Summit Volume 1

Page 1

Volume 1 2016


Summit: UFV Undergraduate Journal of the Arts Volume 1 2016 University of the Fraser Valley

Editor, Co-Founder Editor, Co-Founder Editor Editor Editor Artistic Director Faculty Advisor

Terrill Smith Valerie Franklin Ashley Reddicopp Spencer Justice Vanessa Broadbent Alyssa Rice Christopher Leach

Summit is an academic conference and journal that recognizes excellence in research and writing by undergraduate arts students at the University of the Fraser Valley. Coordinated by an editorial board comprised of arts students and advised by a faculty representative, Summit features academic papers written for upper-level classes within the College of Arts. The selected papers are published annually in a journal, preceded by a conference at which the selected authors share their work. By presenting outstanding papers from the humanities and social sciences, Summit aspires to demonstrate the original perspectives of student researchers and writers exploring various academic subjects within the College of Arts. To this end, Summit showcases papers with innovative qualities, unique viewpoints, and interesting research findings from a varied range of topics and disciplines. All papers were written in 2015 for a 300- or 400- level course within a College of Arts department, with a total of 20 papers having been selected from 8 different departments for presentation and publication. The conference occurred on April 11, 2016, in the Great Hall of the Student Union Building at UFV. Both the conference and journal are non-profit and operate under the auspices of the College of Arts.




I. This Land Is Your Land: The Environment in a Globalized World


Illuminating the Implications of Late-Modernity: Environmental Injustice in the Maldives Aaron Penner, Sociology

7 A

Bad Gas: The Rapid Ascension of British Columbia’s Shale Gas Industry from a Political Ecoloical Perspective Tyler Blackman, Geography

14 E T

The California Drought: A Case Study Lucy Davis, Criminal Justice

23 L

II. Materialism, Media, and Matrimony: Exploring Agents of Socialization


Children and Materialism: Creating a Capitalist Consumer Stacey Liebe, Sociology

30 S

Community Factors That Can Instill Resilience Pardeep Grewal, Psychology

35 P

Insidious Agents of Socialization: Gender and Sexuality Biases in Family, School, and Media Robyn Mooney, Sociology

40 R

Wedding Culture Tracy Anthonsen, Sociology

46 T

III. Breaching the Psyche: Mental Processes that Influence Perception


Synesthesia: Abnormality or Adaptation? Heather Kardos, Psychology

52 H

Hormones and Cognition: An Examination of Emotion Perception, Verbal Fluency, and Verbal Short-Term Working Memory across the Menstrual Cycle Alison Hughes, Psychology

57 V A

The Relationships of Nursing Education, Ageism, Perceived Vulnerability to Disease and Elderspeak Gabriel Deros, Psychology

63 G


IV. Medium is the Message: Identity Performance and Representation A Record Scratched: Esi Edugyan’s Use of Imperfect Documentation within Half-Blood Blues Julia Dovey, English

69 A

Abed and Metaphorical Spaces in Community Katie Stobbart, English

73 E

Deconstructing White Privilege: Jennifer Reeder’s White Trash Girl Kendra Schellenberg, Art History

79 L

V. (De)Constructing Deviance: Criminals, Terrorists, and Witches


Explaining the Crime Decline through Theoretical Perspectives Jessica Jahn, Criminal Justice

86 S

Charlie Hebdo Shooting: The West’s Problematic “Clash of Civilizations” Explanation Anecia Gill, Sociology

92 P

Social Sorcery: Witch Interrogations, Gender Relations, and Familial Accusations in Seventeenth-Century Lancashire Tasha Guenther, Art History


Eve and the Nature of Women: Morality, Sexuality, and the Female Body in the Art of Early Medieval Europe Pamela Hunt, Art History

107 M P


VI. Where Do We Go from Here? Analyzing Political, Societal, and Technological Shifts in V Canadian Society C A Major Shift or Minor Tremors? An Analysis of the 1984, 1988, and 1993 Canadian Federal Elections Dylan Thiessen, Political Science

118 F DH

A Critical Analysis of Gratl’s Recommendations to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry Amanda Stewart, Criminal Justice

127 I AV A 134

Rise of the Bitcoin: An Analysis of Future Cryptocurrency Risks Mohit Bassi, Criminal Justice



This Land Is Your Land: The Environment in a Globalized World


Illuminating the Implications of Late-Modernity: Environmental Injustice in the Maldives Aaron Penner Sociology

Climate change has become one of the largest social justice issues of the twenty-first century, due in large part to unequal national responsibilities, and unequal distribution of harms and risk (Kramer 2013:153; Parks and Roberts 2006:339). In response, the United Nations has established the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which has led to many international meetings and one treaty, the Kyoto Protocol. However, the Kyoto Protocol has been proclaimed a “failure,” and other major UNFCCC summits have been denounced as flawed and ineffective (Rosen 2015; Helm 2008:212; Mayer 2013:949). Although certain countries are already facing devastating risks and harms from climate change, and science has provided strong evidence that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are a major source of climate change, many countries are reluctant to accept the necessary emission reduction targets. According to Ulrich Beck (1992), this is a result of the relations of definition and the strategic use of rationality by those with power. This is especially problematic for countries like the Maldives, which is already facing increased flooding and coastal erosion due to sea level rise, and is at risk of losing much of its country if it is not slowed (Hirsh 2015:190). Maldivians are victims of environmental injustice because they are dealing with a disproportionate amount of the risks and harms of climate change. However, this injustice persists because the requests of the Maldives are contrary to the project of modernity: a worldwide desire for progress and profit at the cost of exploitation (global capitalism). Another key aspect for climate change victims to overcome is neo-liberalism, which is a by-product of global

capitalism, and is closely tied to the project of modernity in that it allows the latter to be achieved more efficiently than otherwise. PRIMARY THEORY: ULRICH BECK’S RISK SOCIETY Beck’s theory of “risk society” (1992) is a concerted attempt to classify and describe the implications of modernity, and more specifically, of how societies fundamentally changed in “advanced modernity” (p. 19). Beck argues that in advanced modernity, efficiency via advanced technology and industrialization bring the over-production of goods and services (to developed nations), but also, an over-abundance of risks, many of which being environmental. The risks of modernity are very different from those of scarcity society (a society that has not advanced into a risk society), and must be distributed strategically in order for the “modernization process” to continue (1992:19; 21). Whereas risks in pre and early modern societies could be sensed with the eyes and nose, and were local in nature, the risks produced by modernity can evade the senses, are global in nature, and carry “catastrophic potential”; the actions of one country can now harm the environment in another (Beck 1992:22; 24). In other words, the consumptive, and/or environmentally destructive patterns of one country can arbitrarily affect the environment(s) of various other country(s). Unfortunately, certain countries such as the Maldives suffer from the risks brought on by late-modernity, to a far greater extent than most other countries. CASE STUDY The Maldives is a nation composed of 1190

islands, “none rising more than [six] feet (1.8 meters) above sea level,” and “80% of the land area is less than [one] meter above sea level (Encyclopedia Brittanica, Web; Khan 2002:135). The Maldivian economy is “one of the poorest in the world…a developing economy based on fishing, tourism, boatbuilding, and boat-repairing” (Brittanica, Web). The population is composed of nearly 300 000 people, and the island of the capital city, Male, is home to 56 000 people. “According to the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), under greenhouse gas emission scenarios, about 85% of Male would be inundated by the year 2100 (WMO 2000)” (Khan 2002:135). In addition to the risk of being submerged in the Indian Ocean, rising sea levels pose risks more likely to affect the Maldives in the near future. According to Tariq M.A. Khan et al. (2002), “The increase of sea level will also increase flooding, coastal erosion, and wave effects…it is possible that the islands will experience more swells with stronger wave action and the islands may be swept away” (p. 141). Increased flooding and coastal erosion also lead to flooding of fresh water wells and agricultural land, causing salinization, and rendering drinking water and soil useless (Parks and Roberts 2006:350; Beret and Adger 325). In addition to food and water security, the Maldives is economically vulnerable because the rising sea levels and changing ocean temperatures have drastically affected the fish and marine life populations off the coast of island atoll nations (Barnet and Adger:325). Since fishing is a main source of income and subsistence for Maldivians, this challenges their way of life, and again, their food security. What makes these risks and harms particularly problematic in terms of environmental justice is that they have been, and continue to be caused in large part by humans. This is an issue because it means that people, not nature, are responsible for the risks and harms of climate change, and thus, should be held responsible. Based on the AR5 IPCC report (2014), sea level rise can be attributed to human forces on the environment via greenhouse gases and other anthropogenic forces, with carbon dioxide as the “single largest contributor to radiative forcings” (44). The IPCC (2014) also argues that it is “extremely likely” that greenhouse

8 gas emissions, “together with…other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century” (IPCC 2014:4). In turn, the observed warming causes “thermal expansion” of oceans, and “glacier mass loss,” which are the “two largest contributors to sea level rise” (IPCC 2014:48). As a result, “It is very likely that there is a substantial anthropogenic contribution to the global mean sea level rise observed since the 1970s” (1PCC 2014:48). Since sea level rise is what is putting the Maldives at risk, and humans are major contributors through greenhouse gas emissions and various other forces, humans are responsible for much of the risk to the Maldives. In relation to Beck’s risk society (1992), the Maldives is dealing with the catastrophic and global risks of modernization via industrialization and techno-scientific advancement in developed countries. However, by looking into the climate change literature, empirical evidence supports Beck’s hypothesis that developed, industrialized countries would be most responsible for climate change (1992:23). Hans-Martin Fussel (2010) uses 33 indicators to measure global causal vulnerability to climate change, and uses “Fossil CO2 emissions per capita cumulated since 1990…[and] Total CO2 emissions per capita cumulated since 1990” to quantify and attribute national responsibility for climate change (p. 600). Fussel (2010) finds that both “fossil and total responsibility are strongly correlated,” and that those least responsible for climate change are most vulnerable in terms of “food security, human health, and coastal population” (p. 597). Based on a longer time frame of 1850-2005, Wei et al. (2012) argue that developed countries “have contributed about 60-80%, developing about 20-40%, to the global temperature rise, upper ocean warming, and sea-ice reduction by 2005” (p. 12912). What this literature highlights is blatant environmental distributive injustice: poor nations are dealing with the burdens of climate change, while developed countries prosper from it via large-scale industrial production. This is essentially a problem of responsibility and vulnerability because developed countries are more responsible, while developing ones are more vulnerable.

