continues to be efforts aimed at deterring certain people from entering the country. Through the Canada-USA STCA the government is able to restrict those they do not deem fit for entering, and settling within Canada. This work covers the concepts of shifting geographic borders, the illegality of such an agreement as a direct violation under the 1951 U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the legal ramifications of the STCA, and lastly the notion of disappearing refugees.
‘Border Security Technology and Privacy Rights’
Ryan S. Gossal, Criminology, KPU
My essay discusses the issues of border security technology and how these technologies infringe on citizens’ privacy rights. Throughout my presentation I will further elaborate on what types of technologies the border services use that threaten privacy rights. The first technology that I will talk about is the global identification card, the passport. The passport has been extracting more information from citizens’ over the years. This has become an increasing concern amongst citizens’ as their personal information is being viewed by border agencies. The second technology that I will address is the technology of surveillance. In the topic of surveillance I will elaborate on three types of surveillances which are surveillance cameras, listening devices, and full body scanners. These types of surveillance crosses the boundaries of citizens’ privacy. The third technology that I will propose during my presentation is the technology of the border officers. The border officers act like a technology because they can prohibit people from coming in and out of a country and can also use their authority to detain citizens at borders for prolonged periods. The underlying message from my essay is to shed light on how these technologies have stolen citizens’ personal information for their own purposes and how they have gone too far with extracting our information.
‘The Rise of Temporary Foreign Workers’
Gurinder Bopanrai, Criminology, KPU
This essay focuses on the “Temporary Foreign Workers” program, and the workers themselves. Temporary foreign workers are perceived as a controversial topic across this nation. The program was established by the Government of Canada to allow Canadian employers to find temporary workers to fill labour shortages. The temporary foreign worker program has recently gained some media attention in regards to how the employers are abusing the program. The program is put into place to allow employers to fill labour shortages when no Canadian citizens are available to occupy certain jobs. However, McDonald’s was hiring temporary workers and taking away jobs from Canadian residents. McDonalds defended their allegations by stating their 4% of their workforce is made up of temporary workers. The rights of temporary workers are also addressed in this essay. Some workers can only work for one specific employer, which could lead them to being taken advantage of. Jason Kenny addresses the abuse of temporary foreign workers by suspending their use in the fast food industry. Kenny made other changes, such as caps on the percent of temporary foreign workers in one workplace. Some employers, such as Dan Kelly, opposed the changes proposed by Jason Kenny as they believed these changes sympathized with unions. Another concern of temporary foreign workers is what occurs to the workers if they lose their jobs. Some of these workers become homeless, are not aware of homeless shelters, and sometimes are not aware of health benefits. There are a lot of issues with this program, and questions regarding why it still exists. The program currently employs over 200,000 temporary workers in Canada which provides the economy with people to fill the labour shortages. Issues surrounding the impact on temporary foreign workers on the economy are also raised in this essay. Overall, temporary foreign workers are needed in Canada, but more control needs to be put on these workers.
‘Social Injustice and the Prison-industrial Complex’
Shane Kubeska, Criminology, KPU
The prison-industrial complex is a term used to refer to the rapid expansion of the prison population, specifically in privatized correctional institutions. This term acknowledges the fact that sentencing and incarceration have become tools for generating profit for the correctional corporations that operate within the nation-wide prison-industrial complex. This paper will open with a description of the global history of the evolution of the correctional system and discussion of the two forms of prison privatization: contracting and leasing. The central objective of this paper is to illustrate the multitude of social injustices that occur within the prison-industrial complex, particularly in the United States, because of the rapid, aggressive implementation and expansion of neoliberal policies. To comprehend the severity of the mistreatment of human beings and systemic abuses of power in the ever-growing economic powerhouse that is the prison-industrial complex, a detailed description of social justice will be followed by an outline of the different forms of social injustice that occur in correctional systems as a result of privatization.
Social justice is the social conditions that promote an equitable distribution of valued societal resources and the removal of all barriers or structures that hinder the attainment of a just, inclusive, democratic, and humane society. The issues addressed include (but not necessarily limited to): convict leasing and its ties to indentured labour; instances of bribery and conflict of interest within the context of annuities paid to judges and backroom politics; corporate lobbying for harsher sentences; the failure (or economic success) of the war on drugs; and economic exploitation or slave labour.
Subsections of the paper include an in-depth analysis of several phenomena exclusive to the prison-industrial complex including: cherry picking, the cost-effective myth, financial handouts and slave labour, over-inflation, private prison growth and the pursuit of profit. The topics listed are addressed through several criminological, sociological, and philosophical perspectives. The analysis will utilise and discuss both rehabilitative and retributive approaches to incarceration, and human commodification and deontological ethics. Several other issues such as institutional and racial discrimination will be discussed through the lens of critical constructivism, intersectionality.
‘The Relevance of Wrongful Conviction in North America: A Critical Examination’
Paige Gardiner, Criminology, KPU
I investigate the alarming occurrence of wrongful conviction in the Canadian and North American context. I demonstrate how a variety of reoccurring factors continue to contribute to wrongful conviction at a disturbing rate and identify possible solutions for the prevention of wrongful conviction. I establish the relevance of the issue of wrongful conviction for individuals within both the criminological and legal realms and for society in general. I make evident the pressing necessity to acknowledge the importance of this issue and the need to increase attention and awareness given to wrongful conviction.
