Department of Sociology
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- ItemDelays in traffic and motorist yielding to pedestrians(1992) Harrell, W. Andrew; Bereska, TamiA field experiment was carried out in which a pedestrian attempted to cross a busy residential street. Associations of the amount of time a motorist was delayed at a four-way stop and the volume of traffic with the decision whether to stop were assessed. For 190 motorists both delay and volume were significantly related to stopping. The longer the delay at the four-way stop and the greater the volume of traffic, the less likely the pedestrian was to elicit a stop. Regression analysis showed that delay was a better predictor of motorists' stopping. These findings are consistent with Piliavin's costs/benefits theory of helping behavior.
- ItemGap acceptance by pedestrians(1992) Harrell, W. Andrew; Bereska, TamiThe riskiness of street crossing behavior of 75 individuals and groups of pedestrians was observed. Gap acceptance, or the elapsed time before a pedestrian initiated a crossing at a marked crosswalk and the time until a vehicle passed through the crosswalk, was the measure of risk. Pedestrian groups containing at least one infant tended to choose longer gaps, i.e., they were less risky in their crossing. Gap acceptance was also more conservative as the mean age of the pedestrian group increased. Gap was not affected by the sex ratio of the group or the volume of traffic passing through the intersection.
- ItemAdolescent sexuality and the changing romance novel market(1994) Bereska, TamiAfter initial success, the adolescent series romance genre rapidly declined in the literary market during the 1980s. This research explores that decline through a comparative content analysis with other romance genres. Results suggest a key factor to be the relative lack of sexuality in the content of the adolescent series romances. Given the changing socio-sexual environment of adolescent girls in the 1980s, the adolescent series romances became increasingly remote from girls' own life experiences. Implications warranting further analysis include the salience and acceptability of sexuality in their daily lives, as well as their resistance to its denial.
- ItemAssessment of sex offenders using standardized slide stimuli and procedures: A multisite study(1995) Laws, D. R.; Gulayets, Michael; Frenzel, R. R.Thirty sex offenders were assessed for age and gender preference with a set of standardized erotic slides and an assessment protocol which specified each step in the procedure. This procedure was intended to be a normative study to be carried out at multiple sites in the United States and Canada. It was hypothesized that (1) the procedure would discriminate child molesters as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, (2) the procedure would differentiate child molesters from normal subjects, and (3) both of these hypotheses would be confirmed at all sites. Data are reported here for 20 of the 30 subjects tested in groups labeled heterosexual pedophilia, homosexual pedophilia, heterosexual incest, and rape. Although the groups were quite small and measured response levels were low, good discriminations were obtained between groups and stimulus categories. It was concluded that the obtained data confirmed Hypothesis 1 and partially confirmed Hypothesis 2. Although the assessment protocol had to be altered to suit local conditions, it proved adequate and could serve as a guide in future standardization studies. Of particular interest was the finding that a 30-sec slide exposure was effective in producing discriminations in the critical categories related to the tested hypotheses.
- ItemReview of Gender and politics in contemporary Canada(1997) Bereska, TamiThe book Gender and Politics in Contemporary Canada edited by François-Pierre Gingras is reviewed.
- ItemReview of All the right stuff (directed by C. Littlefield), Lost borders (directed and produced by K. Shelton), and It takes a child: Craig Kielburger’s study: A journey into child labour(2000) Bereska, TamiThese three videos represent something that is relatively rare in the social sciences; they are all high quality, well-produced videos that look at the lives of youth in contemporary society. Rather than falling into the all-too-frequent trap of treating adolescents as part of some circus freak show that we are privy to watch, these videos show the lives of ordinary youth living in extraordinary times. Taken together, these three videos illustrate the important fact that while we tend to group all adolescents together under the generic umbrella of ‘youth culture’ or ‘youth subculture’, not all youth are the same. Each video focuses on a particular segment of youth culture and/or a particular set of experiences within youth culture.
