Browsing Department of Communication Studies by Title
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- ItemA Critical Assessment of Mental Health Discourse among Young Adults on TikTok(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2023-08) Horridge, RicardoIn the rapidly evolving digital age, TikTok emerges as a significant platform influencing young adults' perceptions and discourses. This research delves deep into the nuances of how mental health is discussed amongst young adults on TikTok. Despite the recognized relationship between social media and mental health, there exists a large research gap regarding the discourse patterns, especially on newer platforms like TikTok. This study begins to fills that void, setting out to explore more than just the existence of a relationship between social media and mental health, but also the intricacies of the discourse – how it is facilitated, stigmatized, and the role of community-building, education and contrastingly negative elements in the conversation. Through detailed thematic and content analysis of 120 TikToks using hashtags #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters, #DepressionAnxiety, and #MentalIllness and 20 random sampled comments, this research uncovers the multifaceted nature of TikTok as a medium: from sharing personal experiences and seeking advice to challenging the prevalent stigmatization surrounding mental health. The findings shed light on TikTok's potential for both positive and negative influences on mental health discourse, highlighted by instances of misinformation, emotional expression, and the delicate balance between support and negativity in the conversation. The study's conclusions offer actionable insights for researchers and other academics looking to further analyze discussions on the platform. Additionally, by pinpointing existing limitations and gaps, this research sets the stage for future investigations in this critical area of study.
- ItemActivism and Public Relations: Then and Now(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2017) Benedict, BenThis thesis explores public relations scholarship to analyse where activism and public relations articulate and intersect in their development or “then” over the past century in how public relations became defined as a corporate-economic model to “now” where public relations in its relationship to activism, is seen as a meaning-making process. In analysing the disparate collection of articles and text on activism in public relations scholarship the thesis (the author) begins with defining public relations, activist, activism, protest, social movements, and activist organizations; followed by activism in public relations historical development, offering an alternative and expanded historical interpretation of public relations; then activisms role in public relations theory illustrating the critical movement amongst scholars from the Modernist approach solidified in the Excellence Theory to where Postmodernism and Postcolonialism are exerting their influence; and activisms role in the development of public relations practices as a management process, a control mechanism, and a set of technical skill where activism has played a central role in the development of strategic communications, issues management, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Activism’s implications for the study and practice of public relations are then discussed including the challenges, omissions, and opportunities that such an investigation raises as a means of advancing contemporary public relations knowledge. This thesis supports calls for the development of a critical branch of public relations, to include public communications alongside those of organizations and state communications, for engaged scholarship, and a return to public intellectualism as public relations begins exploring not what it is, but what public relations can be.
- ItemAn Analysis of Racial Bias in Newspaper Coverage of “Bloody Sunday” and the March for the Right to Vote(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2018) McKitrick, Anne-MarieThis study analyzed newspaper coverage of Bloody Sunday and the Selma-to-Montgomery march for the right to vote for Black Americans. Through critical race theory, news framing theory, and the theory of Orientalism, I conducted a content analysis of two American newspapers (one published locally in Alabama and one major-city newspaper) to determine the similarities and differences with respect to representation of race in the news media. Results demonstrate that the Alabama newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, reported on this event with more racial bias than did the major-city newspaper, The New York Times. The two newspapers also covered similar stories in different manners, with the major-city newspaper being predominantly supportive in tone and the Alabama newspaper being predominantly oppositional in tone. The New York Times reported significantly more slurs (all through quotes) while the Montgomery Advertiser reported significantly more stereotypes (primarily through journalistic prose). This finding showed bias in reporting as The New York Times quoted slurs to tell the story, while the Montgomery Advertiser stereotyped black people while telling the story. The findings point to more differences than similarities in how the two newspapers covered the events and inform the main conclusion that the Montgomery Advertiser reported the event with more bias. This conclusion is significant because the content of a news story and the tone through which a newspaper reports a story—specifically the marches for the right to vote—is the message the readers receive.