‘Community Surveillance of Police Citizen Encounters: Canadian Police Officers in YouTube’
Breanne Muir, Criminology, SFU
This study explores the portrayals of Canadian police officers and the nature of community surveillance techniques of bystanders by examining a sample of YouTube videos. An exploratory content analysis of these videos allowed for identification of themes in police conduct and police portrayal. Trends in community surveillance, including bystander conduct and influence, have also been identified. Interview research was conducted with four Canadian police officers to compliment previous findings. Interview participants established that Canadian police officers have similar perspectives towards community surveillance and social media. Finally, statistical analysis of YouTube video data allowed for the exploration of viewer reception to videos in the sample. This multi-methodical research surrounding the topic of community surveillance of police-citizen encounters allows for an extensive understanding of Canadian police portrayal in YouTube, and how community surveillance, bystander influences, and social media impact the field of policing.
The Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group (KPIRG)
As a social, economic, and environmental justice-oriented student-led Society, KPIRG recognizes the ongoing and living history of colonialism and attendant systems of oppression in unceded First Nations territories and in colonized lands spanning the continents. Part of the processes of decolonizing our environments and social relationships involves the decolonization of our minds and worldviews. KPIRG will be hosting a decolonization workshop in which intersecting systems of oppressions, such as class, gender, and race-based oppressions, will be analyzed, critiqued, and challenged by students. Students will further have the opportunity to share, if comfortable, their experiences and analyses through a variety of interactive, critical workshops and will reflect on and strategize the ways in which they can use emancipatory tools of reflection, analysis, and action in and outside the classroom.
‘North American Culture from a Filipino Immigrant Perspective’
Juan Victor Cortez, Creative Writing, KPU
In the Philippines, there is a strong western culture that is inherent within the strands of the Filipino identity. Due to the long history of colonization, a lasting influence on western European characteristics and culture has been imprinted. Though there is a western influence, the perception of western society in the Philippines is created by Filipino minds, a simulacrum. As many treat the west, specifically North America, as the “promise land”, it is only fitting that they move to North America as immigrants in order to find a better life. Though Filipinos are well-versed in English and knowledgeable in western culture, the simulacrum of western society these Filipino immigrants carry can cause confusion expecting the hybrid Filipino-western culture they know to exist, but ultimately falter, because the western culture is derived from colonization and not the current western culture. The research will identify main points of general North American culture, compare those points to Filipino culture and perception, and identify whether the differences or misconceptions prove to cause any major challenges for Filipino immigrants. It is hypothesized that the differences between the western culture and the Filipino culture will illustrate key different points in from the Filipino perspective.
‘Japanese Political Commodities: Nationalism as a Premium for Politics’
Scott Jacobsen, Psychology, SFU & UBC
This essay will examine the use of nationalism in modern Japanese political discourse. Three major parties exist in Japan: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Democratic Party (DP), and Japanese Restoration Party (JRP). Each party encourages nationalism to some degree. Despite this difference in degree, the parties provide a concrete manifestation of using history for political purposes. The paper argued for the use of nationalism by political parties en masse throughout the essay. Therefore, all parties will occasionally be referenced in the paper, but will merge into an aggregate of Japanese politics. For the overview of topics: Japanese political parties’ use of nationalism, comparisons to other Western countries, and an extrapolation based on the prior examples into the future of Japanese politics regarding nationalism.
‘Nationalism and ‘Race’ Influence Violence and Discrimination’
Gurpinder Sidhu, Sociology, KPU
Majority of genocides, terrorist attacks, and acts of discrimination stem from the need of one thing, power. Nationalism can be seen as a form of identity, and identity as a form of power. My paper will discuss a reflection based on a few readings that present the connection between the idea of race and nationalism. The readings I reflect upon reveal important issues within nationalism and how ‘race’ has been socially constructed to empower the dominant culture. Most violent acts are intended to save ‘identity’ or to obtain power for the Nation State. The dominant culture builds this identity to create a sense of belonging, and by doing so ‘race’ has been used to separate people by creating a superiority complex. By creating divisions in society, ‘race’ plays a large role in violence through discrimination, nation-building tactics, and identity construction. Our perceptions of most terrorist attacks or genocides are often perceived from media or books that contain a narrow or bias perspective. The readings I based this paper on portray multiple perspectives, stories, and concepts that help us to understand the discourse of whiteness, the concept of otherness, and the power of influence nationalists have over the ideologies we create about people and ‘race’.
‘South Asian Immigration to Canada Then and Now’
Pritha Sehra, Sociology, KPU
In this presentation, I will be looking at and discussing the immigration of South Asians to Canada from the late 1960s to early 2000s, particularly focusing on their migration experiences and what kinds of support services have been available to them. I will compare the experiences of the immigrants who came in the 1960s to those who arrived in the 2000s, and will explore how immigrant service providers have evolved/changed since the 1960s.
‘Animal Cruelty in Canada and the Impact of Guardianship Laws’
James O’Conner, B.A. Honours with Distinction, Criminology, SFU
The guardianship movement was started because there is a need to educate the public about the value and importance of animals in society. Guardianship legislation is one method being pursued to increase animal welfare. The idea is that educating the general public away from the majority held view that animals are personal property, akin to cars, iPods, and other consumer goods and towards the view that animals are sentient beings with the ability to suffer will improve overall animal welfare. Data were collected from university students and major stakeholders and the results suggest that although both groups are favourable towards the term pet guardian neither group is comfortable with attributing any improvement to animal welfare from a terminology change. Furthermore, the study concludes that guardianship legislation will not improve animal welfare in a significant way in British Columbia.
