Child and Youth Study -- Graduate Theses

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


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 81
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    Sleeping Between Cultures: An Autoethnographic Exploration of the Co-Sleeping Practices of an Immigrant Mother in Canada
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2024-04) Zhou, Xia
    In North America, the prevailing sleep arrangement for infants and young children emphasizes sleeping independently which differs from the co-sleeping norms embraced by many cultures worldwide. This autoethnographic study explores the researcher’s experiences with co-sleeping practices as a new immigrant mother in Canada. Employing an autoethnographic approach, this research intertwines personal narratives and reflections to navigate the complexities of co- sleeping within the context of cultural adaptation. Reflecting on the researcher’s co-sleeping journey through the lens of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Human Development, the study examines the intricate interplay between personal experiences, social norms, and the broader cultural contexts, examining how these factors influenced the researcher’s co-sleeping decisions and experiences. This research advocates for a more diverse understanding of co-sleeping practices, recognizing cultural perspectives to develop guidelines that promote safety while respecting the cultural richness immigrant families bring to the Canadian context. Through its autoethnographic lens, this study contributes to a deeper understanding of the cultural dynamics shaping parenting practices and underscores the importance of cultural sensitivity in healthcare and policy frameworks.
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    A Thematic Content Analysis of Children’s Picture Books that Portray Fairness
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2024-04) Zhang, Shuo
    Considering the essential role fairness plays in the early years and the powerful impacts of picture books on young children, it is necessary the understand how fairness is portrayed in children’s picture books, and how this small sample of picture books might inform children’s understanding of fairness and how it relates to children’s moral compass in relation to their rights and agency. The thematic content analysis is adopted as the research method. This study is based on three children’s picture books that were published over 50-year periods. This research examined the depiction of fairness in those books, addressing questions about how fairness is portrayed, the embedded messages in the depiction of fairness, and whose perspective is represented. This research explored perspectives including Kohlberg’s moral development theory and Gilligan’s ethic of care. Although Kohlberg’s theory explains some aspects of children’s moral reasoning, it undermines children’s agency and puts them in a morally deficient position. This research advocates for the care perspective and children’s agency in their morality development. Recommendations, limitations, and suggestions are included.
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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.