- ItemThe changing boys' world in the 20th century: reality and “fiction”(2003) Bereska, TamiIn university and college classrooms today gender is a hot topic and the issue that raises the most discussion is that of how much gender roles have changed or remained the same. This issue has been studied among both adults and adolescents over the last several decades in a variety of ways including analyses of popular cultural representations. However, more research has been done on representations of femininity than on masculinity in adolescent popular cultural products, and the area of young adult literature has been relatively ignored by social scientists. This paper presents the results of a study exploring the structure of masculinity in young adult novels for boys from the 1940s through the 1990s. Over this 50-year period, the components that make up the structure of masculinity remain static, indicating that at least a portion of the discourse on masculinity has remained unchanged for more than 50 years. This has implications not only for the lives of boys and men today, but also for the maintenance of patriarchy itself. In trying to create equity in society, we appear to have focused all of our attention on the girls' world, but left the boys' world virtually untouched.
- ItemDoes Internet use affect engagement? A meta‐analysis of research(2009) Boulianne, ShelleyScholars disagree about the impact of the Internet on civic and political engagement. Some scholars argue that Internet use will contribute to civic decline, whereas other scholars view the Internet as having a role to play in re-invigorating civic life. This article assesses the hypothesis that Internet use will contribute to declines in civic life. This article also assesses whether Internet use has any significant effect on engagement. This paper employs a meta-analysis approach to current research in this area. In total, 38 studies with 166 effects are examined. The meta-data provide strong evidence against the Internet having a negative effect on engagement. However, the meta-data do not establish that Internet use will have a substantial impact on engagement. The effects of Internet use on engagement seem to increase non-monotonically across time and the effects are larger when online news is used to measure Internet use, compared to other measures.
- ItemLeaky bodies & the gendering of Candida experiences(2011) Overend, AlissaThe medical case of Candida remains a highly contentious illness category within the boundaries of biomedical science. Following some of the wider interrogations posed by feminist poststructural theories of the body and of illness, my concern in this paper is not about whether Candida ‘actually’ exists. My concern in this paper is in exploring the production of gendered experiences with the yeast-related disorder of vague symptomatology. Based on a series of 24 semi-structured interviews, I attend to how people talk about their experiences with Candida and I read these experiences alongside wider feminist discourses concerning leaky female and contained male corporealities—most notably, though not exclusively, through Elizabeth Grosz’s (1994) analysis of men’s seminal fluids and women’s menstrual flows. Yeast, as read through the case of Candida, can be understood as gendered and gendering, particularly as it reinscribes dominant discourses concerning leaky female and contained male embodiments
- ItemStimulating or reinforcing political interest: using panel data to examine reciprocal effects between news media and political interest(2011) Boulianne, ShelleyIs the news media merely a tool for those already interested in politics or can the news media stimulate interest in politics? While the news media likely serve both functions, little research has examined these dual functions and how television, print, and online news media differ in their performance of these functions. The author uses simultaneous equation modeling of three-wave panel data from the American National Election Study (2008-09) to examine the roles of different media in both stimulating and reinforcing political interest. The findings demonstrate that television news is a tool for those with prior interest in politics, more than a mechanism to influence levels of political interest. In contrast, online and print news can stimulate political interest to a greater degree than these media serve those with prior political interest. These differing relationships to political interest are explained in terms of the effort and attention required to use these news sources, their information sharing capabilities, and their diversity of content.
- ItemCandida, food discipline and the dietary taming of uncertainty(2012) Overend, AlissaDiscourses of nutritional health are strongly associated with illness, and have recently been linked to the prevalence and management of chronic undefined disorders. Using the case of Candida—a yeast-related disorder of vague symptomatology—I explore the role of food in the narratives of twenty-four people living with Candida. As Candida remains a speculative illness within the boundaries of biomedical science, it is relevant to critically explore the often-focal role of food in the management of this condition, and to consider the range of personal, social and cultural motivations at work in its dietary regulation. Taking up Foucault's theory of docility, I trace the ways in which dietary practices can be understood as normalizing the Candidad-body by helping to create a sense of certainty and control in the persistent face of illness ambiguity. In drawing on Foucault's later work, I move beyond illness dieting as solely a disciplinary regime and explore the ways in which dietary regime can also be conceptualized as a practice in the care of the self, fostering a heightened, often-changing sense of self. While Candida dieting practices will never fully operate separate from the pervasive discourses of nutritional science, they can offer productive possibilities in the regulation and maintenance of an illness not fully recognized by biomedical science.