‘A look at Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Historical and Current Perspectives’
Jordan Buna, Psychology & Criminology, KPU
What if I were to tell you that there is a tragedy in its first stages of repetition happening right now in Canada, a tragedy that has ripped apart millions of American families for a lifetime, giving them no chance to heal; this tragedy is mandatory minimum sentencing. It locks people away for decades with no thought to personal circumstance or situation. It removes the power of our trained legal professionals and leaves it in the hands of vote-hungry politicians, eager for their next moment on top. In this presentation, we will examine the implications of mandatory minimum sentencing. From a look into the history of the catastrophic failures of the United States Sentencing Reform to the period in our own Canadian legal history where we got it right, we will see how warning signs that were so clear were ignored to satisfy a misinformed public. We will then arrive to our current period where thirty years of thoughtful work is undone by the stroke of a pen. We’ll look at sentencing through the eyes of the politicians, the judges and even the people with a hope that, one day, we may still have a salvageable and humane legal system to go back to. The paper I will be presenting is divided into eight sections. Section one explores the creation and utilization of mandatory minimum sentences within the United States. Section two discusses the implications these sentencing policies had on the United States penal and criminal justice systems. Section three discusses the attempts by the American judiciary to circumvent these policies. Section four discusses historical sentencing practices within Canada. Section five discusses the attitudes and beliefs of the citizens of each of these countries on the topic of sentencing within the criminal justice system. Section six explores the recent changes in Canadian sentencing law, specifically looking at policy created by the legislative branch. Section seven explores the attempts by the Canadian judiciary to strike down these new changes in sentencing policy. Finally, section eight concludes the essay with some thoughts on what was presented.
‘Empty Pockets, Umbrellas, and “Imaginary Crimes”: A Content Analysis of Canadian, New Zealand, and Australian Case Law on Impossibility in Criminal Attempts’
Kayla Barkase, B.A. Honours Criminology and Philosophy, SFU
Historically, offences considered “impossible” of commission have been problematic for the law of attempts. In particular, there is no consensus as to whether there is a legally relevant difference between the concepts of “factual impossibility” and “legal impossibility.” This is significant not only because it possesses implications for legal and moral responsibility, but also because it highlights uncertainty in the law. The current study examines how impossibility affects judicial decision-making in criminal attempt cases. A qualitative content analysis was conducted on case law from three Commonwealth countries: Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The results indicate that inconsistency in the approach adopted towards impossibility attempts is a consequence of differing doctrinal frameworks. Because Canada and Australia generally adopt the subjective approach (in contrast to New Zealand, which generally adopts the objective approach), it is not surprising that they rely on consequentialist rather than retributivist rationales of punishment. Furthermore, despite being criticized as an area of law based on “abstract conceptions,” this study demonstrates that impossibility cases raise broader social policy issues.
Saed Abu-Haltam and Maria Goldin, Sociology and Psychology, KPU
What happens when you bring two people to discuss the most complex conflict of the century, the Palestinian Israeli conflict? What about if these two individuals are a Palestinian and an Israeli? Driven by their commitment for conflict resolution, peace, and recognition of the other, Saed Abu-Haltam and Maria Goldin, Palestinian and Israeli KPU students, respectively, have been regularly discussing the conflict and looking for ways to explore common beliefs and unshakeable differences. However, with the right environment and inspiring personal stories, their lives have transformed and led them to understand and value the legitimacy of the other. At KPU’s Sociology and Criminology conference, Saed and Maria will put forward ideas and strategies that they think are crucial to achieving peace in the region and in their states. And yes, that means that they both believe peace is possible!
‘The Power of 3: Analysis of the relationships between the American economic, political, and military elites’
Adrianna Spyker. Sociology and Political Science, KPU
This paper is an expanded discussion of C.W. Mills’ theory of the Power Elite. The theory describes the mutually benefiting relationships of influence and power between the economic, political, and military elites. Due to the enhanced impact of globalization, I propose that the relationship between the Power Elites no longer remains horizontally shared and rather one of the elites upholds superiority over the lesser two. I propose that the current superior elites, which at the rate of globalization will retain its position, are the economic elites. The power and influence maintained by the economic elites can be exemplified through the corporations. Although this paper discusses in more detail how each of the Power Elites establish their respective relationships with one another, the intention of my presentation is to only briefly discuss these relationships and to focus on the superiority of the economic elites. The economic elite are able to impose more control and influence at a greater impact than that of a singular political and/or military body.
‘Socially Constructing Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace’
Ana Santos, Criminology, KPU
Since the mid-1950s, women have achieved academic success and slowly entered male
dominated fields of work. However women continue to face discrimination in the workplace
regardless of the equality rights guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
in section 15(1). Previous biological research on gender differences show that areas relevant
to work such as problem-solving abilities and motivation to manage, men and women appear
to be more alike than different. Thus, this essay argues that both men and women are equally
capable of working in similar positions and discrimination is a social construct built upon gender
stereotypes and social expectations, which as a result affect women negatively in the workplace. To support this claim, this paper aims to address how discrimination in the workplace is performed through gender stereotypes, how gender stereotypes are socially constructed, and how these gender stereotypes negatively affect women in work-related situations.
