Honors Essay Projects

Current

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Carina Siu

Honors Essay Topic: BCI-for-Play: A Social Model Approach to Research the Play Experiences of Disabled Children

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Lisa Strohschein

Play exists as a fundamental element of a child’s life, not only does it support cognitive, behavioral and psychological development in children, but it also functions as one of the main occupations of childhood. However, the play of children with motor disabilities is often considerably reduced and limited. Drawing from the intersections between the social model of childhood disability and disabled children’s childhood studies, my honor’s thesis will explore the barriers and facilitators surrounding play for disabled childhoods. Descriptive qualitative methodology will be employed by conducting semi-structured interviews with children who have significant motor impairments and their families to address the following two research questions: 1) What are the lived experiences of play for disabled children? 2) What are the facilitators and barriers when using assistive technology to access play? "

 

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Skylar Thompson

Honors Essay Topic:  A Socio-legal Analysis of Forests, Ecological Protection, and Sustainability and their Interconnectivity

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Ken Caine

My thesis aims to explore the ways in which the environment, specifically trees and forests, contribute to societal well being and thus need to be protected by laws and legislation. "

 

 

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jessica-frankiewicz.jpgJessica Frankiewicz

Honors Essay Topic: Psychedelic Justice in the 21st Century

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Ken Caine

We are in the midst of a psychedelic renaissance, where research and public acceptance of psychedelics are increasing dramatically. However, the movement is not living up to the potential of these substances, and the traditions, individual and social healing potential, and diverse perspectives on the uses of these substances are at risk of being bulldozed in the Western consciousness by dominant ideologies of profit and individualism. My essay will investigate the role of social and environmental justice in the 21st century psychedelic renaissance, and will explore how we can bring diversity, equity, and inclusion to the forefront of psychedelic discourse to create a psychedelic community that represents and meets the needs of all.

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Stephanie Shin

Honors Essay Topic: The Canadian Legal Construct as a Tool of Feminine Subjugation

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Alison Dunwoody

My honors thesis will examine the ways in which the law influences the status and experiences of women in Canada. I am particularly interested in the experiences of Indigenous and racialized women, both criminalized and victimized. Through an intersectional and feminist lens, I will investigate how the Canadian legal system, which is rooted in colonialism and heteropatriarchy, serves as a tool to maintain the subjugated position of women within society. 

 

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Rachel Ball

Honors Essay Topic: Healthcare as an Instrument of Modern Colonial Violence

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Alison Dunwoody

My honor’s thesis, through the exploration of key historical documents, such as the Constitution Act of 1867, the Indian Act, and the Numbered Treaties (particularly Treaty 6), analyzes how the foundation of our healthcare system was and is designed for violence and oppression against Indigenous peoples, particularly women and femme presenting individuals. Through this analysis, I discuss our healthcare system as being an instrument of modern colonial violence that is protected by government rhetoric and performative action. Additionally, using an intersectional lens, I explore how COVID-19 disproportionately affected Indigenous populations with an emphasis on amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton).

 

Angele Chenard

Honors Essay Topic: The Amateur Porn Industry in the Digital Age

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Alison Dunwoody

My thesis will focus on how the internet and social media have influenced the pornography industry, specifically amateur pornography. I will look at how amateur pornography has evolved from simply a category on tube sites like Pornhub to OnlyFans, a site dedicated to amateur sex workers.

 

 

Caitlin Parker

Honors Essay Topic: The Psychosocial Impacts of Hurricanes on Minority Youth in North America

Honors Supervisors: Dr. Ken Caine & Dr. Eva Bogdan

As climate change continues to shape our lives, considering one of its impacts, the increase in frequency and intensity of hurricanes, is critical. Of particular interest to me is hurricanes in relation to minority youth. More specifically, I will be exploring the development of post traumatic stress disorder in relation to hurricanes, as well as the interventions that can be utilized by individuals affected by a hurricane. Finally, the resilience to overcome the adversities due to a hurricane will be investigated.

 

Sarah Kondor

Honors Essay Topic: An Examination of Canada's Sex Work Policies Through a Global Lens

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Alison Dunwoody

My Honors thesis will look at how Canada's latest laws surrounding sex work, introduced in 2014, will affect sex workers in the Canadian context. Because these new laws were introduced and implemented relatively recently, there is a dearth of existing research regarding the implications of these laws on sex workers themselves. To work around this, I will review the effects of the various laws that regulate sex work in different countries with different social, political, and historical contexts to piece together the diverse consequences, both positive and negative, for sex workers in Canada.

 

Vicky Lin

Honors Essay Topic: Art and the Overcoming of Rationalization

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Richard Westerman

In an increasingly rational-oriented world that values productivity, I am sure all of us at one point (if not multiple) have experienced a feeling of burnout, loneliness, or a sense of meaningless in our lives. Combined with my interest in social theory and advocacy of the importance of art and its place in society, this was something that I was determined to involve in my thesis. Rationalization provides structure and encourages progress, but is there a way to escape the "iron cage" of rationalization without eliminating those positive aspects? Primarily through theories put forward by Western Marxists, my Honors thesis will examine the problems of societal rationalization, the implications for an individual's subjectivity, and whether art is a viable means of overcoming rationalization without destroying it completely.

 

Remy Wood

Honors Essay Topic: The Effect of Political Spin on Environmental Policy and the Comparison of the American and Canadian Contexts

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Kent

Given the current global political climate, the use of spin has become especially ubiquitous. My thesis will focus on the use of political spin in the North American context and how it is applied in the world of advertising, while delving into the specific social psychology behind the influence it holds.

 

 

Freya Hammond-Thrasher

Honors Essay Topic: Understanding Indigenous Food Sovereignty In Urban Canada

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Ken Caine

Like many of you, I've always been interested in food. However, my experience going vegan for the last couple years has made me aware of the many cultural, capitalist, and colonial practices that negotiate how people value food. My thesis moves beyond the concept of "food security" in an attempt to recognize and understand the cultural values and resurgence practices involved in Indigenous peoples' reclamation of "food sovereignty." I examine this topic in the context of an increasingly globalized and urbanized land we call Canada.

 

Julia Kavanagh

Honors Essay Topic: Food Security in South Sudan

Honors Supervisor: Dr. Sourayan Mookerjea

My thesis will focus on how conflict, climate change, and an unstable government impact the food security of South Sudan. More specifically, I plan on contextualizing the country's current food crisis in terms of globalization and neoliberal policies that arose after the Second World War.

Other Honors Essays
  • Challenging Gendered Discourse in Traditionally Masculine Trades
    Supervisor: Dr. Robyn Lee
  • Instagram: The End of Childhood?
    Supervisor: Dr. Bryan Hogeveen
  • Health and Caregiving – A Stress Process Approach
    Supervisor: Dr. Lisa Strohschein
  • Establishing an Affective Ecology: an Intersectional Approach to Gender, Race and the Environment
    Supervisor: Dr Robyn Lee
  • The Role of Religion in Reducing Death Anxiety
    Supervisor: Dr. Alison Dunwoody