- ItemExamining the gender effects of different incentive amounts in a web survey(2013) Boulianne, ShelleyResearchers are struggling to determine effective methods to improve response rates to web surveys. This study presents the results of an experiment that varied the disbursement of an incentive in a web survey. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a $5 or a $10 prepaid incentive. In line with the social exchange theory of survey participation, no significant differences were found in response rate between the two conditions. However, the incentive amount interacted with gender. Specifically, women were more likely to respond to the survey when provided with a $5 incentive compared to a $10 incentive.
- ItemThe Twitter Racism Project(2014) Chaudhry, IrfanThis project discusses one method on collecting racist data using Twitter. While there are other studies that have used Twitter to collect data on racist language (see: Bartlet et. al, 2014; Awan, 2014), this project focuses on the author’s original research project. Outlining a 2013 case study, this project looks at a small sample of racist tweets from six major Canadian cities in order to 1) analyze how racist terms are being used on Twitter in these cities and 2) highlight why Twitter is an important data collection tool for researchers interested in studying race and racism.
- ItemAttachment to community and civic and political engagement: a case study of students(2014) Boulianne, Shelley; Brailey, MichelleYouth’s low level of civic and political engagement may detrimentally affect the health of communities and the democratic system. This paper examines the role of community attachment in explaining youth’s levels of civic and political engagement. This examination requires an evaluation of existing measures of community attachment and their relevance for understanding youth’s experiences. The paper uses a student sample, highlighting a group of youth who have a degree of variation in their experiences of community attachment. We find that subjective measures of community attachment are related to volunteering and voting, but the objective measure of community attachment, i.e., years of residence, affects voting and not volunteering. Different mechanisms explain civic engagement versus political engagement. As such, different strategies are required to combat low levels of civic versus political engagement.
- ItemHaunting and the ghostly matters of undefined illness(2014) Overend, AlissaThe concept of haunting has become common parlance in the humanities and social sciences (Derrida, 1994; Gordon, 2008; Gunn, 2006; Rosenberg, 2010; Roseneil, 2009; Saltmarsh, 2009). What I find curious, and ultimately take up in this article, is the near-virtual absence of the concept of haunting within critical studies on health, illness and the body. Following the work of cultural theorist Avery Gordon 2008, I question what can be learned about the workings of undefined illness by attending to what she frames as ‘ghostly matters’ – the liminal spaces of social life. I use the case of Candida – a yeast-related disorder of vague symptomatology – to speak to the experiences of bodily uncertainty, and to the symptoms of illness which are neither wholly present nor wholly absent. I contend that what is missing in the case of Candida is not simply an empirical diagnosis, but an ability to account for all those illness experiences that fall outside biomedicine approaches to the sign, symptom and pathology of illness. It is precisely because of the empirical truths put forth by biomedicine that Candida comes to exist (and be experienced) as a bodily certainty of the barely visible, as a possessive force consuming the body it inhabits, and as a specter of death haunting positivist ideals of bodily certainty.