‘Institutionalized Discrimination: Legal Abuse and Social Issues Concerning the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Community’
Anthony Berrios, Criminology, KPU
The LGBT community is a marginalized group that continues to face discrimination in schools and in the workforce. Efforts to curb the disparity deal merely with effects of inequality rather than resolving the core, structural framework that causes it in the first place. As a result, any consensus of full and candid social equality is an illusion. The effects of discrimination contribute to self-limiting tendencies and great distress, especially regarding youth in schools and when exploring career options. The stresses imposed through daily interactions at school are significantly higher among this marginalized group, simply because of their sexual preference. Consequently, this fact pattern instilled early on is one that may lead to a lifetime of victimization. LGBT persons may have limited options to pursue a career that is free of discrimination and hostility. Coupled with the fact that existing policies created to support equality for the LGBT community overlook the root cause of discrimination, any genuine efforts for long-term change are not likely.
‘International reproductive rights and maternal mortality’
Danica Eiswerth, Criminology, KPU
The landmark international conference on population and development, held in Cairo, in 1994, internationally clarified and defined reproductive rights. At this conference, 179 countries, including Canada, agreed that universal reproductive rights are necessary for individual advancement and the balanced development of a nation. The conference resulted in the development of a 20 year Programme of Action that centered on reducing mortality, providing universal education, and access to reproductive health care by 2015. However, it is estimated, by the World Health Organization (WHO), that each year, 500,000 women still die from pregnancy related causes. Living in a country where the maternal mortality rate is only at 0.8 of the total percentage of women’s deaths, I argue that the Canadian government is denying many women in third world nations of their reproductive rights by not providing adequate funding and services to overseas development initiatives. To support this argument, this paper will investigate the strong need for help with funding that women living in developing countries need and are not provided with by their own government(s). I will argue that Canadians, as well as other developed countries, should be responsible for assisting women who are born into countries that deprive them of their reproductive rights. Furthermore, this paper will discuss the benefits that stronger funding for family planning programs as well as reproductive health education could have on women living in unfortunate circumstances in third world nations. I argue that with adequate family planning and education, maternal mortality rates would decrease. Lastly, I will examine the benefits of providing funding and access to sufficient health care services and in particular, the benefits of emergency and maternity health care services.
‘The Right to Remain Silent: Prostitution in Canada’
Emilie Lang, Criminology, KPU
No profession is perhaps as widely debated as that of prostitution. Particularly within feminism, there appears the division between those who see the sex trade as women objectified into a commodity and those who see a legitimate practice, the right to which is being ignored. Within Canada, the laws mostly prohibit the communication of a transaction as well as forbidding bawdy houses and living of the avails of a prostitute. Amongst this debate and the relevant laws, there are several assumptions made. The largest of which is the assumption that there is a victim. There is no denying that victimization does occur, but under what circumstances and by who? What do the women working in the sex trade say? There is a large amount of variation of the working conditions within this trade as well as variation within law enforcement as to how the laws are applied. In addition, sex trade workers face severe stigma which prevents the larger public from being accurately aware of what this work is truly like. These factors are consistently interacting to produce unique circumstances and marginalization within every aspect of the worker’s life. Only by including these voices will the law be able to truly reflect the unique needs of the industry and offer protection against the victimization that occurs.
‘Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Muscle Dysmorphia: Disorders created by Society’
Manpreet Athwal, Psychology and Anthropology, KPU
One of the several ways that disorders are defined is by a certain society’s expectations and norms; this is where sociology and psychology come together. Often, it seems that when cultural norms are not followed or if behaviours seem “abnormal” according to a society’s expectations, the behaviours seem to be viewed as disorder-like. Body dysmorphic disorder (that is more common in females) and muscle dysmorphia (that is more common in males) are two disorders that reflect abnormal displays of behaviours – behaviours that seem odd to our North American culture and customs, and that interfere with everyday functioning. Comparing the two disorders in their psychological and social contexts will highlight the intersection of sociology and psychology. This is especially the case since youth seem to be preoccupied with their appearance that are partly influenced by societal and personal beliefs.
‘Media Images: Influence on Concepts of Race and Beauty’
Lenée Son, Journalism and Sociology, KPU
“Media Images: Influence on Concepts of Race and Beauty,” is a photographic essay which was motivated by my own personal struggles with concepts of beauty and race as a woman of colour growing up in Canada surrounded by media images of white beauty. In my project, I propose that the media institutionalizes a distorted perception of beauty, which reflect imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchal ideologies. Representation across multiple groups of gender, race, ability, age, class, etc. is excluded in the media. The lack of diversity in the media has a significant effect on women and girls who do not fit the narrow portrayals of the white, thin, blue-eyed beauty archetype. These women learn that the essentialist, biological elements of their identity are neither desirable nor worthy. The exclusion of women and girls across a wide range of groups legitimizes the dominance and normalization of white power and privilege, as the only representation of beauty that is seen in the media is one constructed by the white gaze. The deeply embedded ideologies within media images affect our consciousness, ideas, and perceptions of beauty and race. Along with my essay, I used photographs to illustrate the struggle that women of colour face with concepts of race and beauty, as a result of media images. Through these photographs, I wanted to portray the gaze from different perspectives – the white supremacist, imperialistic, capitalist, patriarchal gaze that society holds as well as the internal gaze that women of colour personally hold of themselves. I wanted to include photographs to demonstrate the strength that images possess in portraying messages. The message that I seek to portray through my photographic essay is that a more diverse representation of women in the media is crucial in order to challenge the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchal ideologies and make progress towards a healthier environment for girls and women of colour, among other marginalized groups. The photo-essay can be viewed at: http://leneeson.com/2014/03/19/media-images-girls-and-identity/
‘Why Every Girl Needs a G.B.F: Discourse Analysis of Straight Female/Gay Male Relationships’
Jamie Paton, Sociology, KPU
In today's social world, heterosexuality, white privilege, patriarchy and upper-class distinctions are just a few examples of what dominate as “normal” identity categories. Despite this, visibility of marginalized groups are becoming more and more apparent, particularly for those who identity as gay. The gay rights movement has achieved a degree of social justice for many gay individuals who can now marry and have children, hold high status employment positions, receive the same health care and education as heterosexuals, and has assisted in the increasing popularity in of gay individuals in the mainstream media. In fact, being gay in 2013 can arguably be seen as “trendy”; many celebrities actively endorse gay rights, many “out” celebrities receive massive publicity, and gay characters in the media are generally presented as fashionable, funny, quirky, entertaining, chic, cultured, fabulous, and above all, women's best friend. Though this popularity can be seen as a huge step forward towards gay tolerance and acceptance, it can also commodify the gay man, and perpetuate stereotypes surrounding gay men and straight women. This paper aims to explore the phenomena of the “GBF” or, the Gay Best Friend, and the discourses that surround the heterosexual female/homosexual male relationship as presented in women's magazines and in the reality TV shows 1 Girl 5 Gays, and Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys. My data analysis will look at how gay males and straight females are constructed in the media, how the gay male/straight female friendship is constructed in the media, what discourses surround the gay male/straight female friendship, and to what extent mediated depictions of gay male/straight female friendships perpetuate heterosexuality. My analysis will be greatly informed by my review of the literature and by queer theory and feminist theory.