Although distributive injustice is the initial environmental injustice for the Maldives, social injustice allows it to persist via political and economic disenfranchisement. This takes place via the “relations of definition,” which highlight the structural factors that allow for, and perpetuate climate change (Beck 2007:31-32). In risk society, we have rules governing what are and are not pressing risks, which get determined by those with political power and legitimation: “judges” and “scientific experts” (Beck 2007:32). But, in the international arena, the relations of definition bring some countries much more power than others, to control the mitigation and distribution of risk (Parks and Roberts 2006:342; Beck 1992:41-42). By using strategic “discourse,” developed countries can define knowledge structures (epistemology), which inform the laws governing society (international law and policy) (Beck 2007:34; 33). Social injustice plays into this issue because small, poor, countries like the Maldives do not have the political capital to influence changes in international politics. Environmental injustice in context Participative injustice has been a major factor in allowing environmental injustice to persist for the Maldives. Participative injustice takes place when a party is not included in, and/or given equal weight in deciding how benefits and burdens that affect them will be distributed. According to Karin Shrader-Frechette (2006), participative justice is a “necess[ity]” if any society hopes to achieve true equality in the distribution of burdens and benefits, and is a principle avenue to correcting structural inequalities (p. 27). If participative justice were present in the international political arena from the beginning, the developed world would have been required to reduce emissions in order to slow, and ultimately eradicate sea level rise in order to eradicate risks and harms affecting the Maldives. However, when considering the underlying dynamics of modern international politics, and the root causes of global risk, participative justice for the Maldives is unfortunately, an idealistic prescription. Because the capitalist mindset is at the heart of modernization (Lynch et al. 2013), restrictions to the means of economic growth are highly contentious. As shown by Beck, climate change is

9 a result of modernization, however, a closer look at capitalism uncovers the underlying mechanisms that have driven modernization. Capitalism is centered on the pursuit of profit at the cost of exploitation, and the drive for “more stuff ” is always present (Tétreault 2003:6). This results in a “treadmill of production,” in which humans constantly extract resources from the earth in order to create new material goods (Lynch et al. 2013:1002). These drives have facilitated the rise of neo-liberalism, an ideology centered on minimum restrictions to industry in order to make the most amount of money; a quintessential, modern extension of capitalism (Faber 2008:171). This is an especially problematic obstacle for those trying to achieve international environmental justice vis-à-vis climate change, because for emitters, restrictions are the enemy, and for victims, restrictions are a necessity. To make matters worse, it is no longer only developed countries that are driven by the need for progress; capitalism has become a global ideology, and is weaved into the relations between developed and developing countries (Colas 2003:196). Up and coming developing countries now see the material abundance of developed countries, and assess industrialization as a means to their desired end: eradicating their own poverty (Tétreault 2003:6; Beck 1992:20). This is doubly problematic for the sufferers of climate change because they are up against a greater abundance of countries, all with goals contrary to their own. A look into the Maldives’ fight to be heard by the international community illuminates the grave challenges it has faced in relation to participative justice. This fight began in 1989, when the Maldives and other island atoll nations held a conference in which they hoped to make their plight known to the rest of the world and bring meaningful change. The “Male Small States Conference on sea level rise” resulted in the “Male Declaration on Global Warming and sea level rise [which] stressed the serious consequences of sea level rise for low-lying coastal and island states and the special responsibility of industrialized nations” (Khan 2002:134). The Commonwealth Heads of Government took formal action via a written declaration in 1989, but meaningful change did not come until long after in 2010, via the “‘Integrating Climate Change Risks into Resilient Island Plan-

10 ning Project in the Maldives (ICCR)’” (Sovacool 2012:296). However, the ICCR is an attempt to help the Maldives adapt to climate change, rather than to mitigate climate change. The key here, is that financial resources are being provided to build walls and relocate homes, but there is no slowing of the emissions that are causing climate change and sea level rise. This exemplifies one major aspect of the climate change problem, namely, that countries not at risk are reluctant to make the significant changes necessary to eradicate risks for those that are. In the meantime, the United Nation Framework Convention for Climate Change attempted to mitigate climate change via the Kyoto Protocol. However, the meager targets and lack of institutions to hold signatories accountable for failing to reach targets show the reluctance of the international community to change production and consumption habits. Amanda Rosen (2015) points out that “even perfect compliance with the regime… would still represent an under-management of the global warming threat” (p. 36). The 2007 IPCC report denounced the Kyoto Protocol’s average reduction goals of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels: “‘the numerous mitigation measures that have been undertaken…are inadequate for reversing overall GHG emission trends’” (Rosen 2015:35). However, even these inadequate targets were not reached. During the effective period for countries to reduce emissions, Canada’s emissions increased by 25%, Japan’s by 14%, and there were no formal repercussions for either country. The Kyoto Protocol also contains three emissions reduction institutions that are especially problematic because they allow developed countries to take advantage of developing countries, and to reach emissions targets without existentially reducing their own emissions. With the Emissions Trading institution, parties to the Kyoto Protocol can earn “climate credits” if they reduce their emissions by more than the required amount, and sell them to other countries (United Nations:web). This way, if one country is extremely wealthy, it can buy its emissions reductions from other countries without actually having to reduce its own. The Clean Development Mechanism allows parties to “implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries,” and in turn, earn credits

towards its own reduction requirements (United Nations:web). The Joint Implementation institution is similar to the Clean Development Mechanism, but the country in which the project takes place collaborates, and receives the benefits of jobs and economic growth (United Nations:web). What is common to all three institutions is that they allow those with wealth to sidestep the reality of actually reducing emissions, even in the face of devastating risks to countries like the Maldives. The results of the Kyoto Protocol show the ability of wealthy countries to shape law and policy to their own benefit. This is exemplified by the fact that wealthy countries can ‘reduce their emissions,’ without actually reducing their emissions, by using the three mechanisms described above. As practical proof, “the U.K.’s 18 percent emission decrease between 1990 and 2008 masked an approximately 20 percent increase when consumption-based emissions are taken into account” (Rosen 2015:42). But how is it that inadequate targets, pseudo emissions-reduction mechanisms, and no repercussive mechanisms, come to be adopted by a seemingly benevolent organization (the UNFCCC)? The answer here lies in the strategic use of “scientific and social rationality” in international political discourse (Beck 1992:29). Beck argues that modernity facilitated the rise of scientific rationality, in which hard evidence and causal explanations are the dominant legitimating epistemology. However, in risk society, those with political power can use strategic rationality to manipulate scientific rationality, via social rationality (Beck 1992:33). One way that this can be done is with the help of utilitarian arguments. For example, in the case of the Kyoto Protocol, even though the IPCC recommended greater emission reduction targets than were adopted, political actors may have argued that the actual social implications of the recommended targets would result in economic problems for many more people than climate change would harm. Politicians might also point to the price increases of basic consumer goods if greater targets are adopted; or to the economic implications of a drowning fossil fuel market. In effect, these arguments allow progress and profit, the main goals of capitalism and modernization, to persist.

11 In terms of participative injustice, it is high- (developed, industrialized nations) victims of the ly unlikely that the Maldives would have appreciindustrial advances of late-modernity, albeit to a ated the results of the Kyoto Protocol because they lesser extent than developing countries. Beck uses allow developed countries to take advantage of the analogy of a boomerang to describe the ways developing countries, and perpetuate the industrial in which scientific and technological advances growth mindset that produced climate change in can actually come back to harm those who inithe first place. For example, President Mohamtially benefit from them (1992:37). For example, med Nasheed of Maldives’ goal is “to become by using new industrial farming techniques such carbon neutral within a decade,” which requires as intensive pesticide and herbicide application, major economic reconstruction (Country Watch developed countries harm their own ecological 2015:186). Mr. Nasheed hopes that by using the biodiversity, rendering native animal species steady state economics approach, his country will endangered and/or extinct. In terms of climate set an example for other nations (CountryWatch change, developed countries are beginning to real2015:186). This exemplifies the Maldives’ desize that the consequences are astronomical enough peration to be taken seriously in the international to affect most every country in the near future. But arena. The Maldives had already begun advocating by reflecting on the causes of sea level rise, parties for change in 1989, and their chance to formally can begin to counter it via developing technology achieve it by compelling other nations to reduce that allows overall progress, while emitting less of their emissions failed. The international commuthe emissions that cause it. This is the process that nity did not account for the Maldives’ interests, Beck terms, reflexive modernization: a considerand the risks and harms of climate change conation of how to continue progress, while reducing tinue against their best wishes (CountryWatch detrimental risks. 2015:184). The existence of the UNFCCC exhibits The Maldives is a victim of environmenreflexivity in the sense that it acknowledges the tal injustice because they are dealing with a disproblems that are already occurring as a result proportionate amount of the burdens of climate of industrialization, and seeks to minimize the change, which they have not been able to stop berisks that will inevitably affect many countries via cause they lack power, and their goals are contrary climate change. 2015 is an important year for the to those with power. This is exemplified by the reUNFCC and climate change both, because it is the sults of the Kyoto Protocol and the Maldives long year of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in time struggle to be taken seriously in the internaParis, France, a meeting of 195 countries trying to tional arena. These problems can be linked to the reach an agreement on how the world should proinstitutions of world risk society, in which strategic ceed in managing climate change. Although prorationality can be used to minimize risk in order gression and capitalism are not likely to go away to allow progress and profit. Unfortunately, global any time soon, the boomerang effect may mobilize capitalism and the rise of neo-liberalism prescertain developed countries that are already being ent an enormously challenging situation for the negatively affected by climate change, and those Maldives in overcoming environmental injustice; that face risks of being greatly affected in the near not only do they need to fight countries, but an future. Reflexive modernity brings prospects for ideology that has become a dominant force in the business and industry to develop green technology international political economy (Colás 2003:196). in order for UNFCCC parties to move forward However, there are two aspects of risk society and maintain current ways of life, while still reducthat provide glimmers of hope for the sufferers of ing emissions. environmental injustice via climate change: “the It may still be too early to tell whether or boomerang effect” and “reflexive modernization” not the agreements made in Paris this December (Beck 1992:37; Lash and Wynne 1992:2). will be effective, but the ambitious goal of two deThe boomerang effect, which is an asgrees Celsius below 1990 emission levels is a step pect of Beck’s risk society is important in that it forward from the Kyoto Protocol, and the agreerenders the benefitting parties of modernization ment to meet every five years for reassessment

12 will provide more accountability than previously existed. What is certain, however, is that up and coming generations will need to adamantly fight the climate change beast if they hope to promote environmental justice.

