Interdisciplinary Studies (Fredericton)

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"I'm tough": Acadian women's stories of resilience against the anti-aging movement
"I'm tough": Acadian women's stories of resilience against the anti-aging movement
by Nicole S. Taerum, The anti-aging culture has initiated a storm of ageism and discrimination targeting older adults in Canada, and this issue needed examination as it affects their well-being. In this thesis, I explored the experiences of older Acadian women affected by the anti-aging culture. Interviews with five older Acadian women from New Brunswick were conducted concerning their experiences and perceptions of their aging process and attitudes on anti-aging products and culture. Data analysis was conducted by developing themes and threads from the interview data into individual core stories that represented each participant's experiences. Once the individual narratives were made and shared with the women, a collective narrative was developed by combining participants' accounts into a core story that depicted how Acadian women's experiences with poverty, discrimination, shame, positive role models, Acadian pride, and family values impacted the aging process. The development of resilience and a positive view of aging led participants to reject the anti-aging movement.
"Look at me": disability, representation, and the female body
"Look at me": disability, representation, and the female body
by Rachel Watters, This thesis explores the representations of women with physical disabilities in the media, as analyzed by women with physical disabilities themselves, and then subverts and challenges those representations through the women's construction of new photographic imagery. The goal is to allow women with physical disabilities to participate in the research process, work collaboratively with the researcher, and challenge how women with physical disabilities are represented. The research is grounded in feminist theory, critical disability studies, and arts-based inquiry; and uses methods of focus group interviews and photographs. Participants found the media representations to be complex, containing what they felt were both positive and negative components. The strongest reactions came from sexualized representations of women with disabilities. Discussions also centered on the lack of representations, the importance of including people with disabilities in the design of media representations, and the connection of disability with pain and pity. When it came to the construction of new photographic images, the participants used the photographs as a way of visually expressing their responses to the representations they saw during the focus group. Keywords: disability studies, arts-based inquiry, feminism, visual media, popular culture
A summer literacy program for First Nations children
A summer literacy program for First Nations children
by Agnes Flanagan, The purpose of the study was to design and pilot an English-language literacy program during the summer and assess its impact on First Nations children’s literacy scores. The study also investigated whether the program would eliminate summer learning loss (SLL) or lead to learning gains in children’s literacy scores. The two-week program focused on letter knowledge (LK) and phonological awareness (PA) skills for children entering Grade 1. Fourteen English-speaking First Nations children participated in this study and were assessed three times: preprogram, during the program, and postprogram. Hierarchical linear modelling and paired sample t tests were used to analyze the data. Results showed that children experienced SLL in LK scores. Children showed significant and positive growth in most skills over the course of the program. SLL was eliminated for some children, and the program led to learning gains for others. The preliminary findings call for future studies with a larger sample size and a longer programming period., Degree Name mislabeled as "Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies" on title page
A sustainable framework to determine customer perceived value for electricity products and services
A sustainable framework to determine customer perceived value for electricity products and services
by Tugcan Sahin, Consumers’ perceived value (CPV) is a concept characterizing the customer-supplier interface. It helps suppliers to improve long-term business performance through a systematic approach quantifying value customers associate with purchasing a market product or service. Current applications are limited to highly competitive markets and there is a lack of agreement on its definitions, grounding theories and quantification approaches. This study aims to address this research gap by defining CPV more comprehensively and demonstrate a first quantification in investigating an underexplored traditional market, the energy sector. The research contributes to academic discussion through: 1) adding to theory by introducing a unified and general conceptual framework of CPV grounding upon CPV-related theories and approaches analyzing, synthesizing and harmonizing links across academic disciplines, 2) deriving an energy-specific model based on the sustainable development approach to investigate changes in the customer value creation process under the energy sector transformation as a result of renewable generation integration, market liberation and introduction of customer-oriented products and services, and 3) developing a first quantification methodology based on hedonic pricing method, identifying determinants in technical, economic, social and environmental dimensions with willingness to pay (WTP) as proxy for CPV from the supplier’s perspective, demonstrating its application and viability in an empirical study for the electric energy sector of New Brunswick. Results in this case show that economic determinants are the main contributing factor for segments of urban and rural customers, while social determinants are the key contributing factor for residential and industrial customers. This demonstrates the necessity of a more comprehensive and multi-dimensional model to develop products and services that better fit customers’ needs. The new framework offers the opportunities to be applied in other jurisdictions, but more importantly be also applied in other business sectors.
