Communication Studies - Student Works

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    No one is an island: the misdirection of the individual climate impact narrative
    (2023) Hutchinson, Heather; Colville, Elyse; Pratch, Grace; Mazo, Lucille
    This paper seeks to examine, through secondary, mixed methods research, the ability of the individual to affect positive change regarding the climate crisis through their specific choices. By reading myriad scholarly, scientific, and journalistic sources, we found that though positive changes can be made on a smaller government scale, individuals’ ability to reduce environmental harm through their own choices and habits is minimal. Further, corporations and others in positions of power engage in both long- and short-term efforts to actively sabotage efforts of groups working to make societal changes or bring attention to the issues of the climate crisis. The researchers suggest that ecological communications should change direction from scolding the individual to emphasizing systemic change. It is recommended that further study be conducted of cohesion in activist organizations and collectives and the effects of education in rhetoric.
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    Nostalgic to my childhood, symbolic to your culture: discussing the intercultural adaptation of culturally bound fairy tales
    (2022) Bergum, Jaime
    This essay explores fairy tales as culturally bound stories that serve as the means of preserving and passing on cultural values and collective identity. Under the guise of cultural preservation and teaching, fairy tales communicate cultural values, therefore keeping cultures ideologically stagnant; however, when appropriated fairy tales, the fairy tales cannot be fully appreciated for their cultural and ideological value. By first establishing fairy tales as communication symbols that inform cultural tradition and ideology, fairy tales are discussed for their role in moral education for children and in shaping children’s perceptions of culture. German fairy tales from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the Brothers Grimm are examined for their association with the construction of German culture and the rise of German nationalism. Finally, fairy tales are discussed for their role in American culture, though as appropriated texts, are tokens of entertainment rather than culture.
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    Spelling errors and social media outrage: on the Conservative Party of Canada’s error-ridden pamphlet
    (2022) Sweet, T. Andi
    After Elections Canada announced the 2021 Canadian Federal Election in August of the same year, the political parties implemented their campaign strategies. Amongst social media and doorknocking campaigns, one document released by the Conservative Party of Canada attracted attention online due to excessive spelling errors. To better understand whether this mailer was an error or intentional, this paper explores the CPC’s larger social media campaign and the strategic patterns used historically by their marketing company to provide more context to why something as simple as spelling errors can be a piece of effective campaigning. By understanding the firehose of outrage-inducing content implemented by the CPC in the 2021 election, this paper concludes that the spelling errors were part of an intentional plan to build outrage and stoke further divide between Canada’s increasingly polarized political parties.
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    Teaching every body: a critical analysis of school programming on body image
    (2022) Giacobbo, Angela
    Body dissatisfaction in children grows into harmful practices as they age. Schools provide education and programming to promote body satisfaction and positive body image in adolescents, but these teachings can be improved. This paper analyzes educational stakeholders’ services on body image through a critical lens while suggesting solutions to improve lessons, courses, and programming. Through braiding internal lessons with external programs, schools can fight against the potential risks of negative body image on adolescents. The literature review highlights the need for early education on body image and the importance of caregiver intervention. A critical review of the teacher and student dynamic introduces the opportunity that teachers as caregivers have to promote positive body image. Next, this paper discusses external intervention programs and the effectiveness of gender-specific programming while remaining critical of a lack of male-focused programs. This paper then discusses how teachers have more opportunities to hold open discussions for students to learn and share. Lastly, this paper describes how physical education classes can be modified to promote feelings of attractiveness and positivity while correcting misconceptions regarding exercising and gender. These changes to school programming will promote positive body image in students and open up classroom conversations.
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    Mapping the police-media institutional relationship
    (2022) McKay, Brett
    The relationship between police and media has been and remains one of the most significant for both institutions. The modern police and modern newspaper developed contemporaneously, each influencing the form, function, and popular appeal of the other. Theories of media and power, however, often address the police as part of larger power structures and ignore the unique police-media institutional relationship. This research paper establishes essential characteristics of the police-media relationship and identifies frequent sites of interaction between them, with a focus on crime reporting. Media effects, dominant ideology, and institutional approaches are then assessed as interpretive frameworks, concluding that institutional theory provides the strongest theoretical model for analyzing internal and interorganizational behaviours. The professional norms and practices that compose police and media institutional logics are defined, and their historical origins and evolutions are investigated. These long-established logics continue to direct how police and media construct and respond to crime, and consequently how crime is perceived by the public and treated by legal authorities. Because the habits of crime reporting shape policing practices, altering routine media coverage of crime and police issues may help address systemic problems in policing.