Child and Youth Study -- Graduate Theses

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Graduate theses completed in the Master of Arts in Child and Youth Study program.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 79
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    Religion and Immigration: Exploring the role of one religious institution in integrating Kerala Christian young immigrants in Canada
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2023) Thomas, Jeema
    The current research investigated religion and immigration by exploring the role of one religious institution in integrating Kerala Christian young immigrants in Canada. This study interviewed three men and three women belonging to six different families who immigrated from Kerala in the last six months to seven years with their families, including young children. They were regular attendees (at least twice a month) of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Two different sampling techniques— purposive sampling and snowball sampling were employed to select the participants who took part in the study. Understanding and interpreting the findings from this study were conducted according to Bronfenbrenner's Social Ecological Model (1977), as well as Bourdieu’s notion of Social Capital (1986). For the data collection, content analysis on publicly available resources such as the church website and social media sites were used followed by individual interviews. The framework for coding and examining the findings was thematic analysis. This research made use of In vivo coding without any preconceived themes, thereby ensuring the codes were developed from the words of the participants’ rather than previously fixed by the researcher. The results indicated that the religious institution named Holy Family Catholic Church, Halifax with its services and programmes has helped new immigrants and their children from Kerala, India in their integration into the wider Canadian society.
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    Black Girls in Orange Jumpsuits: A Scoping Review of How School Pushout Leads to The Criminalization of Black Girls in Canadian Schools
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2023-05) Fletcher-Dyer, Kadeon Antonette
    Black youth in Canada face significant obstacles when navigating the education system due to institutional and social barriers that impede their access to a comprehensive education. This situation is particularly problematic for Black girls, who experience compounded challenges due to their intersecting identities. To explore the relationship between the lived experiences of Black girls in Canadian schools and school pushout and the school-to-prison pipeline, I conducted a scoping review of literature published between 2010 and 2022. A search of 10 databases yielded 1404 articles, which were then screened and reduced to 12 using inclusion and exclusion criteria. Three common themes emerged from the analysis: 1) exclusionary discipline policies, including zero-tolerance policies, often criminalize Black girls’ actions and lead to premature school dropout, 2) Black girls are subjected to static, stereotypical identities that result in alienation and otherization within Canadian classrooms, and 3) systemic racism perpetuates racial inequalities and discrimination, contributing significantly to school pushout. The review underscores the need for further ethnographical research that centers the voices and perspectives of Black girls to gain a better understanding of how zero-tolerance policies, static stereotypes, and systemic racism contribute to their marginalization and pushout from schools and into the school-to-prison pipeline in Canada. Such research is essential to inform equity and diversity policies and design strategies that address the institutional and interpersonal barriers and discrimination that Black girls face.
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    Being a SpaceMaker: Critical Reflections on Indigenous Digital Storytelling
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2023-04) Andrade, Priya Jasmine
    Stories illustrate humanity and its relationship to creation, time and place situating us all in an invisible web of interconnectedness. Storytelling is an integral and valued site of knowledge among Indigenous peoples in Canada and is an invitation to (new) settlers to listen and participate in reconciliation. One of the dilemmas is how do we listen and why should we? I address these tensions in my research by centering Indigenous digital storytelling through short films and animation available online and produced by youth in remote and rural First Nations communities in Canada. Using media art as a form of storytelling highlights Indigenous worldviews and connects the artist to their community centering it as a site of power. Media art liberates Indigenous youth voices encouraging democratization for their communities and practicing relational accountability with settler viewer audiences aiding them to become SpaceMakers. A SpaceMaker is a non-Indigenous ally who finds everyday ways to engage in reconciliation. As a Goan immigrant who came to Canada via Dubai in the late 90s, becoming Canadian challenged my relational responsibility to the Indigenous stewards whom I benefit from. Historically, the tyranny of colonialism has ravaged the Canadian social landscape, and, in this paper, I propose the antidote, disrupting hegemony with digital storytelling because it negotiates a collective definition of living together. This paper centers Indigenous epistemology and social semiotics as methodologies to engage media art and encourage reconciliation in a dialogic way in Canadian classrooms and to anyone who wants to learn to listen.
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    The Perspectives of Early Childhood Educators on Participation, Agency and Children’s Rights
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2023) Nauss, Marly
    Participation, agency and children’s rights are trending topics in children’s research. Their definitions are yet to be concretely defined at the empirical level leaving their practical implementation even more fluid. The purpose of this research project was to investigate the current perspectives of Early Childhood Educators in Nova Scotia on the aforementioned three topics. Using semi-structured interviews five ECE’s were asked a series of questions on their perspectives not just on participation, agency and right’s but what they feel are components to these concepts and what construct barriers to practice. Participants to this research study share that currently participation is more closely defined as engagement. The difference to these two topics being one is a contribution to one’s own life and the other is taking part in the experience of life. Agency although a frequently heard topic is not well understood and definitions vary greatly between participants. Finally children’s rights are well received but not necessarily labelled or recalled. The implications for this study are that any of this topics could be more specifically researched as Nova Scotia is a population not yet interviewed in this aspect.
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    Characters of Colour as Depicted in Canadian Children’s Picture Books
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2023) Chen, Yingyi
    Picture Books designed for children can be a way for children to learn about themselves and others. While a growing number of Canadian children’s picture books are labelled racially/ethnically diverse or multicultural and characters of colour (CoC) in these books might have increased over time, it remains unclear if or how they are advocating for the promotion of social justice and diversity portray Persons of Colour (PoC). To illuminate if/how racism and oppression operate in contemporary Canadian children’s picture books, this thesis research examines how CoC are depicted in both text and images of the six selected books included in the Social Justice and Diversity Book Bank of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre by applying Critical Race Theory and Critical Content Analysis. The six books (Pre-K to Grade 2) published since 2016 containing one or more CoC with central themes of racial/ethnic diversity and/or multiculturalism. While the representations are mostly without overt racism towards CoC, each of the books can be identified as problematic in various ways, including lack of explicit statements of the race/ethnicity of CoC in text, lack of culturally authentic details in text and images, persistence of racial/ethnic stereotypes or cultural deficit discourses in text and images, and absence of overtly addressing racism in text and counter-storytelling of CoC. Examining the depictions of CoC in these books has enabled us to develop a clearer understanding how contemporary Canadian children’s picture books reflect authentic/stereotypical representations of PoC, or reproduce dominant ideologies that reinforce their marginalization.