Battle on the home front: post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) medication side effects and the quality of life of Canadian male veterans
Battle on the home front: post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) medication side effects and the quality of life of Canadian male veterans
by Debra Lynn Bastien, This thesis examines the experiences of Canadian male veterans and the impact that PTSD medication side effects have had on their quality of life. Using a narrative methodology, their stories of PTSD and the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication side effects revealed themes of fatigue and sexuality that were connected to the hegemonic masculinity of military culture, impacting the veterans’ everyday lives, relationships, and ultimately their sense of self. Deeper sub-themes of guilt and loss of identity emerged and require further investigation. This study illustrates the power of examining lived experiences from trauma and recommends the integration of narrative care into current treatment programs for veterans living with PTSD.
Broadening democracy in New Brunswick's local service districts by engaging the public in the creation of shared service agreements
Broadening democracy in New Brunswick's local service districts by engaging the public in the creation of shared service agreements
by Carrie Culligan Yeamans, In a province that describes itself as a democracy, all areas of New Brunswick are not represented at the local level. While all cities, towns, villages, and rural communities are represented by an elected council, local services districts are not represented by an elected mayor or council. Local service districts are provincial entities and are thus represented by the Provincial Minister of Environment and Local Government. There has been a great deal of public scrutiny of the provincial government regarding the lack of a defined process for community service agreements, specifically with shared service agreements. The shared service agreement seeks to maximize efficiency and the value of citizens' dollars by sharing a service between two or more communities such as recreation agreements. Local service district citizens have been questioning the government's authority under the Municipalities Act for these legally binding agreements. They are claiming that these agreements are unlegislated and unregulated in the Act and Regulations which guide the procedure for the addition or suspension of services. This report will argue for a legislative process of shared service agreements. Increasing the use of shared service agreements in local service districts meets the needs of local citizens while also promoting participatory democracy where representative democracy is absent. A legitimate shared service agreement process would address transparency and accountability concerns from citizens, and local government structural problems the provincial government appears eager to modernize.
Burnout and empowerment among hemodialysis nurses in Quebec
Burnout and empowerment among hemodialysis nurses in Quebec
by Christina Doré, While healthcare is struggling to respond to patients’ care needs as well as budgetary realities, patient care is increasingly more burdensome and demanding for nurses, resulting in increased burnout. Burnout has negative consequences for affected nurses and can jeopardize quality of care and patient safety. The empowerment of nurses is closely related to workplace wellness, since it is viewed as a positive strategy to support nursing practice and well-being at work. Research indicates that professional websites are promising vehicles to address nurse empowerment, with the recommendation that they be engaged in the design process. To date, there is no information to assess the severity of burnout or the empowerment status of hemodialysis nurses in Quebec. A quantitative online survey of 308 nurses assessed this situation and found that 38% reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, 69% reported moderate levels of structural mpowerment and 64% moderate levels of psychological empowerment. Structural and psychological empowerment were significantly related to burnout. Subsequently, a participatory action research approach that included a series of three focus group sessions with a total of seven participants and consultations with an Advisory Team generated recommendations on the types of information and elements to include in a website that addresses burnout and promotes empowerment. The results indicated that a future website should include: professional information and updates, continuing education, information on healthy lifestyle habits and networking. Overall, this research has important implications for nurses and nursing practice and research. We found high levels of burnout among hemodialysis nurses in Quebec, similar to other North American results; and that hemodialysis nurses support the development of a website to address their professional and personal needs.