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capability, and vulnerability to climate change: A comprehensive indicator-based assessment.” Global Environmental Change 20:597-611. (Retrieved from ScienceDirect November 24, 2015). Helm, Dieter. 2008. “Climate-change policy: why has so little been achieved?” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24(2):211-238. (Retrieved from Oxford Journals November 16, 2015; Hirsch, Eric. 2015. “‘It won’t be any good to have democracy if we don’t have a country’: Climate change and politics of synecdoche in the Maldives.” Global Environmental Change 35:190-198. (Retrieved from Elsevier October 10, 2015; doi:http://dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.008). IPCC. 2014. Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds., Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Mayer. Geneva, Switzerland:IPCC. Retrieved October 20, 2015 (http://www. SYR_AR5_FINAL_full.pdf). Khan, Tariq Masood Ali, Dewan Abdul Quadir, T.S. Murty, Anwarul Kabir, Fahmida Aktar, and Majajul Alam Sarker. 2002. “Relative Sea Level Change in Maldives and Vulnerability of Land due to Coastal Inundation.” Marine Geodesy 25:133-143. (Retrieved from EBSCOhost November November 1, 2015). Kramer, Ronald C. “Carbon in the atmosphere and power in America.” Journal of Crime and Justice 36(2):153-170. (Retrieved through University of the Fraser Valley November 16, 2015; doi: 10.1080/0735648X.2012.752252). Lynch, Michael J., Michael A. Long, Kimberly Barett, and Paul B. Stretesky. 2013. “Is it a Crime to Produce Ecological Disorganization?” British Journal of Criminology, 53: 997-1016. (Retrieved from EBSCOhost November 22, 2015, doi:10.1093/bjc/azt051.)

13 Mayer, Benoît. 2013. “Climate Change and International Law in the Grim Days.” The European Journal of International Law 24(3):947970. (Retrieved from doi:10.1093/ejil/ cht054 November 2, 2015). Parks, Bradley C., and J. Timmons Roberts. 2006. “Globalization, Vulnerability to Climate Change, and Perceived Injustice.” Society and Natural Resources 19:337-355. Rosen, Amanda M. 2015. “The Wrong Solution at the Right Time: The Failure of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.” Politics & Policy 43(1): 30-58. Retrieved October 23, 2015(doi: 10.1111/polp.12105). Sovacool, Benjamin K. 2012. “Expert Views of Climate Change Adaptation in the Maldives.” Climatic Change 114: 295-300. (Retrieved from October 11, 2015 from Springer Science+Business Media B.V., doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0392-2). Tretault, Mary Ann, Robert A. Denemark, Kenneth P. Thomas, and Kurt Burch (Eds.). 2003. Rethinking Global Political Equality. Routledge. Retrieved November 26, 2015 (, access through UFV Library. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “Kyoto Protocol>>Mechanisms.” Retrieved November 5, 2015 ( Wei, Ting, Shili Yang, John C. Moore, Peijun Shi, Xuefeng Cui, Qingyun Duan, Bing Xu, Yongjiu Dai, Wenping Yuan, Xin Wei, Zhipeng Yang, Tijian Wen, Fei Teng, Yun Gao, Jieming Chou, Xiaodong Yan, Zhigang Wei, Yan Guo, Yundi Jiang, Xuejie Gao, Kaicun Wang, Xiaogu Zheng, Fumin Ren, Shihua Lv, Yongqiang Yu, Bin Liu, Yong Luo, Weijing Li, Duoying Ji, Jinming Feng, Qizhong Wu, Huaqiong Cheng, Jiankun He, Congbin Fu, Duzheng Ye, Guanhua Xu and Wenjie Dong. 2012. “Developed and Developing World Responsibility for Historical Climate Change and CO2 Mitigation.” National Academy of

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Bad Gas: The Rapid Ascension of British Columbia’s Shale Gas Industry from a Political Ecological Perspective Tyler Blackman Geography

Introduction British Columbia (BC) has a long history of resource development that has profoundly shaped the economic, social, and political trajectories of the province. While large scale and spatially extensive resource development may be seen as ultimately slowing down in BC, it has not entirely disappeared. With the advent of new extractive technologies, in particular horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, BC has witnessed a burgeoning shale gas industry. This industry is centered around four major shale gas basins or large reserves that are now conceivably useful for production with the continued and rapid development of the aforementioned technologies. These four basins are known as the Horn River Basin, the Liard Basin, the Cordova Embayment, and the Montney Play Trend. Geographically, all four basins are located in the Northeastern part of the province. Populations in the region are small and have traditionally relied on extractive industries in the past (Gravie and Shaw 2015). Shale gas development has come with the promise of jobs and stimulation to the BC economy for years to come. The newly created BC Ministry of Natural Gas Development (BCNGD) asserts that BC shale gas will be competitive going into the future and that more investment and exploration are needed (Adams 2014). This understanding of BC shale gas is tied to a broader imperative in which proponents of these types of natural gas products frame them as bridge fuels that contribute to a transitional low carbon future (Rogers 2011; Stephenson and Shaw 2013).

contributing to the rapid ascension of a “powerful, complex, and dynamic industry with many environmental and social impacts” (Gravie and Shaw 2015, 2). Owing to significant and underrepresented social and political dimensions of BC shale gas, this paper will attempt to provide a more nuanced understanding of (1) how the industry propagated under particular political economic conditions and (2) what risks are being placed on the communities in the region. The structure of this paper is as follows. Firstly, a brief explanation of the apolitical understandings of BC’s shale gas industry will be demonstrated. Secondly, a broad political ecological approach, analysis, and discussion will be taken up on BC’s shale gas industry using recent literature to showcase the underrepresented issues of resource access, environmental concerns, and impacted local communities. This will demonstrate that a political ecological approach provides a more robust explanation of BC’s shale gas development, compared to more apolitical views. Lastly a conclusion will follow summarizing the disparities between the apolitical and political ecological approaches to BC’s shale gas boom. Apolitical Machinations of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Boom

To demonstrate the apolitical machinations of BC’s shale gas this section will focus on two narratives. The first is that in a global context, shale gas is viewed as an exceptionally useful, abundant and important transition fuel to a low carbon future. The second is that in BC shale gas development is part of BC’s future and is a necessary extractive industry without contestation to its What this paper contends is that the domiproposed value to the BC economy and the provnant apolitical explanations and proposed value of ince’s diverse constituents. These two narratives shale gas have worked into BC’s shale gas industry, have disavowed themselves from more critical and

15 robust explanations of natural resource extraction. Shale gas is a new contributor in the petroleum market. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) affirms that new technologies to develop shale gas are cost-effective, economically viable, and safe (CAPP 2015). Shale gas has been frequently referred to as a ‘game changer’, pushing North America into an era of energy independence (Hughes 2011; Stephenson and Shaw 2013). Besides North America, significant shale gas investment is occurring in Europe (Rogers 2011) and Australia (Lee 2014). There is “a new found optimism surrounding unconventional gas in general” (Rogers 2011, 118), where shale gas has distinctly become part of more broad alternative energy development. Supporters of shale gas claim it is a ‘bridge fuel’ that contributes to an indisputable transition away from higher carbon producing fuels such as coal (Rogers 2011; Stephenson and Shaw 2013). One argument suggests that Canada needs to bring its reserves to market to reduce energy deficits or ‘energy poverty’ in developing countries (Green 2014). These are just a few examples of how shale gas is presented. The global optimism and preference for shale gas development has infiltrated BC and its own resource development planning. As of November 16th 2015 there are 21 LNG Project Proposals (BCNGDa 2015). These are just some of the larger projects identified, not all of the various developments occurring. The ministry describes BC’s natural gas industry as “a vibrant, diverse natural gas sector [that] will create more opportunities for B.C – jobs, investment, and opportunity – and will support a clean, safe and secure energy future for all British Columbians” (BCNGDb 2015). This description is very similar to the CAPP statement from earlier and it adopts the notion of energy independence. Christy Clark, the Premier of BC, wrote “BC was built on its natural resources and our resources continue to fuel our economy” in the BC Natural Gas Strategy (Ministry of Energy and Mines 2012, 1). A factsheet for landowners who will be affected by shale gas projects provides an explanation as to why the province needs to develop natural gas and oil. It states that “...natural gas resources are linked to almost everything we use and do everyday...” and that “developing oil and gas in our own province

ensures that British Columbians can have confidence in a secure, reliable supply of energy for years to come” (BCNGD 2015c). All these statements coming from primary government decision makers embody the idea that BC shale gas is not only a valuable resource extractive industry but a necessary one. The information available supports not only the broad apolitical narrative of the value of shale gas, but also builds a regional understanding that is completely obtuse to the significant criticisms that have been levied against BC shale gas. More concerning is that these apolitical machinations of BC shale gas come from legitimized power through the voices of experts and state officials. The provincial government is couching BC’s LNG future as a boon to all when in reality it is the charting of new “contemporary treasure maps” (Bridge, 2001) for the profiteering of natural resources where there will always be winners and losers. In order to better understand BC’s shale gas boom a political ecological approach is warranted, that considers and understands its political and social outcomes (Willow and Wylie 2014). In order to understand BC’s shale gas industry in a more robust way the first step is to ask what is missing from apolitical views. Is shale gas actually as economically viable as it sounds? Who does and does not have access to the resource? Are issues of regulation and environmental degradation occurring and how are local communities being affected? These kinds of questions are underrepresented in the apolitical views that promote BC shale gas, and have already been taken up by some scholars. By drawing upon literature, it can be argued that BC’s shale gas boom has significant economic risks for the whole of the province and for the local communities proximate to operations. Political Economic Challenges, BC Shale Gas in a Global Market As discussed earlier there is significant optimism that shale gas will be a resource for the future. Northeastern BC’s shale gas has been labeled as a ‘world class resource’ having some of the most productive outputs in North America (Adams 2014). However, this world class resource is situated in a much larger political economic setting where sheer abundance does not necessar-