‘Where Stops the Buck? Students’ Responsibility in Education’
Scott Jacobsen, Psychology, SFU & UBC
This paper explores the responsibility of students in pursuing, maintaining, and succeeding in pursuit of their educational goals, accounting for the fact that some responsibility remains with teachers, instructors, and, professors. With that acknowledgement and understanding from the side of a student, there appears common popular discourse on the importance of education. The trend is the reduction of respect for educators. The discussion of this paper uses popular and academic forums. This reflection draws on international, national, interpersonal, and intrapersonal work such as personal experience, OECD rankings, academic articles, and the Huffington Post. They are used in the discussion of student responsibility for their own education. A reflection lays out the purpose of the pervasive nature of the conversation about educational reform. In that, they need to resolve the issue of teachers having proportional remuneration for the importance of their service in society. Furthermore, the remuneration could arise from students taking more responsibility in their own education.
‘The Roar of the Resilient’
Puneet Rangi, Criminology, KPU
As undergraduate students, the fear and uncertainty of our future and career comes full swing. Anxiety seeped its way into my mind during my first year of university. I knew that given the criminal justice systems impact on my family, a career in criminology was not going to be an easy task, but I chose to go against the grain and try it anyway. Criminology was interesting to me; I sought to know more about the process, I needed to know more about the system. At KPU, I had the opportunity to thrive and absorb invaluable lessons. Through the Co-operative Education Program, I had the opportunity to work with the Canada Border Services, Citizenship and Immigration, and WorkSafeBC. My experiences included enforcing legislation, reviewing immigration and refugee files, and building a professional network. I learned about the politics and systematic issues that surrounded these organizations, and the value of a job that I couldn’t wait to wake up to. My last co-op term was with WorkSafeBC, in the Field Investigations Department. I stepped into my office on my first day of work, not knowing I’d never want to leave. The autonomy and creative process I had over my workload was insurmountable. I decided within my first month that this was where I belonged, and my sole purpose became to do anything and everything I could to stay. Today, I stand as a published author, BA Criminology candidate, and a permanent, full-time, WorkSafeBC employee. I learned humility, I cultivated strength, I bleed resilience, and radiate tenacity. This presentation will discuss the avenues of support and opportunity that students have here at KPU and the many ways by which students can maximize their education. I will discuss my experience at KPU and as an employee of WorkSafeBC, in the Field Investigations Department. More specifically, students will walk away learning some practical information on the processes of conducting Internet investigations using open source media.
‘World Wide Hunger’
Kristin Kavanagh, Sociology and Political Science, KPU
Food insecurity affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The purpose of my paper is to explore and examine the reasons (poverty, lack of investment in agriculture, climate and weather, war and displacement, unstable markets and food wastage) that cause food insecurity for one in eight people globally. Research has shown that women and children are particularly vulnerable to being food insecure; why this is happening and what can be done about it will be addressed in my presentation.
Caitlin McCutchen, Political Science, KPU
Global warming is an issue that can no longer be ignored. Globalization has triggered environmental degradation in the form of extreme weather as well as the depletion of many of our natural resources. Scientists and environmental advocates have suggested many solutions to fight global warming but ultimately we need to change our way of thinking if we want to reverse or slow the damage we’ve already caused. In order to combat global warming we need to adopt a deep ecological perspective and create a policy on population control. In order to understand deep ecology we must first understand ecologism as a political ideology. My essay will explain what ecology is and how deep ecology differs as a variant. It will also explain how global warming is affecting our planet and how taking a deep ecological perspective and adopting a policy on population control can aid in the fight against further environmental degradation.