Canadian mothers' work experience and cognitive behavioural outcomes of their pre-school children
Canadian mothers' work experience and cognitive behavioural outcomes of their pre-school children
by Justine Clare Gibbings, Using longitudinal data from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), I focus on the work experiences of mothers during their children’s early years. The mothers may be partnered or unpartnered across these years. I examine how the parental experience of working and not working affects the receptive vocabulary and inattentive-hyperactive behaviour—both important components of emergent literacy—of children at age 4 to 5 years. The data are from the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sample of cycles two to eight (1994-2009) of the NLSCY together with added data from the Canadian censuses of 1996 to 2006. I used multiple regression to model the relationship between the employment and unemployment experiences of mothers and partners and the receptive vocabulary of their children at age 4 to 5 years. Logistic regression models are the tool I used to study the relationships between the experience of extended periods of limited or no work for mothers and families and increases in the likelihood of poor outcomes for their child on scales for either receptive vocabulary or inattention-hyperactivity. These relationships are considered independent of other measures of the household and neighbourhood. The results show that although maternal employment is an important source of resources, it is the employment status of the whole family that is of overriding importance in the expected level of receptive vocabulary of their pre-school children. Thus at a given level of resources, children do equally as well in households where both the mother and father are working as in traditional households where only the father is employed. I observed the lowest expected receptive vocabulary scores for children in households where there is little or no employment. However, other parent behaviour is important; for example, reading daily to the child has a larger effect than household socioeconomic status. In both unemployed sole mother and unemployed couples, the household has no one working or only working intermittently and this increases the likelihood of a poor score on the receptive language scale and a high score on the inattention-hyperactivity scale. I conclude by considering the implications of this research for government policy in Canada., Electronic Only. (UNB thesis number) Thesis 9494. (OCoLC) 964084624., Ph.D., University of New Brunswick, School of Graduate Studies, 2014.
Cape Breton Gothic: a cultural history of the coalfields
Cape Breton Gothic: a cultural history of the coalfields
by Edward Michalik, Cape Breton Gothic is a postmortem. At some point after the ink dried on Sheldon Currie’s Miners’ Museum (1995) and before Mayor John Morgan issued his out-of-nowhere resignation (2012), the heart of the Island’s mining culture ceased to beat. As a self-styled coroner, I determined the cause of death. In the autopsy that I performed, I isolated two pathogens that, when combined, proved fatal. The first was the trauma wrought by coal mining itself, a job that claimed the lives of 1,321 colliers, maimed thousands more, and did irreparable damage to the psyches of their families. The second was the hypertrophying of the honor ethic. The ethos of honor and shame is an attribute of scarcity-driven economies like that of the Gaels, who peopled the coalfields. The hallmark of honor culture is belligerence. The storm-the-barricades approach to civic life that it entails was adequate during the Coal Wars (1909–1925). But by the new millennium, it had degenerated into the knee-jerk pugilism of toothless labor unions and a quixotic lawsuit, launched by the regional municipality against the provincial government (2004). As an interdisciplinary study, Gothic uses a number of theories and methods to trace the etiology of the killing disease. From Gothic Studies, it borrows Freudian theories of trauma and repression; from anthropology, it borrows Bourdieu’s notion of symbolic capital; and from social psychology, it borrows Nisbett and Cohen’s experimental ethnography of Appalachian violence. As for its methods, Gothic uses archival research to exhume the bones of the Island’s fascist crisis (1938–1940), and it uses narrative inquiry to join sixty-seven interviews into a nonfiction novella of the area’s underclass and its “prominent citizens.” Cape Breton Gothic is, above all, a corrective to the hagiographies of Acadiensis historians. I have planted my flag at the horrific end of the historical spectrum, not to dismiss the standard narrative but to elongate its arc and to re-problematize it. Somewhere between the romance of David Frank and the Sturm und Drang of yours truly, there is a shadowland where future historians might write a subtler version of Cape Breton’s story.