16 ily indicate a successful industry. There are several political economic challenges that make the abundance of this world class resource precarious. Some analysts such as David Hughes have suggested that the economic competitiveness of shale gas is entirely over-blown. This is especially true in the United States, where shale gas is rapidly becoming an unprofitable industry due to poor estimation of how long reserves would last (Hughes 2013). New and less productive wells are constantly having to be drilled to try and maintain productivity of declining outputs creating a positive degradation feedback loop on the landscape (Hughes 2013). While this example points to the US, it demonstrates that there is significant instability and uncertainty in the long-term economic viability of shale gas. How likely is it that a BC industry can reproduce better results with the same resource? Differences between BC and the US shale gas development implementation have yet to be studied in detail. BC shale gas is hosting incredible economic risk as it will be driven by outside markets leading to external market instability (Carroll, et al 2011). Oil and gas may be tied to the everyday, but BC’s product is not for domestic supply. Shale gas is being discovered all over the globe and new production elsewhere will drive prices down (Carroll et al 2011). Lee questions the provincial governments strategy asking “why would Japan or China lock in BC supplies for three decades, when prices may drop, or new developments may change the energy outlook” (Lee 2014, 81). How can BC guarantee that foreign markets are going to continue to purchase BC shale gas in the long term? If China’s large yet to be developed shale gas reserves (Rogers 2011) were to come online in the near future BC shale gas would lose its major market. BC shale gas is hardly about energy independence when considering where it will be sold. Non-local pricing is a high risk for BC shale gas that cannot be guaranteed by the provincial government, despite the overwhelming optimism. Environmental issues and affected local communities will provide a continued governance and socio-political challenges going forward. BC’s shale gas industry has been brought into action so quickly, it may have never earned the social license to operate from the beginning.

Winners, Losers, and the Struggle Against BC Shale Gas Development In order to discuss who might benefit and who might lose out in BC’s shale gas boom this paper will consider the exclusionary power of property as well as the landscape of environmental risks and resistance to shale gas projects. This discussion will be three-fold, first focusing on more broadly what challenges can be identified around property and access. Secondly what environmental issues are associated with rapid industry growth. Thirdly, much of the current literature has been focused on how First Nations communities have been the bleeding edge of resistance to shale gas projects. First Nations communities serve as an excellent example of how power relations are playing out in shale gas development projects. Property and the PNG Tenure Process Property is key and cannot be excluded from emerging resource geographies. This is because property is a bundle of relations produced by complex networks of power, identities, and information (Blomley 2014). Access to shale gas rights in BC are sold by the province through a bidding process. These rights are subsurface rights to extract the gas, not surface access rights which remain in the hands of land owners above ground. Subsurface rights are sold and regulated through the petroleum and natural gas (PNG) tenure process found in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act. The process is complex and comprised of multiple stages. It could be argued that the PNG tenure process is both ambiguous and requires significant knowledge for landowners or people affected by shale gas development to interpret. Figure 1 demonstrates a sample of the provincial governments PNG tenure process with landowner notification. Ambiguities can be found concentrated once tenure is issued. How will industry negotiate with land owners? The process states that industry may meet with land owners proximate to operations, does this mean they are not obligated to do so? What does the opportunity to express concerns look like and what outcomes or objectives are built into the process? The document associated with Figure 1 also outlines that industry must determine fair compensation for surface areas, facilities and equipment locations, and mutually agreed

upon conditions on activities (BCNGD 2015). Again this process is not entirely clear. What is fair compensation? How can landowners sufficiently negotiate with larger and financially flush oil and gas extractive firms? More substantial research would be needed to answer these types of questions. Especially research that would seek landowners understanding of the process and recent outcomes. Some research already exists to suggest more generally that communities have started to voice significant concerns over shale gas operations. Environmental Risks and Industry Growth The Fraser Basin Council (FBC), a charitable non-for profit organization, conducted surveys and online submissions to gather opinions and concerns from residents in northeastern BC regarding the shale gas development. Overwhelmingly the respondents were concerned with health issues and that rapid social and cultural changes that would put existing strain on their communities’ services (FBC 2012). The survey also indicated that generally respondents thought there were already adverse health effects coming from the increase in oil and gas operations such as asthma increases in their community (FBC 2012). Overall the Fraser Basin Council concluded that respondents were frustrated and more collaboration between health authorities, regulators, and industry with communities is needed. Communities concerns are not unjustified given the increasingly well documented environmental concerns of shale gas. Water contamination from drilling operations, air emissions released from production, explosions from methane build up, and fracking earthquakes are some of the major concerns that are becoming more widely discussed in both Canada and the US. (Rivard et al 2014; Willow and Wylie 2014). Watersheds in BC’s remote north are facing problems as BC shale gas draws immense amounts of groundwater in annual quantities double than that of the provinces capital city (Carroll et al 2011). Once the water is withdrawn and used for the drilling and hydraulic fracturing process it becomes contaminated (Rivard et al 2014) and many instances have already been reported where contaminated water is improperly stored and has entered back into watersheds (Gravie et al 2014).

17 In the US, research has identified that regulation has been unable to keep up with the pace of the shale gas industry allowing for under-monitored expansion of production. The situation in BC is arguably the same. From 2005 to 2010 a tenure purchasing frenzy occurred and now the province is seeing significantly less tenure acquisitions as the majority of valuable subsurface rights have been acquired (Gavie et all 2012). Now the province expects production to substantially increase as the industry takes off (Adams 2014). BC’s shale gas industry has been both approved and designed in such a short time period. Shale gas reserves are a crown owned resource which means the province has a duty to make sure this resource benefits its citizens. Currently it is difficult to wholeheartedly agree that the economic development shale gas provides outweighs the environmental risks. Major foreign firms and their subsidiaries like China National Offshore Oil Corporation, PetroChina, Korea Gas Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Petronas have been top purchases of BC’s shale gas rights (Adams 2014). How does this benefit the citizens of BC? They do not have access to the shale gas and its monetary benefits once it is sold to overseas investors in exchange for a few jobs and significant environmental risks. The number of jobs that are supposedly going to come out of BC’s LNG projects are also contested. Many of the 100,000 jobs proposed are extremely temporary and it is estimated only around 23,800 would actually be permanent once projects are completed (MacLeod 2015). Several scholars have argued that the provincial government and the Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) need to act quickly before production completely increases to better assess how economically viable BC’s shale gas is and how widespread environmental risks are (Carroll, et al 2011; Gravie et al 2015). So far the staunchest resistance to shale gas projects have been First Nations groups who are struggling to combat the growth of industry in their traditional territory. First Nations and Resistance to Shale Gas Projects It would be an understatement to say First Nations communities are broadly opposed to petroleum projects in BC. Growing collaboration to try and stop or slow down LNG projects has been occurring between First Nations upstream and

18 downstream of LNG projects (Stephenson and Shaw 2013). First Nations continue to use a variety of political strategies. For example, the Yinka Dene Alliance have strongly opposed the Northern Gateway Pipeline and directly approached Enbridge shareholders to dissuade them from supporting the project (McCreary and Milligan 2013). The Sacred Trust Initiative and Tseil-Waututh Nation have carried out their own environmental assessments and taken legal action against Kinder Morgan and the National Energy Board over the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline (Sacred Trust 2015). These are just two important examples of First Nations opposing petroleum development. First Nations directly affected by shale gas development are also using strategies to try and moderate development. This has included internal planning and policy creation, external mobilization gathering public support across the country via petitions, and legal challenges over environmental issues (Graive and Shaw 2015). Historically, if First Nations have been seen as obstacles to resource development they have been excluded and further marginalized (Gunton 2014). BC shale gas development is arguably following this pattern. All of the shale gas projects in BC lie within the Treaty 8 territory. This should make Treaty 8 and consultation with First Nations extremely important. Treaty 8 assures First Nations that “they would be as free to hunt and fish after the treaty as they would be if they never entered into it” (Liard, Ross, McKenna 1899). However, First Nations have experienced significant difficulty with shale gas projects despite being under a completed treaty. Much of the conflict between First Nations, industry, and the provincial government has been born out of the consultation process. First Nations are supposed to be consulted around shale gas projects to effectively ensure their rights are recognized. However, the First Nations consultation process is flawed as it places extra bureaucratic burden on small and already marginalized communities (Gravie and Shaw 2014; Gravie and Shaw 2015). Environmental assessments are only being undertaken on a site by site basis, not as a cumulative environmental assessment (Gravie and Shaw 2015). This means that First Nation communities with limited resources must mobilize efforts to review industries effects on their territory. The standard review and response period