‘Solidarity is for White Women (But it Doesn’t Have to Be)’
Lenée Son, Journalism and Sociology, KPU
In this essay, I propose that feminism still predominantly focuses on the experiences and knowledge of white women, by examining the “Tweets” using the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen hash-tag. In August of 2013, blogger Mikki Kendall created the hash-tag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. Kendall created the hash-tag in order to address feminisms’ lack of inclusion of the experiences and narratives of women of colour. Soon after the hash-tag was created, it was quickly trending across the world. Twitter users were using #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen to advocate for solidarity among all race, class, and gender identities. Early movements of feminism worked on attaining equality between heterosexual white women and heterosexual white men within the existing system while disregarding the struggles of women of colour and other marginalized groups. Solidarity has been constructed to exist predominantly within white feminist circles. #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen was created by Kendall to address the longstanding history of silencing, erasing, and condescension of the voices of women of colour in feminism and Twitter users worldwide were using the hash-tag to reclaim their voices. In order to elaborate on the arguments in the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen “Tweets,” I also analyze various examples in the media and popular culture; as well as current feminist movements which illustrate the exclusion of the voices of women of colour and other marginalized groups. I argue that, although solidarity within feminism is still exclusively for white women, it does not have to be. I contend that feminism must be intersectional and be inclusive of all people regardless of class, gender, race, or orientation identities. In this paper, I argue that solidarity was, and is still, for white women, but if we listen, respect, analyze, and support the narratives and experiences of others across multiple class, gender, and race identities -it doesn’t have to be.
‘Corporatization of Universities and Student Organizing’
The Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group (KPIRG)
While students at post-secondary institutions across Canada have suffered the rollback of federal and provincial funding, universities have responded to and facilitated this tendency through embracing, broadening, and deepening corporate partnerships with extractive industries, such as those of mining and fossil fuels, which are increasingly shaping university programming to serve the industry’s imperatives. This is particularly problematic given that universities, as bastions of scholarly inquiry, are being severely gutted of critical programming. KPIRG will be highlighting student resistance to and mobilization in face of the corporate-university nexus by hosting a workshop spotlighting Stop the Institute, a UBC-SFU student initiative organized in opposition to the CIIEID, and Fossil Free Kwantlen, a KPU-based, KPIRG-sponsored working group pushing for KPU’s divestment from Fossil Fuels. This collaborative workshop held by KPU, SFU, and UBC students will put forth critical analyses among the KPU community, exploring issues of indigenous sovereignty, colonialism, neoliberal economic policies, popular resistance and social movements, corporatized post-secondary education, and student activism.
‘Taking Back Her Rights: Bill C-36 and the Legality of Prostitution in Canada’
Nick Chretien, Sociology and History, KPU
This paper provides an analysis of the social and legal construction of prostitution in Canada, the decriminalization and abolitionist models, and the design of Bill C-36. On December 20, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Canada's anti-prostitution laws. Stephen Harper's Conservative government was forced to draft new legislation concerning Canada's sex trade. The federal government responded with the criminalization of consumers and procurers of prostitution, and the decriminalization of sex workers through Bill C-36. The concept of women as sexual property for men has a long history in Canada. Prostitution flourished around colonialist infrastructure, often exploiting colonized people, and populations of low socio-economic position. The criminalization of prostitution in the early 20th century was framed as a "social purity" movement, but it was a reaction to social-historical process of industrialization and urbanization. The mass migrations of immigrant and rural populations entering the cities were perceived by the burgeoning urban middle class as a threat to whiteness and femininity as defined by the Victorian nuclear family. Women existing outside of the Victorian paradigm of femininity were pathologized as ruined and debased. The "social purity" model of criminalization defined the legal status of prostitution in Canada for almost a century. The Canada vs Bedford Supreme Court charter challenge successfully argued that the criminalization of prostitution violated sex workers’ constitutional right to security of the person. Sex positive, liberal feminist theorists have argued that the full decriminalization of prostitution will create regulated market conditions where sex work becomes a leisure service that is safely produced and consumed within the modern post-industrial economy. The abolitionist model disputes the decriminalization perspective through an intersectionality of feminist theoretical lenses contending that prostitution is inherently exploitative, misogynist and racist, and must be eradicated from society. Bill C-36 was ostensibly constructed around the abolitionist model, but its progressive intent remains questionable. Canada's shift toward neo-liberalist state policy has resulted in increased border security, and the control and exploitation of global migratory populations. Abolishing the consumption and procurement of sex through legislation places an inordinate amount of faith upon the legitimacy and rationality of the legal system's power. The power relations that produce the sexual exploitation of marginalized people both locally and globally need to change; otherwise, laws such as Bill C-36 will serve only to punish and control, and not to prevent.
‘Marijuana Use: a statistic report’
Julia Ballerio-Dupé, Sociology and Counseling, KPU
Marijuana is one of the most tolerated illegal drugs. My paper examines marijuana use and the factors that influence one’s decision whether to use or not use marijuana in the United States. I analyse the data created in 2004 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Office of Applied Studies to see if demographic factors influence marijuana use or not. I propose that age, ethnicity, gender, and education are four factors that influence the use of marijuana. The factors, age, ethnicity, gender, and education are the independent variable while the decision whether to use marijuana or not is the dependent variable. I discuss the results with the help of a few articles that explain what influences social actors’ marijuana’s consumption.
