Theses (Gender Studies)

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In 2016, the name changed from Department of Women's Studies to Department of Gender Studies.


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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
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    A rebel band of friends : understanding through women's narratives of friendship, identity and moral agency
    (2018-01-11) Donawa, Wendy; Baxter, Laurie Rae; St. Peter, Christine
    This narrative inquiry is grounded in friendship. It draws its data from the narratives of four longstanding women friends in the Caribbean, where I have spent my adult life. I draw on these narratives, and on my own reflections, to suggest the limitations of Western Grand Narratives as an explanatory framework to understand historical events and to legitimize knowledge. I locate myself and my participant-friends among the petits récits of those feminist, post-colonial, and poetic voices whose aim is not to predict and control, but to reflect and understand. The emergent design of the inquiry evolves from the interests, themes, and assumptions to which it gives rise. Its meaning-making processes also generate criteria for the assessment of its rigor and validity. The document is shaped by the assumption that the fundamental structure of human experience is a narrative one; thus narrative has proven an apt crucible for this inquiry into friendship, identity, and moral agency. The women's narratives of adolescence illustrate the inscription of the dominant ideology, but they also pivot on evocative moments of self-identity and self-understanding, and evince youthful stirrings of resistance and self-assertion. Their narratives of maturity attest to a grounding of the moral imagination and of identity in friendship. I propose friendship as a model not only for self-knowledge and moral autonomy, but also as an epistemological frame for academic inquiry. I suggest that four practices arising from and tested by friendship—empathy, trust, reflexivity, and narrative connection—are ways in which we may strive to understand ourselves and our world. The women articulate and celebrate difference and multiplicity; they speak to identity and moral agency engendered by friendship, literature, and work; they speak of self-recognition through recognition of other. From these epistemological narratives, a knowing self emerges, capable of choice, change, and agency.
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    “A Lifetime of Activism”: doing feminist men’s work from a social justice paradigm
    (2017-10-04) Rosenberg, Isaac; Garlick, Steve; Lepp, Annalee E.
    This thesis focuses on the projects and experiences of social justice organizers who place an emphasis on working to address heteropatriarchy and its impacts, work that I call men’s work. In particular, these are organizers who take an intersectional, social justice approach to this work. In order to recognize who organizers are and the kinds of projects they engage in, I describe four major project themes within men’s work and briefly explore their potentials and pitfalls according to those who are involved in them. I then analyze a number of the various considerations, tensions, and difficulties that arise for these organizers, particularly the personal and interpersonal components. In order to support organizers to be resilient and successful when faced with these issues, I conclude by sharing a variety of ways they may choose to navigate the various complexities they encounter in their organizing and in their communities.
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    All the Resistance That's Fit to Print: Canadian Women Print Journalists Narrate Their Careers
    (2013-04-24) Smith, Vivian; Van Luven, Marlene A. D. Lynne; Clover, Darlene E.
    Canadian women print journalists both protest against and acquiesce to the patriarchal culture of newspapering in their daily work. Utilizing narrative analysis and the feminist theory of intersectionality, this dissertation argues that other social characteristics interact with gender as practitioners negotiate the multiple hegemonies of their workplace, and that the impacts of these characteristics change over time. The purpose of the qualitative study was to do fieldwork needed to respond to scholarly uncertainty about journalists’ individual motivations on the job and their perceived impact on the socio-political agenda. Individual interviews and focus groups were conducted over 2010-2011. Participants included 26 Canadian women print journalists in five newspapers across Canada, as well as one former journalist, now an academic. Key generational differences appeared when participants’ stories were examined with age and gender intersecting as an organizing theme. Senior participants tended to see themselves as lucky survivors in frustratingly gendered newsrooms; those in mid-career were self-sacrificing, hard workers who needed, but were not getting, workplace flexibility; and the most junior ones presented themselves as individual strategists, capable of handling whatever routine injustices were thrown at them. They wanted to stay in the business long enough to “choose” between careers and parenthood, with technological proficiency as a lifeline. Participants’ narratives revealed how the most senior tended to combine their multiple identities and externalities into a coherent whole, while younger participants experimented with and exploited aspects of their complex identities and larger societal influences to survive in a high-stress, gendered environment. This study produces evidence that the participants’ career paths are influenced in fluid and often hidden ways by other characteristics as they intersect with gender. Assumptions about these characteristics, such as age, race, parenthood status and class, further complicate the shaping of participants’ experiences in their workplaces, offering them other possible positions from which to either reinforce or resist the newsroom culture. The participants take up navigating these confused seas in ways that often leave them frustrated and angry, but ultimately most say they feel they make a difference in the socio-political agenda because of their complex identities and as voices for those deemed “voiceless.”
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    How do (or can) local farmers make it work?
    (2011-10-17) Tunnicliffe, Robin; McMahon, Martha
    Small, locally-marketing farms are garnering more attention with regard to their ability to supply their regions with food. Their economic viability is called into question because if they cannot sustain themselves financially, they cannot be relied upon as an alternative food system. This paper looks at economic viability and ask the question “how are farmers making it work?” Data is based on a 25 interviews with farmers on the Saanich Peninsula, British Columbia, Canada. The decision to continue running a farm year to year is complex. The answer to valuing these farms may come by looking at the productivity of the farms, their many services to the environment and to their communities, rather than just the financial picture. Farmers are finding ways to retain more of the value of their productivity from transactions with customers. Navigating the regulatory environment remains a challenge. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
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    Tracing erasures and imagining otherwise: theorizing toward an intersectional trans/feminist politics of coalition
    (2010-01-04T16:32:28Z) Ashbee, Olivia; Lepp, Annalee E.
    Debates between feminists and trans people are often narrowly framed in terms of inclusion and authenticity, or by questions about the extent to which trans identities challenge or reinforce normative conceptions of sex and gender. The terms of these engagements promote essentialist understandings of identity, difference, and community, and neglect to register the heterogeneity and differential locations of both women and trans people. This thesis examines several contemporary sites of contestation between and among feminist and trans scholars with specific attention to the unspoken assumptions and practices of erasure that shape and constrain these critical ‘border wars’, making certain kinds of subjects and conversations central, while rendering others peripheral, out of the question, or even impossible. Applying an intersectional trans/feminist analysis to the conceptual structure and discursive contours they assume, I investigate how such struggles, and our positions within them, might be deconstructed and reconceptualized in ways that disrupt dominant Self/Other relations and, in turn, make new political understandings and alliances possible.
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    Multiple exposures: Racialized and Indigenous women exploring health and identity through Photovoice
    (2008-07-23T21:46:44Z) Sum, Alison Joy; Naylor, Patti-Jean; Lee, Jo-Anne
    This study explores the health and well-being of eight racialized and Indigenous women between the ages of 21 and 28, who live in Victoria, BC. Participants use Photovoice, a participatory research strategy, to examine and discuss their intersecting everyday realities in the contexts of health, well-being and identity. Through this project, I aim to provide an in-depth understanding of social exclusion, as a social determinant of health, and investigate the micro-social processes that occur at the intersections of race, class and gender, among many other social relations. I draw upon transnational feminist, anti-racist and postcolonial theories to shed light on the complexity of our shifting and emergent identities. The stories that participants share indicate that historical processes of colonization, daily forms of racism, migration, nationalism, citizenship and cultural essentialization are key contributors to their processes of identity formation and subsequently, their experiences of health and wellness.