First Nations is 10 days, which is hardly enough time to really investigate if a project has an impact on their traditional territory let alone articulate a strong response with sufficient evidence (Gravie and Shaw 2014). Furthermore, First Nations are being flooded with so many different projects at once they cannot possibly review all of them with limited resources and time (Gravie and Shaw 2015). First Nations communities are getting the proverbial ‘shaft’ as shale gas projects continue to drill and start product without really satisfying First Nations concerns and their rights under Treaty 8. Because of issues like inadequate consultation BC’s shale gas industry risks future challenges and opposition by not earning the social license to operate (Carroll,et all 2011; Gravie and Shaw 2015; Stephenson and Shaw 2013). Some individual First Nations expressed that they understand shale gas development will come, but they wish it was on their terms and that their communities had meaningful input (Gravie and Shaw 2015). It has been well over 100 years since Treaty 8 was signed First Nations communities are still struggling to protect their traditional territory. This paper cannot do justice to covering the complexity of First Nation community’s opposition and collaboration to resist LNG projects in BC. Rising tides of First Nations attempting to protect their traditional identity through many different political strategies and collaborative efforts may be the strongest form of resistance against shale gas development to date. Conclusion: BC Shale Gas, a Modern Narrative or Repeat Offender? In 2004 it was written that shale gas as a new growing global commodity has “geographical ambition” (Bridge 2004, 395). The global shale gas narrative being spread by its proponents has extended the idea that somehow shale gas is a clean energy with abundant supplies. It would seem the geographical ambition of shale gas has infiltrated BC infecting the province with a frenzy of questionable development. The apolitical machinations of BC’s shale gas try to convince citizens that shale gas is a necessary industry that will somehow support the economy for years to come. To some it sounds great. To others it is the same old story of resource boom and bust. Arguably BC is creating new “ghost-acreages” (Bridge 2001, 2154)

19 of production where shale gas is overlaid onto a barren northeastern BC that seems vast, empty, and homogenous to those not inhabiting its landscape. This is the geographical ambition of BC’s shale gas, its prime location ripe for industry to move in quickly and take over without obstacles that can be overcome. BC’s shale gas reserves are attractive as they lay in an economically declining region with the potential for transshipment corridors to be built on the nearby coast. But northeastern BC is neither homogenous or empty and has a rich history of settlement, resource extraction, and associated politics. The apolitical explanations of the BC’s superb shale gas are insufficient in understanding the more complex politics of the region and act as a justification of resource development. This paper argued that BC’s shale gas is situated in a wider political economic realm where there is no guarantee the industry will be successful in the long-term. Examples of similar resource economies in the US as well as the potential for new reserves to open up in other regions demonstrated how vulnerable BC’s strategy is. The industry has been rapidly deployed with an ambiguous and contested tenure process. Many of the most valuable shale gas reserves have been sold off to foreign investors. It remains unclear if these foreign firms will even fully develop the resources or how quickly they will extract them. The rapid ascension of BC’s shale gas has left significant risks not just for the macroeconomic future of the province, but on local communities in the midst of this massive industry growth. This paper articulated that environmental risks are diverse and potentially already problematic as exploration and production ramp up. Already marginalized resource dependent communities have expressed their concerns over health issues, social strain on community services, and the lack of collaboration and consultation. First Nations in particular have faced insurmountable odds trying to protect their traditional territory from the rapid pace of the shale gas industry. The consultation process has been arguably ineffective and insufficient. BC’s shale gas industry has likely failed to earn the social license to operate. With increasing environmental risks being placed on already marginal communities it is possible that northeastern BC will become an expansive sacrifice zone.

It is already clear that communities in the midst of shale gas are frustrated and it could build the potential for widespread collaboration and protest against the industry and the provincial government. BC shale gas has been aptly dubbed “death by a thousand-cuts” (Gravie and Shaw 2015) as more wells are established without cumulative impact assessments. These diverse social, political, and environmental factors are unequivocally vacant from the apolitical seeds that industry, experts, and the provincial government have planted for BC’s shale gas. Pioneering work has already been undertaken to try and redress these apolitical views and movements around shale gas in different locations. More research is likely still to be taken up in the specific context of BC. Political ecology serves well as a lens through which to view BC’s shale gas boom. A gambit of political ecological issues and themes can be raised: issues of access, property, environmental degradation, environmental identities, budding social movements, and the continued marginalization and sacrifice of northern environments. Is the case of shale gas in BC a modern resource issue with contemporary ambiguities or is it simply a repeat of the past, placing significant risks on marginal communities without proper consideration of both historical and present socio-political contexts? Shale gas appears as modern resource in a less than modern resource paradigm as BC seems poised to repeat the staples trap once again with shale gas. Despite this gloomy portrayal there is hope. A lot has happened in BC since the proliferation of resource towns and boom and bust cycles. New forms of political action coming from First Nations and northern communities may yet surprise BC’s shale gas industry. It remains to be seen what new opposition, resistance, and also potential growth will come out of BC’s shale gas boom. Perhaps there is still a chance to reconcile this resource into a more equitable form of development where these marginal communities can benefit in long-term gains instead of long-term sacrifices.

20 Figures

Figure 1: BC PNG tenure process for landowners (BCNGDc 2015).



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Laird, David, J.H. Ross, and J.H.J. McKenna. 1899. Report of Commissioners for Treaty No. 8. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. 00028853#chp2. Lee, Marc. 2014. “LNG: BC’s Quest for a New Staple Industry.” in The Staples Theory @ 50:Reflections on the Lasting Significance of Mel Watkins’ “A Staple Theory of Economic Growth” eds. Jim Stanford. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. https://www. staple-theory-50. MacLeod, Andrew. 2014. “A Closer, Deflating Look at BC’s Natural Gas Jobs Claim.” The Tyee, 14 January 2015, News/2015/01/14/BC-Natural-Gas-JobsClaim/. Accessed on 30 November 2015. McCreary, T. A., and R. A. Milligan. 2014. “Pipelines, Permits, and Protests: Carrier Sekani Encounters with the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.” Cultural Geographies 21 (1): 115–29. doi:10.1177/1474474013482807. Ministry of Energy and Mines. 2012. British Columbia Natural Gas Strategy. http://www. strategy.pdf. Rogers, H. 2011. “Shale Gas-the Unfolding Story.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 27 (1): 117–43. doi:10.1093/oxrep/grr004. Rivard, Christine, Denis Lavoie, René Lefebvre, Stephan Séjourné, Charles Lamontagne, and Mathieu Duchesne. 2014. “An Overview of Canadian Shale Gas Production and Environmental Concerns.” International Journal of Coal Geology 126. Elsevier B.V.: 64–76. doi:10.1016/j.coal.2013.12.004. Sacred Trust. 2015. Trans Mountain Assessment Report. trans-mountain-assessment-report/. Stephenson, Eleanor, and Karena Shaw. 2013. “A Dilemma of Abundance: Governance Challenges of Reconciling Shale Gas Development and Climate Change Mitigation.” Sustainability 5 (5): 2210- 2232. doi:10.3390/su5052210. Thomas, Gunton. 2014. “Staple Theory and the New Staple Boom” in The Staples Theory @ 50:Reflections on the Lasting Significance of Mel Watkins’ “A Staple Theory of Economic Growth” eds. Jim Stanford. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. https://www. staple-theory-50.

22 Willow, A, and S Wylie. 2014. “Politics, Ecology, and the New Anthropology of Energy: Exploring the Emerging Frontiers of Hydraulic Fracking.” Journal of Political Ecology, 222–36. volume_21/WillowandWylie.pdf.


The California Draught: A Case Study Lucy Davis Criminal Justice


Department of Water Resources, 2012).

The drought in California has become a serious problem not only for the state, but for the nation as well. This year marks the fourth consecutive year that California has had extreme drought conditions. This in turn has affected infrastructure, agriculture as well as their economy. This case study will draw upon research to determine the overall threat of the drought as well as mitigation tasks being employed.

Currently, the state of California is in its fourth year of a consecutive drought (U.S. Geological Survey, 2015). According to this survey, the warmest water on record occurred during 2015 and 2015, and 2014 was the third driest year ever recorded (U.S. Geological Survey, 2015). Notably, on April 1, 2015, the California Department of Water Resources rated the statewide water content of the Sierra Snowpack at a mere five percent, the lowest on record since prior to 1950 (U.S. Geological Survey, 2015). The runoff from the Sierra Snowpack provides up to one-third of the states, cities, and farms with water, and predicting a drought is a difficult task.

History of California Droughts According to the California Department of Water Resources (2012), there are numerous ways to define a drought, including meteorological, hydrological, and qualitative droughts. Generally, the U.S. Geological Survey (2015) defines a drought as “a period of drier-than-normal conditions that result in water-related problems” (para. 2). According to the California Department of Water Resources (2012), droughts have played a large role in shaping the history of California with multi-year droughts occurring since 1900. Three large-scale droughts of the twentieth century are of great importance regarding water supply, and they occurred from 1928-1935, 1976-1977, and 1987-1992. The first drought, from 1928-1935, served as a way to establish hydrologic criterion that was widely used to design storage capacity (California Department of Water Resources, 2012). Between 1976 and 1977, runoff levels hit an all-time low. Ill prepared water agencies scrambled, and 47 out of all 58 counties called drought-related emergencies (California Department of Water Resources, 2012). The longest drought occurred from 19871992, and forced twenty-three counties across California to issue a state of emergency (California

According to the California Department for Water Resources (2012), approximately 75 percent of California’s precipitation falls between November and March with a few major storms deciding if the year will be wet or dry. However, the conditions of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is the only way scientists can approximately estimate the potential precipitation levels in California (California Department for Water Resources, 2012). With the limited ability to predict when a drought will occur, or its severity, it makes it difficult to predict what impacts the threat will have in and outside the state. Impact of California Droughts The drought in California has had a large impact on the state of California. For example, the drought has affected California’s infrastructure safety, agriculture, and economy. This section of the paper will discuss the threat of the drought on these three topics.