Capitalism’s affinity for suburban development: locating a new high school in Moncton, New Brunswick
Capitalism’s affinity for suburban development: locating a new high school in Moncton, New Brunswick
by Bryan MacDonald, Capitalism as a worldview is both a view of life and a way of life that is structurally embedded in our society. In Canada and the United States capitalism shapes the political economy, which in turn influences the thoughts and actions of players engaged in the system at various levels: governments, institutions and the marketplace. Actors in this political economy have, at times, partnered or conspired to influence a suburban way of life for the majority of citizens. A case in point is the site selection for a new school in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. The thesis makes the case that the Moncton high school project unfolded as it did due to factors that included certain actions by particular players, the sale of land, proposed increased residential development, land values, and demands placed on existing infrastructure to accommodate the school project. The capitalist-public authority-marketplace relationship revealed that the values of actors in the marketplace were not always in alignment and conflict occurred.
Connecting crossmodal interactions in visual music to create "mindful" experiences
Connecting crossmodal interactions in visual music to create "mindful" experiences
by Deanna Musgrave, Our society experiences the illusive juxtaposition of sound and images on television, the internet, smartphones and other media devices on a daily basis. Artists can use audiovisuals to create realities strikingly similar to the natural world to create meaning, to create an aesthetic, to facilitate learning or even to provide a therapeutic experience. How artists utilize these elements can have tremendous impact on whether or not the work achieves crossmodal integration or a “unity assumption” for the viewer. Crossmodal integration refers to the perception of multiple sensory stimuli interacting, whereas the “unity assumption” is the observer’s belief that the sensory cues belong together. This thesis examines participants’ experiences of crossmodal integration and the “unity assumption” with Visual Music, an art historical term referring to abstract visuals connected to sound, in a multimedia installation. Participants experienced an audiovisual exhibit, Tropos, and were subsequently interviewed. Their responses to the installation were analyzed using grounded theory analysis and a theoretical model was produced to explain their experiences. Results also suggested that participants believed that these experiences would be useful for aesthetic, educational or therapeutic purposes. This thesis provides a grounded theory model which suggests that when motion, sound, colour, shape and space create a crossmodal interaction, it can lead to “mindful” states. The model provides strategies to increase the likelihood of achieving mindfulness with crossmodal interactions, such as using combinations that are appealing to the majority or increasing the artistic or sensory combinations explored in the public school system.
Dawn of the centaur era? equine-based human development and a new age in the evolving history of human-horse relations
Dawn of the centaur era? equine-based human development and a new age in the evolving history of human-horse relations
by Christine Elizabeth Clarke, In the last decades of the twentieth century a new industry emerged from the practice of partnering people with horses in interactive activities for the purpose of mental-health therapy and human development. In the late 1980s, as various equine-based health and wellness practices emerged from the margins to gain popularity and credibility in mainstream Western society, some practitioners developed a new paradigm which actively engaged horses as sentient beings capable of consciously aiding in human health, wellness, and social development. Practitioners working within this new paradigm altogether rejected the otherwise common praxis of coercive dominance by humans over animals. Over the past quarter century, this new paradigm and praxis expanded from marginalized experimental idea to increasingly popular professional practice striving for legitimacy as a therapeutic industry in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and parts of Africa, and in doing so challenged historical social norms and perceptions about horses and created the potential for altering the millennia-old relationship humans have had with them. Existing literature on human-animal relations suggests a global trend of increasing compassion in human-animal relations since the advent of the humane movement in the 1860s, which was reflected in more gentle ways of working with animals. The Equine-Based Human Development (EBHD) industry which revolutionizes the historic human-horse relationship dynamic emerges from this development, at a time when academics in the Western world were also beginning to reconsider social norms regarding engagement with nonhuman animals. The beginnings of human-animal relations studies overlaps with the emergence of the EBHD industry, as well as with an era of social movements including those championing environmental and animal rights. The philosophies and values of the modern development of EBHD examined herein offer new insight into the larger, ever-changing history of human-animal relations, and especially the history of human-horse relations.

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