- ItemAsking Families For Organ Donation(The Medical Society of Nova Scotia, 1988-11-15) Parsons, Patricia"Asking a family for consent to retrieve the organs of a loved one who has just died has been said to be one of the most difficult questions that a doctor can ask. However, being prepared for this possibility is the responsibility of every physician."--Excerpt from introduction
- ItemBeyond Hype! Ethical promotion of your professional service(Nova Scotia Society of Occupational Therapists, Independent Practice Section, Spring Workshop, 1993-05) Parsons, Patricia
- ItemThe Canadian Shield: Vaccine Hesitancy and Ontario’s Immunization 2020 Health Initiative(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2019) Westerveld, KellyThere was a time when diseases such as measles, mumps, whooping cough and polio posed an imminent threat to Canadians, hopscotching across the country unimpeded. But starting with the whooping cough vaccine in 1918, Canada had a new weapon against those diseases — armour that could not be easily penetrated — and slowly the diseases’ spread ebbed. However in recent years, Canada’s shield has begun to crack. Most Canadians immunize their children, but there’s a growing trend away from vaccines and the protection they provide. Faced with falling immunization rates, the Ontario government released Immunization 2020: Modernizing Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Program, a 20-point action plan with the simple goal of increasing public uptake of immunizations. This study uses both content and fantasy theme analyses to examine how Immunization 2020’s key messages manifested in media coverage, how the concept of vaccination is embodied in reader comments following media coverage about Immunization 2020, themes and stories that are present within vaccine-hesitant discourse communities and how those themes and stories function to form a vaccine-hesitant group identity that maintains vaccine hesitancy. Results from the content analysis show that of the eight key messages, evidence-informed choices was the only one to appear in every article. Notably, other key messages crucial to addressing public trust in vaccines such as shared responsibility, patients first/patient-centred or transparency did not appear frequently. In the fantasy theme analysis, vaccine-hesitant parents emerged as a rhetorical community that used four stock scenarios to create a culture among group members. Vaccine-hesitant parents engaged in discourse that positioned group members as the heroes and members of the public, the government and vaccine makers as the villains. Three rhetorical visions also emerged, creating a worldview that maintained vaccine hesitancy. Overall, vaccine-hesitant parents share common ground, symbols and stories that build a shared identity and reality. Belonging to this community goes beyond a simple decision about vaccines, making it very difficult for parents to “switch sides” and immunize their children. In the absence of another online community that encourages immunization, vaccine-hesitant parents stick with the one that persuades them to stay by validating their stories and the one with which they share an identity.
- ItemCareer development essential: Future health managers depend on training now(Health Care: A Southam business publication, 1986-10) Parsons, Patricia
- ItemCase Study: Nova Scotia Burning Exploring Racial Discourse in Nova Scotia Media(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2013) Titus-Roberts, Jolene; Thurlow, AmyThis case study examined The Chronicle Herald’s “Nova Scotia Burning” feature series, produced in 2011 in response to a cross-burning incident that occurred in Hants County, Nova Scotia in 2010. The study used postcolonial theory to examine the discursive practices in the text to understand how issues of race, representation, and racism pertaining to Black Nova Scotians were treated. The analysis illuminated a very complex process whereby the media itself attempted to destabilize some of the dominant discourses surrounding race and racism in Nova Scotia, and yet, in the end, reproduced them through their use of language, imagery and meaning making. This study contributes to our understanding of how issues of race and racism are treated in Nova Scotia media.
- ItemChanging the discourse: The fight for gender equality in pop culture blogs(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2017-02-15) Obie, JaclynGender inequality in modern, Western society is problematic and strengthened by media reinforcement. The negative representations of women in media can actively prevent gender equality. Media, and entertainment media in particular, treat women unequally and represent them in harmful ways. Albert Bandura’s Social cognitive theory of mass communication (2001) established that the examples presented in media have a lasting impact on the audience’s values, opinions and behaviours. Using Bandura’s theory as a theoretical framework, this study is grounded in the consequence of media’s unequal representation of women. This study looks at two blogs that treat women, and people of colour, as equals, and actively point out inequality in other media. Lainey Gossip and Awards Daily are challenging a tradition of unequal gender representation in entertainment media. I did a two-case case study of Lainey Gossip and Awards Daily, which included Critical Discourse Analysis of their blog posts, and interviews with the founders of those blogs, Elaine Lui and Sasha Stone respectively. From the research, several solutions to the existing inequality in media emerged, chiefly that of representation – having women writing about entertainment media, producing media content, and shown on screen, is the first key step in achieving equality in media.