24 Infrastructure California’s droughts have great consequences for the state. One significant way is in regards to infrastructure, according to a recent study done by NASA (2015). To combat the effects of the drought, citizens of California are constantly pumping groundwater to make up for the shortage. Unfortunately, so much water has been withdrawn the land in San Joaquin Valley has sunk, causing subsidence. Although this is a common practice in California because of their history with drought conditions, it has become increasingly more problematic over time. NASA (2015) revealed that by pumping the groundwater at such a rapid rate and for this long has led to record-breaking low groundwater levels, causing the land to sink faster than ever. Due to the increased rates of subsidence, there is a higher chance of damage to infrastructure within the state including bridges, aqueducts, and roads used to control floods (NASA, 2015). This is problematic because infrastructures damages are expensive and can lead to transportation issues during emergencies. Forest fires These dry conditions also increase the risk of severe forest fires, which can result from dry weather or hot weather with exceeding wind speeds. These weather conditions force the land’s vegetation to become dry and wildfires can spark and grow at exceptionally fast rates. California has a long history of drought-related wildfires, the sediment from which flows through streams and contaminates water supplies (U.S. Geological Survey, 2015). Agriculture In 2000, California was harvesting 7.9 million acres of land, but in 2014, this number dropped to only 6.9 million acres, making it the lowest level harvested in over 15 years (Cooley, Donnelly, Phurisamban, & Subramanian, 2015). Additionally, from 2000 to 2011 there was a 13 percent decrease in acreage dedicated to agriculture (Cooley et al., 2015). The most severely impacted industries include cotton, alfalfa, and sugar, the latter of which lost 74 percent (Cooley et al., 2015). An additional loss of 24 percent occurred between 2011 and 2014 (Cooley et al., 2015). In

contrast, acreage and revenues from fruit and nut industries are reporting higher numbers than before the drought (Cooley et al., 2015). Research has shown this increase is a result of plantings in previous years prior to the drought because these trees and vines take years to grow a successful harvest (Cooley et al., 2015). Food costs California has a large agricultural industry, and invested 90 percent of their overall production in items such as broccoli, grapes, pistachios, and almonds (Cooley et al., 2015). Considering this, it has been raised as a concern how the drought could potentially impact food prices. Interestingly, research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) (2015b) found no correlation between the changes in food prices and drought conditions. Economy According to scientists at the University of California Davis (2014), the economy, especially in regards to agriculture, is suffering due to the severity and continuity of the drought. According to their research, the total cost of the drought in 2014 was $2.2 billion. Additionally, there was a loss of seventeen thousand jobs in the agricultural field. The Central Valley had the worst repercussions from the drought and lost approximately $810 million (University of California Davis, 2015). Other research from 2015 shows additional economic losses, totalling $902 million and an estimated $940 million if it continues to 2017 (Howitt, MacEwan, MedellĂ­n-Azuara, Lund, & Sumner, 2015). Howitt et al. (2015) also estimate a total loss of $250 million from dairy products and $100 million from other livestock. They state that the statewide impact loss is a total of $2.74 billion when counting in pumping costs and other effects related to the industry of agriculture, which is over $50 million more than 2014 (Howitt et al., 2015). Additionally, there were 21,000 job cuts in 2015 (Howitt et al., 2015). Hydroelectricity According to Gleick (2015), the generation of hydroelectricity has been severely impacted by the drought in California over the past four years.

When water is scarce in rivers or reservoirs, less hydroelectricity is generated and from October 2011 to September 2014, hydroelectricity decreased 6 percent to an all-time low of 12 percent (Gleick, 2015). The lack of hydroelectricity generation causes the state to increase the amount of natural gas used (Gleick, 2015). Unfortunately, this drives up the cost of electricity, with a total increased cost of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars from 2012 to 2014 (Gleick, 2015). There are also environmental damages associated with the reduction in hydropower generation. Gleick (2015) suggests that due to the drought and lack of hydroelectricity generation there is an increase in combustion of natural gases and air pollutants associated with climate change. However, with the length and severity of the drought, the state of California has been brainstorming ways to mitigate costs and damages. California Droughts: Threat Mitigation Water markets With the extremity of the drought having increased over a four-year span, the state of California has a number of ways to mitigate the threat. According to Cooley et al (2015), water analysts have suggested using expanded water markets and water transfers to improve some effects of the drought and increase water allocation. In reaction to the extended drought, there have been efforts made to improve the water-transfer process. For example, in May of 2013 the California Governor Jerry Brown established an order to integrate approvals for water transfers (Cooley et al., 2015). By using water transfers, it allows for another source of revenue for the agricultural sector thus minimizing the loss from crop revenue (Cooley et al., 2015). Specifically, of $210 million in water transfers, approximately 68% of this occurred in the agricultural sector from lower to higher valued crops leading to a decrease in total agriculture revenue loss (Cooley et al., 2015). Additionally, although the agricultural sector paid approximately $640 thousand to buy from other sources, they gained almost $66 million by selling to other users (Cooley et al., 2015). Desalination According to the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Food and Agricul-

25 ture (2009), the use of desalination is a potential way to reduce the impact of the drought. Desalination is a process that removes the salt from groundwater and seawater through reverse osmosis to use in a more beneficial manner. The Department of Water Resources is currently funding desalination projects for long-term benefits and they have outlined a number of ways to improve the use of groundwater management, which is crucial to municipal drinking water, agriculture, and other individual users. The strategies in regards to State Agency Water Conservation outlined by the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Food and Agriculture (2009) are the following. They suggest that there should be stronger and more effective ground water management. They also suggest that a statewide ground water database should be established to help understand the water supply. Howitt, MacEwan, Medellín-Azuara, Lund, and Sumner (2015) agree that the lack of a database to keep track of the groundwater is problematic. The Department of Water Resources and Department of Food and Agriculture (2009) also suggest that the Department of Water Resources lab re-establish to test pump efficiency to help test land owners pump efficiency (Department of Water Resources and Department of Food and Agriculture, 2009). Finally, the Department of Water Resources and Department of Food and Agriculture (2009) suggest that the government provide finances on well drilling that aid in stronger ground water management. However, it is important for policy makers such as the Department of Water Resources to take note of recent findings such as those previously mentioned by NASA (2015) that suggest increased groundwater usage is having a detrimental and unintended effect on subsidence rates leading to potential costly infrastructure damage. According to the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Food and Agriculture (2009), the Department of General Services is planning to make enhancements to California’s water use by authorizing that only the best management practices be used at all facilities owned by the state. They will also issue that the owners of leased facilities use the best management practices in regards to water conservation. In addition, they

26 plan to develop an investment project that will ensure the reduction of water used by the state (Department of Water Resources, 2009; Department of Food and Agriculture, 2009). Another incentive outlined by the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Food and Agriculture (2009) that can aid water consumers and facilities such as restaurants is water recycling. The Department of Water Resources is funding projects that provide dual plumbing to facilitate this. Salt and nutrient management plans will be applied due to the fact that recycled water can increase the levels of salt and nutrients in groundwater. As previously mentioned, a largely affected party of the drought is the agricultural sector. In order to minimize the use of water and still maximize the profits of agriculture the DWRFA (2009) have come up with some mitigating ideas. First, they suggest enacting an Agricultural Water Management Act to provide better measures to water supplies in the agricultural field. They also suggest that on-site laboratories would be beneficial to allow for the assessment of farming methods to improve water use efficiency. Additionally, they suggest the creation of an Agricultural Drought Guidebook that could aid those working in the agricultural sector on new and improved methods as well as methods in drought mitigation. The final idea the Department for Water Resource has is to hold workshops to educate those working in agriculture on how to manage irrigation systems as well as water use during a consecutive drought. Mitigation Although there are a lot of mitigation strategies planned by the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Food and Agriculture (2009), the Department of Water Resources (2012) states some of the current mitigation strategies minimize the costs associated with the drought. For example, the Farmer’s Bill has risk management and financial assistance programs available during times of drought and prevented planting (Department of Water Resources, 2012). Additionally, water supplies have environmental regulations to protect them during years of drought. Other drinking water supplies are also protected by government statute law (Department

of Water Resources, 2012). Drought Analysis through Data Many different sources of data are currently being used to analyze, monitor and report on the current drought in California. Currently, the U.S. Geological Survey (2015) has a number of ways to analyze and monitor the effects of the drought. The findings from NASA (2015) show the accelerated use of groundwater is leading to high rates of subsidence putting infrastructure at risk. To monitor and update the levels of groundwater across the nation the U.S. Geological Survey (2015) is using the Real Time Groundwater Network. They do this by placing real time data instrumentation in wells that give them access to both water levels and other important well information. NASA (2015) was also able to analyze their findings on high subsidence rates by using satellite images and comparing the earth’s surface over a period. More recently, interferometric synthetic aperture radar observations from satellites are able to create accurate images of subsidence (NASA, 2015). The National Centers for Environmental Information (2015) describes three indexes used to monitor droughts. The first measure, the Palmer Drought Index is used to measure the balance between the demand for moisture and the moisture actually being supplied. The second measure, the Standardized Precipitation Index shows the amount of moisture any given region is experiencing for up to 24 months (National Centers for Environmental Information, 2015). Lastly, the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index measures the interrelation of precipitation and evapotranspiration due to warm temperatures (National Centers for Environmental Information, 2015). Derived from these Palmer indexes are monitors such as the Crop Moisture Index, which measures the amount of moisture across regions where major cropping occurs (U.S. Drought Portal, 2015). One of the best ways to monitor and report on the drought, especially to the public, is the U.S. Drought Monitor. According to the U.S. Drought Portal (2015) this system uses a combination of scientific measures (such as the ones previously mentioned) and expert opinion. The monitor is

co-authored by large departments such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Drought Mitigation Center with over 250 climatologists, extension agents, and others to ensure its accuracy (U.S. Drought Portal, 2015). Hydrological measures also exist to help analyze, monitor, and report findings associated with droughts. Hydrological measures are important in association to droughts because they measure water levels in lakes, rivers, and aquifers (U.S. Drought Portal, 2015). For example, the National Operation Hydrological Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC) has a unit that specializes in monitoring snow through satellite imaging and other remote sensing observations (U.S. Drought Portal, 2015).The U.S. Geological Survey is one of the main government departments that collect data on the U.S.’s main sources of water (U.S. Drought Portal, 2015). Conclusion The extremity of the drought is a large threat to the citizens and state of California. Firstly, the research accumulated by NASA (2015) on subsidence rates, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, is a danger to both the economy and the citizens. With the high rates of subsidence, the economy may suffer due to the costs of damage to main infrastructure such as bridges and roads (NASA, 2015). This is also a danger to the citizens of California as damage to these infrastructures could cause bodily harm for example, if a bridge were to be damaged causing an accident. Additionally, the already present threat to agriculture is worsening every year the drought continues. According to Cooley et al. (2015), less acreage is being harvested than previous years with a 13 percent decrease in land dedicated to agriculture from 2000 to 2011. Research done by Howitt et al (2015), reports that the total crop revenue loss for this year is $902 million. This is estimated to exceed $940 million by 2017 if the drought continues. They also reveal over 21,000 jobs have been lost due to the impact of the drought (Howitt, et al., 2015). The drought in California is affecting the rates of hydroelectricity generation, which in turn is hurting the economy, the environment, and consumers. Research done by Gleick (2015)