‘Legalization of Euthanasia’
Sarah Emilie Braaten, Criminology, KPU
In Canada the laws around euthanasia are outdated and no longer fit the needs of Canadian citizens. Since there are other countries that have legalized different types of euthanasia, it is time for Canadians to have the right to die with dignity too. This paper will address other models of legalization, and the dangers that go along with it; proposing changes that would make it possible for those who need to practice their right to die with dignity, and for those individuals who are not interested or are for the change—to accept that this is not just a personal decision but a cultural decision as well. Though this process would be lengthy, and the topic has been discussed in the past, it is crucial to realize that this is not an easy change to tackle but a necessary one. Furthermore, the cases of individuals that are in need of this change are seen more today since they are reaching out to the media and to the courts. This right has been granted on an occasion in the last couple of years, since one of British Columbia’s own pleaded her case (Gloria Taylor); although this was going to be appealed—the woman died before she had the chance to practice her new right. This current case of Gloria Taylor and past cases show that it is possible to be open minded and recognize that the amount of pain or quality of life should be determined by oneself and not by the rest of the country. Therefore, it is time to take action for those who are living in pain and accept that if we have the right to “life, liberty, and security of the person” then citizens should have the right to die as well.
‘Necessity of Compulsory Curriculum on Residential Schools in the Canadian Context’
Paige Gardiner, Criminology, KPU
I critically examine the need for required course material at all levels of schooling (elementary, secondary and post-secondary) regarding Canada’s tragic legacy of residential schooling. I briefly explore and recap issues facing Indigenous Peoples in Canada today and demonstrate how these are vastly a direct result of this truly unfortunate part of Canadian history. I analyze existing policy on the topic of residential schools as required curriculum and intend to develop alternative, new policy aimed at integrating such relevant material into all levels of classrooms in Canada. I propose methods by which this addition to required curriculum be made possible in a way that is accurate, appropriate and which draws from a variety of cultural teaching styles. I establish that this progression in curriculum may act as a catalyst in shifting attitudes and dismantling stereotypes.
‘Governmentality and Aboriginal Social Policy in Canada’
Jessica Hodgins, Sociology and English, SFU
A landmark legal precedent was set on June 26, 2014 at the Supreme Court of Canada. The decision to uphold the Tsilhqot’in’s right to their traditional territory will have far reaching consequences for the Tsilhqot’in, and presents an important opportunity for other non-treaty First Nations. However, while the decision represents significant change at the legal level, at the level of public discourse we continue to hear the same story about protecting the economy and providing “certainty” for economic interests. Moreover, an essentializing discourse around Aboriginal people and issues has disadvantaged First Nations’ interests, while reinforcing the tension between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canada. This presentation will begin with a brief overview of the ways in which Canada’s colonial history precipitated the rise of poverty among First Nations communities. It will then explore how the rise of neoliberal government policy has marginalized Aboriginal people in BC by prioritizing the interests of the market and “the taxpayer”, and by engaging in what Suzan Ilcan has called a responsibilizing ethos which privatizes responsibility for human wellbeing. Ultimately, the greatest challenge remaining in reconciling governmental and Aboriginal interests, I argue, is coming to view Aboriginal interests as Canadian interests.
‘Comparing Education in Rural Pakistan and Canada’
Nasheman Waheed, General Studies, KPU
In this presentation, based on a paper I did for Dr. Sue Ann Cairns’ English 1100 class, I will be comparing education in Pakistan, where I was born, and Canada, where I am now attending Kwantlen. Children in Pakistan face a variety of serious challenges ranging from malnutrition and poor access to education and health facilities to exploitation in the form of child labour. Children’s low status in society can leave them victim to daily violence at home and in school as well as to organized trafficking and sexual exploitation. Girls are especially affected as conservative attitudes may impede them from attending or finishing school. I remember how relieved I was to finish high school, but now I have a better appreciation of our educational opportunities here. I intend to promote awareness of the value, opportunities, and comparative material luxury we have here in our educational system. I will use some statistics, but mainly I will draw from my personal experiences attending school in Serai Naurang, Pakistan and Karak, Pakistan as a child, as well as my cousin’s experiences. I will help students to become more aware of the contrast in the wealth of Canadian schools compared to schools in places such as rural Pakistan. I would like to have the audience members sit in a semi-circle so that they can see the screen easily when I show pictures and a YouTube clip that illustrates the sharp contrast between our educational opportunities and the opportunities of other students in less wealthy countries.
‘Ideology Through Education: Otherness, Dehumanization, and Official Knowledge in Israeli and Palestinian High School Textbooks’
Scott McInnes B.A. Double Minor in Economics and History, KPU
This presentation will critically examine conceptions of the other found in Israeli and Palestinian high school textbooks. This analysis will demonstrate the extent to which constructing and perpetuating Otherness through curriculum has led to a dehumanization of the other. In the first part of the presentation, a discussion of the evolution of otherness as a concept and its inseparable place within modern society will be introduced. Next, national narratives, one of the main sources of otherness and self in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, will be evaluated as the official knowledge of each respective state. This official knowledge will be analyzed in each nation’s respective high school textbooks, both through words and pictures. In conclusion, Israeli/Palestinian high school textbooks show the dangers inherent in dehumanizing the other through education.
‘How Sex Education Promotes a Heteronormative Culture that Perpetuates the Status Quo in American Society’
Katheryn Morrison, Psychology, KPU
Sex education in the United States is often viewed as a very contentious, and polarizing issue within the country. While the political left has traditionally pushed for a more “comprehensive” education program that gives youth information on preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, the political right believes that abstinence only programs are the only form of sex education youth should receive. Instead of seeing these two sides as polarized opposites, both the left and right are ultimately giving youth very similar and dangerous messages about sex, and ultimately their place within in society. I will argue that the education system in America promotes a conservative ideology that serves to maintain the unbalanced class structure through sex education programs. The status quo is maintained within society through sex education by promoting a heteronormative society, by maintaining power inequalities between the sexes, and by creating a curriculum that is promoted as “value free", when in actuality the program is biased and reinforces the hegemonic ideology. All three concepts have a tremendously negative impact on youth that do not conform to society’s ideal of sexuality, which keeps the disadvantaged in a marginalized state.
