MA Professional Communication Theses

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 127
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    Factors impacting vaccine hesitant parents of young children in Northern British Columbia: a qualitative study from a health care communicator’s lens
    (2023-08-17) Seiter, Haylee; Li, Zhenyi
    In 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared vaccine hesitancy as a top threat to global health while highlighting the concerning resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases. In the Northern British Columbia region, which is under the jurisdiction of the Northern Health Authority, there are lower routine child vaccination rates than the rest of the province, however, these rates do not tell us why parents may be vaccine hesitant. As a communications professional working in healthcare, I conducted this qualitative research to better understand the local barriers and drivers of vaccination for Northern BC parents. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with two key audiences: parents of young children (five years and younger) and immunizers (nurses) who administer routine child vaccinations. The interview data were analyzed using discourse analysis to develop vaccination-related themes. Unexpected results included the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on increasing parental vaccine hesitancy, the impact of the pandemic on increasing general vaccine awareness, the experience of first-time parents, and the impact of family dynamics in small communities. This research also revealed the extreme difficulty in recruiting participants in the vaccine-hesitant parent population. In accordance with the WHO’s Tailoring Immunization Programmes approach of not guessing why populations may be hesitant but determining the root cause, this research sheds light on several reasons why Northern BC parents may be vaccine-hesitant, and it goes one step further by offering strategic communication recommendations informed by the Behaviour Change Wheel to help increase vaccine uptake for young children in the region.
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    What is the nature of the relationships (if any) that vintage Volkswagen owners form with their vehicles and with other vintage VW owners?
    (2023-08-17) Charach, Pamela; Vannini, Phillip
    Drawing from qualitative, open-ended interviews, this research focuses on the nature of the relationships that vintage Volkswagen (VW) owners form with their vehicles and with other vintage VW owners. It revealed that VW owners form deep bonds with their vehicle(s) that enrich their lives, consequently granting them access to a subculture of hobbyists and enthusiasts, which is also rewarding in many ways. As detailed in the audio documentary accompanying this brief paper, participants spoke passionately about 1) why they love vintage Volkswagens; 2) the community and connections that result from vintage VW ownership; 3) the happiness that ownership brings; 4) the struggles that ownership brings and how that impacts outlook on life; 5) the relationships and attachment that develop between vehicle and owner; 6) and finally, the benefits and qualities of life with a vintage Volkswagen.
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    Revealing whiteness: how one group used social media to uncover and challenge white supremacy operating in municipal political online messages
    (2023-07-06) Tracey, Kelly; Jaigris Hodson
    This study examined how a local advocacy group in Abbotsford, BC used social media to identify and challenge white supremacy in municipal online texts. Research studying social justice advocacy groups operating via social media has shown that to achieve profound change, information needs to reach traditional news outlets before attention from those in power will take notice. Further research notes that people of colour experience higher rates of online abuse as opposed to white people. A case study was used to conduct semi-structured interviews of six participants of different racial and gender identities who belonged to a local advocacy group. Qualitative analysis of the interviews, employing theories such as Bourdieu’s field theory and concept of capital to examine power, was used to reveal that attention from elites was higher when social media messages reached traditional news media sources and that participants of colour experienced more violent reactions from those in positions of power politically, academically, and from the media than white people. This study provides valuable knowledge for others wishing to challenge dominate systems of oppression online and contributes to the ongoing body of research surrounding social justice movements using social media.
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    Reimagining BC modern treaties: a critical discourse analysis of the Tsawwassen, Maa-nulth, and Tla'amin final agreements
    (2023-05-28) Connauton, Joanne; McCreary, Tyler
    This thesis critically examines settler-colonial legal structures, languages, and mapping conventions that underpin the British Columbia (BC) modern treaty process. The mandate of the BC treaty process is to resolve the status of unceded Indigenous lands, promising to foster Indigenous self-governance while providing legal “certainty” for resource extractive industries. However, only 65 of over-200 First Nations in BC have engaged in negotiations, and just seven have implemented modern treaties. To better understand Indigenous reticence, this thesis conducts a critical discourse analysis of the Tsawwassen, Maa-nulth, and Tla’amin nations’ Final Agreements, looking at the lands, eligibility and enrolment, and fisheries chapters. It argues that treaties ultimately communicate land as property, identity as individual, and fish as allocations – reflecting settler worldviews and obscuring and erasing Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies. As a counterpoint to settler-colonial treaty frames, this thesis engages Indigenous stories to highlight how Indigenous legal paradigms offer different pathways to coexistence.  
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    Addressing Western Asian alienation : exploring the application of multiculturalism in B.C. government messaging to address the rise of anti-Asian racism in B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (2023-04-05) Chu, Richard; Du, Juana
    Despite multiculturalism serving as a policy for more than 50 years in Canada and 30 years in British Columbia to build acceptance of cultural diversity, the COVID-19 pandemic has served as an impetus for a resurgence of anti-Asian racism in Canada, particularly in B.C. This study explores how the policy of multiculturalism has been applied in Canada’s westernmost province to address anti-Asian racism, examining its application from a communication perspective and its unique sub-national context. Using a pragmatic, mixed-methods approach, the study involved a survey of Canadians of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean backgrounds living in B.C., and a content analysis of B.C. government messaging related to multiculturalism and anti-Asian racism within the fiscal periods of 2017-18 and 2021-22. The study finds that the provincial government application of multiculturalism focuses on the fundamental acknowledgement of the existence and value of cultural and ethnic diversity rather than on a more advanced application promoting belonging and integration of immigrants into Canadian society. The findings suggest opportunities for government messaging to strengthen its focus on values related to inclusion that are of importance to Canadians of East Asian descent, and a need for the application of multiculturalism to focus on strengthening the sense of belonging between Canadians of all cultural backgrounds and ethnicities to collectively recognize the common values we share as a basis of a common civic identity.