27 on this topic supports this notion, and found that the state must now purchase resources from out of state, costing the consumer more. Finally, the drought has caused an increase in the combustion of natural gases, causing higher than normal rates of pollution (Gleick, 2015). The potential mitigation strategies outlined by the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Food and Agriculture (2009) include water transfers, desalination, and groundwater, state agency water conservation, water recycling, and agricultural water use efficiency. NASA (2015) findings on subsidence rates will have to be taken into account when planning effective groundwater strategies. A number of indexes are used to measure the effects of droughts. These include the Real-Time Water Network, the three Palmer indexes, the U.S. Drought Monitor and hydrological measures such as the Bureau of Reclamation and National Operation Hydrological Remote Sensing Center (NASA, 2015; U.S. Geological Survey, 2015; National Centers for Environmental Information, 2015; U.S. Drought Portal, 2015). With proper measuring techniques not only can we analyze the effects of the drought, but government agencies can update and educate the public based on these findings. The information gained by these measures can impact what measures and projects the government initiates. The drought is impacting California in many severe ways; however, there are strategies and resources that can be allocated to aid in mitigating this risk. Overall, the length end effects of the drought in California are severe. It is affecting infrastructure as well as the state’s economy. Further research needs to be done to determine long-term effects. Additionally, it may be ideal for the state to utilize and deploy plans of action to decrease the consequences associated.

References Cooley, H., Donelly, K., Phurisamban, R., & Subramanian, M. (2015). Impacts of California’s Ongoing Drought: Agriculture. Retrieved from:

uploads/sites/21/2015/08/ImpactsOnCaliforniaDrought-Ag.pdf Department of Water Resources, (2012). Drought in California. Retrieved from: http://www. Drought2012.pdf Department of Water Resources and Department of Food and Agriculture (2009). California’s Drought: Water Conditions and Strategies to Reduce Impact. Retrieved from: http:// Gleick, P. (2015). Impacts of California’s Ongoing Drought: Hydroelectricity Generation. Retrieved from: Howitt, R., MacEwan, D., Medellín-Azuara, J., Lund, J., & Sumner, D. (2015). Economic Analysis of the 2015 Drought For California Agriculture. Retrieved from: Drought%20Report_08182015_Full_Report_WithAppendices.pdf National Centers For Environmental Information, (2015). State of the Climate. Retrieved from: drought/201509#det-pdi NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: California Institute of Technology, (2015). NASA: California Drought Causing Valley Land to Sink. Retrieved from: news/news.php?feature=4693 University of California, Davis campus (2015). Drought Impact Report. Retrieved from: U.S. Geological Survey, (2015). California Drought. Retrieved from: data/drought/ U.S. Geological Survey, (2015b). Drought Impacts. Retrieved from: data/drought/drought-impact.html U.S. Geological Survey, (2015c). Real-Time Ground-

28 water Level Network. Retrieved from: http:// U.S. Drought Portal, (2015). Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved from: https://www.drought. gov/drought/content/products-current-drought-and-monitoring-hydrological-monitoring/bureau-reclamation U.S. Drought Portal, (2015b). Crop Moisture Index. Retrieved from: https://www.drought. gov/drought/content/products-current-drought-and-monitoring-drought-indicators/crop-moisture-index U.S. Drought Portal, (2015c). U.S. Drought Monitor. Retrieved from: https://www.drought. gov/drought/content/products-current-drought-and-monitoring-drought-indicators/us-drought-monitor U.S. Drought Portal, (2015d). National Operational Hydrological Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC). Retrieved from: https://www. U.S. Drought Portal, (2015e). USGS’s Water Data. Retrieved from: https://www.drought. gov/drought/content/products-current-drought-and-monitoring-hydrological-monitoring/usgss-water-data United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service. (2015b). California Drought: Crop Sectors. Retrieved June 5, 2015, from http://www.ers. the-news/californiadrought-farm-and-food- impacts/california-drought-crop-sectors.aspx.


Materialism, Media, and Matrimony: Exploring Agents of Socialization


Children and Materialism: Creating a Capitalist Consumer Stacey Liebe Sociology

1. Introduction Materialism is caused by a great number of things. Children grow up surrounded by consumption; they receive gifts on multiple holidays throughout the year (and sometimes for no reason at all); they see their parents show off new purchases to their friends; or, they hear people brag about extravagant shopping trips. This consumerist culture has a huge impact on children’s lives. Materialism, by definition, is the “set of centrally held beliefs about the importance of possessions in one’s life” (Rindfleisch & Burroughs, 1999, p. 519). It also influences the values that children hold, as well as their identity formation processes. Moreover, consumption patterns influence gender and status development in children. “Families, firms, and society encourage consumer identity and materialistic values” (Bottomley, Nairn, Klarrer, Ferguson & Ormrod, 2010, p. 718) because the capitalist lifestyle turns childhood into a profitable market. Children are viewed as targets by advertisers; as potential lifelong customers whose entire value system and identity has yet to be shaped, and materialism is the way to alter their behaviour.

lifetime as they did during childhood (Magdalena, 2012, p. 172). There are many reasons why materialism has a growing impact on childhood. From the 1960s on, family sizes started shrinking, parents brought in dual incomes, and people postponed having children until later in life, which created much more spending money per family (Magdalena, 2012). Furthermore, “time-stressed parents substitute material goods for time spent with their kids” (Magdalena, 2012, p. 173). Due to guilt or unhappiness, parents may begin gratifying their children for good behaviour with extrinsic rewards, embodying the phrase “buying love”. Children may begin expecting material goods in exchange for proper behaviour, and, they may see goods as a way to bring happiness to their lives. 2.ii. Advertising

There is argument within the field of advertising regarding whether advertisements truly affect children’s purchasing decisions, how ethical it is to advertise to a group without critical thinking power, and to what extent advertisements affect children in general. In fact, some people question 2. Children as targets whether young children can even tell the difference 2.i. Lifelong Customers between advertisements and programming. Some say their limited memory renders advertisements Why are marketers interested in children? useless (Pine & Nash, 2002, p. 529). Children are favoured by companies because they are consumers, influence other consumers (their Many parents are concerned with the effect parents), and will be consumers for a very long time of advertising on children, as children do not (Magdelena, 2012, p. 181). With enough influence possess the same level of critical thinking power from parents and the media, people can form an and rationalization skills as adults. Because of emotional connection with material goods. This this, researchers like Magdalena (2012) support the form of valuing can lead to brand loyalty and life- protection of children from advertising campaigns. long spending (Magdalena, 2012). Brand loyalty, in However, research can only back up these claims fact, is quite powerful, as children often continue to a certain extent. There is still debate within the to purchase the same items throughout their adult field around whether children should be subjected

to advertisements, and at what age it should be permitted. Erling Bjurstrom reports that until age 12, children cannot differentiate advertisements from normal programming, and they are unable to recognize the concept of “selling motive” (Pine & Nash, 2002, p. 529). On the other hand, Levin et al. claim that eight years of age is when children start to understand the “selling purpose” of advertisements (Pine & Nash, 2002, p. 529). Magdalena (2012) also favours protection for children under 12, because at “the age of 12 children develop their behaviour as consumers, effectively recognizing advertising and are able to adopt critical attitudes towards it” (p. 182). Other researchers, including Chaplin, Hill, and John (2014) do not provide a certain “year”, but support a restriction for all of young childhood, they believe that advertisements should solely be directed towards parents (p. 78). A study conducted by Pine and Nash (2002) analyzed the effect of television advertisements in the time directly before Christmas on 99 children’s toy requests sent to “Santa”. The study found that children who watched television requested more toys and more brand name toys, and that the children who watched television alone were further susceptible to advertising influence. Interestingly, around 90% of advertised toys were not requested (Pine & Nash, 2002, p. 529). Pine and Nash’s study (2002) reports that 73% of requests included at least one branded item, although another study by Greenburg reported a figure of 91%; this could be explained by the interval between exposure and purchase time (p. 538). While there is still debate in the field at what age children are able to tell the difference between programming and advertising, this article still adds cause for restricting advertisements to children, as increased television viewing can encourage consumer-orientation and materialism. The effect of advertising types on children still needs more attention, yet researchers like Mostafa can offer some limited insight. He found that children’s age “moderately influences” their understanding of intent, but suggests that advertisers use “pictorial advertising” and limit the amount of difficult words and inferences (Mostafa, 2008). Mostafa (2008) continues to add that overexposure or “wear-out” is a problem for repeated advertise-