Poster 1 – ‘The Cold Hard Truth’
Vik saggu, Gurkiran Sahl, and Gurvir Gill, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
We will be presenting a poster board that examines gender roles in children’s media. We will be examining the Disney movie “Frozen”, conducting a latent content analysis. We have asked the question: how are gender roles portrayed in “Frozen”. Disney movies are primarily aimed at a younger age audience, which means that “Frozen” works as an agent of socialization. Movies aimed at children should be analyzed because they show how the media influences their notions of gender roles in society.
Poster 2 – ‘Lights! Camera! Racism!’
Gurkeerit (Gary) Bal, Ruby Kundi, Ashley Hoyem, and Harneet Sandhu, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
We will be presenting a poster board for research that examines how the children's television show "Jessie" portrays ethnic minorities. We conducted a latent content analysis to uncover the portrayal of ethnic minorities in the show. We will focus on the subliminal racial content that is being masqueraded within children's programming. We hope to open a dialogue about the messages children are currently being exposed to.
Poster 3 – ‘‘How are marriage based gender expectations portrayed in the media?’
Ling Zhou, Sze Lok Lai (Vivian), and Yu Chi Lin (Anson), SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
This poster board aims to examine the following question: How are marriage based gender expectations portrayed in the media? Our group conducted a latent content analysis to examine these roles. We observed three episodes of the American sitcom, Modern Family, as our material artifact.
Poster 4 – ‘Gender Roles in "Breaking Bad"’
Monica Mah, Victoria Douglas, Cindy Krobel, and Marisa Leal, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
We will examine the gender roles in a prime time crime/drama series. Employing latent content analysis we will be examining the culture artifact, Breaking Bad. We examined the following three episodes; Season #1, Episode #1 "Pilot", Season #3, Episode #12 "Half Measure", Season #5, Episode #10 "Buried". We will be looking at the gender roles presented in this television show. By using latent content analysis we will be able to examine underlying themes and trends of gender roles in our selected television series.
Poster 5 – ‘Anti-Abortion Ideology and 16 and Pregnant’
Robin Curry and Nick Chretien, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
Does the MTV reality television series 16 and Pregnant contain subject matter that supports an anti-abortion political perspective? This research project uses latent content analysis to identify anti-abortion themes within the reality TV show 16 and Pregnant. The project focuses on the first four episodes of season one (2009).
Poster 6 – ‘The Building Blocks of Hegemonic Representation’
Zachary Hughes and Jonathan Ascencio, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
Using latent content analysis we examine hegemonic perceptions of culture in The Lego Movie. We will examine normative values in the main character's life. Our content analysis will focus on the simple aspects of the life to the more complex social behaviours. Eliminating any self-thinking and changing it for a more collective agreement on what is acceptable. We will explore and expose all the different hegemonic perceptions that inform The Lego Movie.
Poster 7 – ‘Student pride among Universities’
Tanibra Kabir, Inderpal Brar, Tarun Bangar, and Nicholas Stanley, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
This poster board presentation examines the following research question: “What is the level of student pride among students attending lower mainland Universities in BC”? We use latent content analysis to examine this question. Our poster board examines the level of student pride among students enrolled in Kwantlen Polytechnic University, University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University. Our cultural artifact is the Facebook confession page at each of the universities. These Facebook posts have anonymous daily confessions. We will be analyzing confession posts between September 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014.
Poster 8 – ‘Sexualization of Women in Rap Music Videos’
Ryan Gossal, Harsharn Gakhal, Edward Chan, and Toska Fernandez, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
Our research examines how music videos sexualize women. The research suggests that women of age 17-25 are affected by current rap music videos. We will, through latent content analysis, examine the content of music videos and focus on the song lyrics. In addition, we will also look at the models, and the backup dancers in the rap music videos.
Poster 9 – ‘Reflections of Western Values in Video Games about War’
William Ho, Frankie Yang, and Konstantin Rabinovich, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
Our group uses Latent Content analysis to examine how modern video games, within the genre of first-person shooters, reinforce specific attitudes towards ethnicity, gender, and class. Through the application of latent content analysis, we examine the single-player campaign of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. We will tie in our findings to how this particular game relates to similar modern video games and the normative values they reinforce. We will also create a poster board which presents our research findings.
Poster 10 – ‘Power Disparity in American Society’ - Taylor Fauteux, Elpiniki McKave, Ryan Tenta, and Lauren Vion, SOCI 2260, Research Methods in Sociology, KPU
This poster board will examine the configuration of gangs and police departments in the HBO series The Wire. We explore how power disparities are represented within the various groups in the show. We conducted a latent content analysis on three 60-minute episodes of The Wire, a Baltimore-based TV series following the events of the Barksdale gang and the Baltimore Police Department homicide and narcotics units.
‘Multiple Posters on Criminalizing Dissent’
CRIM 4900 Students, Special Topic: Criminalizing Dissent, KPU
Criminology students enrolled in CRIM 4900, Special Topic: Criminalizing Dissent, will present posters on various topics, such as Alternative Globalization; Anarchist Movements; Environmentalism/Extreme Energy; and Indigenous Solidarity. In each case, the posters will focus on the criminalization of dissent regarding these movements and issues in B.C.