- ItemLes effets des programmes d’été de littératie : les théories d’opportunités d’apprentissage et les élèves 'non-traditionnels' dans les écoles Ontariennes Francophones. [The effects of summer literacy programs: learning opportunity theory and 'non-traditional' students in Ontario French language schools](2015) Davies, Scott; Aurini, Janice; Milne, Emily; Jean-Pierre, JohanneAccording to studies from the United States and English Canada, student achievement gaps grow over the summer months when children are not attending school, but summer literacy interventions can reduce those gaps. This paper presents data from a quasi-experiment conducted in eight Ontario French language school boards in 2010, 2011 and 2012 for 682 children in grades 1-3. Growth in literacy test scores between June and September are compared for 361 attendees of summer literacy programs and 321 control students. Summer program recruits initially had lower prior literacy scores and grades, and tended to hail from relatively disadvantaged social backgrounds. Yet, summer programs narrowed those pre-existing gaps. Effect sizes from a variety of regression and propensity score matching models ranged from .32 to .58, which is quite sizeable by the standards of elementary school interventions and summer programs. Effects were stronger among students whose parents reported not speaking French exclusively at home. Our paper considers learning opportunity theory in light of the “non-traditional” student in Ontario French language schools.
- ItemSchools, cultural mobility and social reproduction: the case of progressive discipline(2015) Milne, Emily; Aurini, JaniceDrawing on a case study of Progressive Discipline (PD), this paper asks: How does greater discretion, flexibility and parent involvement affect the application of school policy? What are the consequences of these conditions? PD is part of a suite of changes that caters to students’ individualized academic and social needs while formalizing increased parent involvement. Drawing on forty-four interviews with school staff members, we find that PD has the potential to enhance students’ social and behaviour literacy. And yet, educators are unable to fully tame higher-SES (Socio-Economic Status) parents. According to our interviewees, higher-SES parents are more likely to participate in disciplinary proceedings, confront and threaten school staff and negotiate more favourable disciplinary outcomes for their children. Our paper contributes to cultural capital theory by examining how higher-SES families exploit “discretionary spaces” (i.e., opportunities that allow parents to improve their child’s social, academic or disciplinary outcomes) in schooling organizations.
- ItemThe integrated threat and risk assessment centre: A program evaluation investigating the implementation of threat management recommendations(2015) Ennis, Liam; Hargreaves, Terren; Gulayets, MichaelThe goal of threat assessment is violence prevention, and threat assessors endeavor to provide risk management recommendations that are practical, useful, and effective. However, the best laid threat management plans inevitably fail if they are never implemented. The current study focused on the Integrated Threat and Risk Assessment Centre (I-TRAC), a specialized unit that provides threat management consultation to police and social services. Survey and interview data were collected from I-TRAC stakeholders to investigate which case management recommendations tend to be implemented by those responsible for managing risk, and to inform our understanding of why other recommendations are disregarded. Results indicated that respondents valued threat assessment and management consultations provided by I-TRAC, and implemented most recommendations provided to them. Common reasons for not implementing risk management recommendations were identified, and recommendations for improving the collaborative process of threat management are discussed.
- ItemSocial media use and participation: a meta-analysis of current research(2015) Boulianne, ShelleySocial media have skyrocketed to popularity in the past few years. The Arab Spring in 2011 as well as the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns have fuelled interest in how social media might affect citizens’ participation in civic and political life. In response, researchers have produced 36 studies assessing the relationship between social media use and participation in civic and political life. This manuscript presents the results of a metaanalysis of research on social media use and participation. Overall, the meta-data demonstrate a positive relationship between social media use and participation. More than 80% of coefficients are positive. However, questions remain about the relationship is causal and transformative. Only half of the coefficients were statistically significant. Studies using panel data are less likely to report positive and statistically significant coefficients between social media use and participation, compared to cross-sectional surveys. The meta-data also suggest that social media use has minimal impact on participation in election campaigns.
- ItemGenerating political interest with online news(2015) Boulianne, ShelleyThis paper examines whether new media can address low levels of political engagement among youth. This paper reports the results of an experiment conducted in 2010 and 2011 where a random sample of participants were exposed to a variety of online news sources. The experiment is unique in recognizing the varied ways in which online news is accessed and acquired by users, including through social networks, and in assessing how different news stories affect political interest. Interest in local politics was higher for youth who were exposed to a variety of online news sources as opposed to those youth who were not exposed to these sources. In addition, use of online news increased political interest, controlling for prior levels of political interest. The results affirm the potential of online news sources to stimulate youth’s interest and engagement in politics.