31 ments and that “pictorial advertising” can prevent this as well as enhance recall and understanding of the message (p. 251). Perhaps if advertisers heed his advice, children may be more capable of retention, and the advertisements will affect a larger portion of their target market. 3. The effect of materialism on people 3.i. Identity “Consumption is seen as an important dimension in the construction and expression of individual identity” (Andorfer and Liebe, 2013, p. 1253). In a capitalist society, expensive goods, such as Porsches, yachts, or mansions, not only bring happiness, but make a statement about the owner, inspiring jealousy, injustice, or self-loathing in others who see them. These extravagant material goods, according to Jiang, Zhang, Ke, Hawk, and Qiu (2015), are simply used as a means to “improve one’s attractiveness” (p. 53). Moreover, Andorfer and Liebe (2013) extend the claim that material goods are purchased to prove something to others; they state that “identity [is] an additional motivation for behaviour… individuals do not only gain utility from the consumption of a good but also from adhering to social norms and behavioural expectations” (p. 1253). For example, one can reinforce their identity under a “gender” or “ethical” category when selecting colour, packaging, or particular products (Andorfer & Liebe, 2013, p. 1253). Therefore, consumption patterns express individuality. 3.ii. Gender Some gendered behaviours come from inborn influences such as androgen exposure, while others come from postnatal influences, such as social observations (Wong & Hines, 2015). After studying 126 toddlers playing on two separate occasions, Wong and Hines (2015) concluded that inborn factors could not be ruled out completely, but that postnatal options seem to be a more realistic influence on gendered behaviour and preferences. “Gender-typed color preferences may reinforce gender-typed toy play, and in turn influence the development of cognitive and social skills” (Wong & Hines, 2015, p. 1253). These authors confirm that

32 toy and activity selection accords with gender ex3.iv. Happiness pectations, supporting the idea that material posses“One of the most consistent findings in sions are selected under the influence of gender. In the extant literature is that a materialistic lifestyle this way, children use materials to visually symbolis associated with unhappy and unsatisfied lives” ize their status as a particular gender. (Rindfleisch & Burroughs, 1999, p. 519). 3.iii. Status There is a sad side to consumerism. MateMaterialism directly influences one’s sym- rialism has become a public policy issue because bolic capital, a term used by Bourdieu to describe of research linking materialism in children and one’s reputation. Children often use their economic adolescents to mental health problems, the use of capital to purchase popular toys (knowledge gained addictive substances, and selfish attitudes (Chaplin from cultural capital) to fit in with the “right” crowd, et al., 2014, p. 78). Often the most materialistic increasing their social capital. These combined ef- individuals are trying to make up for something, forts are then contributed to their reputation, or so- whether it be less time with their parents, feelings cial status, within their group of friends and school of insecurity, or low social status (Bottomley et al., network. Explained in a more sophisticated way by 2010, p. 735). Jiang et al. (2015) add that material Andorfer and Liebe, “consumption practices serve goods may also help with “meeting the need for as means to indicate, maintain, and reinforce class security, facilitating peer popularity, and improving structures and social distinction thereby preserving mood” (p. 53). For instance, in a study of Boston power structures in society” (2013, p. 1254). children aged 10 to 13, Schor uncovered a correlation between consumerism and depression or anxChaplin et al. (2014) studied 177 kids to iety, as well as a connection to worsened maternal uncover differences in material values between or paternal relationships and diminished “well-beimpoverished and affluent ones. From 11 on, im- ing” (Bottomley et al., 2010, p. 718). Clearly there poverished youth placed a higher value on material are many downsides to highly valuing material goods (Chaplin et al., 2014). These findings directly goods and using them as personal rewards. tie into Veblen’s concept of conspicuous consumption; a term used for social elites who consume 3.v. Behaviour costly goods to demonstrate their “social standing” Materialism affects children directly (Andorfer & Liebe, 2013, p. 1254). This information clearly supports the assumption that children through their own actions and indirectly through will use material goods as a type of status enhancer. the actions of their parents. There are many social behaviours associated with materialism, includThere is growing concern that children from ing greed, individualism, caring less about other low-income families are at a higher risk for de- people, having more relationship conflicts, and veloping materialistic values, as they put a higher objectifying others (Bottomley et al., 2010, p. 736). emphasis on the importance of material goods as The impacts of materialism on childhood can a marker of “self-identity and well-being” (Chap- range from making up for less time with parents to lin et al., 2014, p. 78). To support this statement, resorting to delinquency to gain social status. one can reference Jiang et al.’s three studies on adDirectly, consumerism effects children’s olescents: the first verifies the connection between emotions, value systems, and self-concept. In materialism and peer rejection, the second proves that materialism is linked with low self-esteem, addition, Bottomley et al. (2010) report that maand the third showed that once self-esteem is ad- terialism is associated with “less engagement in dressed, materialism lowers (2015). In conclusion, other kinds of ‘prosocial’ and developmentally they found that self-esteem brokered peer rejection appropriate behaviours, such as reading books, and materialism. Furthermore, materialism acts as doing homework, and doing household chores” (p. a coping mechanism for low self-concept, loss of 736). Chaplin et al. (2014) paint an even bleaker security, low popularity, and poor mood (Jiang et picture, connecting materialistic values to juvenile al., 2015, p. 53). This study shows the role of mate- delinquency. As discussed earlier, children whose families have low socio-economic status tend to rialism in happiness and status construction.

33 value material goods more so than their opulent peers. Chaplin et al. (2014) share that “[c]rime provides one of few paths to material wealth” in the overall goal “to obtain a sense of power and status among their peers” (p. 87). Jiang et al. (2015) warn that the ages 11 to 16 are when reflection begins to develop, and that children who emphasize the importance of material goods at this stage will establish skewed personal value systems, potentially leading to unhappiness in following years (p. 53). Rindfleisch and Burroughs (1999) analyzed survey results to determine a link between children’s “disrupted” family structures (i.e. divorced parents) and the amount of gifts children receive. This study found a positive satisfaction rate between materialism and child-father relationships in a disrupted family structure. The study of 261 people showed that purchases made by fathers who no longer spend as much time with their children can impact the children’s happiness (Rindfleisch & Burroughs, 1999), showing the power of consumption as a parenting resource (or replacement) when uplifting children’s moods. It also shows the connection children make between gift-giving and relationship status, and the cultural impact of material goods as both a replacement for happiness and a replacement for love. One can begin to understand why materialism, in the long run, can contribute to negative effects on happiness. 5. Conclusion Children growing up in Western societies cannot help but develop an individualistic and materialistic set of values under which they operate, as they are exposed to the consumption of goods from birth, and have seen the positive emotions and identity formation that come with purchasing. This is exemplified by their parents and the media at large. Klasser illustrates two major causes of materialistic values: (1) social modeling, showing children that “consumer desires are normal and important”; and (2) insecurity, “to compensate for feelings of incompetence, low status, anxiety, and unpredictability” (Bottomley et al., 2010, p. 735). Parents should play an active role in forming their children’s value systems, and should be wary of the effects their examples can set, as materialism may lead to superficial happiness.

Works Cited Andorfer, V. A., & Liebe, U. (2013). Consumer Behavior in Moral Markets. On the Relevance of Identity, Justice Beliefs, Social Norms, Status, and Trust in Ethical Consumption. European Sociological Review, 29(6), 12511265. Bottomley, P. A., Nairn, A., Kasser, T., Ferguson, Y. L., & Ormrod, J. (2010). Measuring childhood materialism: Refining and validating Schor’s Consumer Involvement Scale. Psychology & Marketing, 27(7), 717739. Chaplin, L. N., Hill, R. P., & John, D. R. (2014). Poverty and Materialism: A Look at Impoverished Versus Affluent Children. Journal Of Public Policy & Marketing, 33(1), 78-92. Choi, J. (2015). Top Ten Toys to Watch in 2015. Forbes: Leadership. Retrieved from Cook, K. (2015). Top trends at Toy Fair 2015: From drones to flying marshmallows. Global News: Lifestyle. Retrieved from http:// Gibson, M. (2015). These Are the Toys Kids Will Be Screaming for in 2015. Time: Business. Retrieved from toys-your-kids-want-2015/ Jiang, J. j., Zhang, Y. y., Ke, Y. 2., Hawk, S. s., & Qiu, H. q. (2015). Can’t buy me friendship? Peer rejection and adolescent materialism: Implicit self-esteem as a mediator. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 5848-55 Magdalena, S. V. (2012). Children as Target Market. Studies In Business & Economics, 7(2), 172-183. Mostafa, M. M. (2008). Through the Eye of a Child: A Meta-analytic Study of Children’s Understanding of Advertising Intent. Glob-

34 al Business Review, 9(2), 243-255. Pine, K. J., & Nash, A. (2002). Dear Santa: The Effects of Television Advertising on Young Children. International Journal of Behavioural Development, 26(6), 529-539. Rindfleisch, A., & Burroughs, J. E. (1999). Materialism and Childhood Satisfaction: A Social Structural Analysis. Advances In Consumer Research, 26(1), 519-526. Wong, W. i., & Hines, M. (2015). Preferences for Pink and Blue: The Development of Color Preferences as a Distinct Gender-Typed Behavior in Toddlers. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 44(5), 1243-1254.


Community Factors That Can Instill Resilience Pardeep Grewal Psychology

An important aspect of resilience is community factors, which play a significant role in moderating adversity. This is evident by the fact that children who have had poor parental relationships can still develop resilient behaviours if they are connected to their communities (Werner, 1989). In the case of individuals who have reached adolescence, those who had a connection to an adult figure within their community fared better than those who did not have similar connections (Werner, 1989). Therefore, community factors play a significant role within an individual’s life. Community factors can take many shapes, such as intervention and prevention programs. They can significantly increase resilience within at-risk individuals, similar to the way in which individual and family factors are able to. Furthermore, this can be seen through peer-interactions and friendships which facilitate similar roles. An increase in resilience is observable when community factors are able to change the development trajectories of individuals with similar risk factors. Prevention programs, cultural continuity, and social interaction with peers can have profound positive effects on resilience. The Big Brothers/Big Sisters program founded in 1958 has been shown to increase resilience within children and youth (Herrera et al., 2007). The program pairs individuals with same-sex “Big Brothers” or “Big Sisters” in order to fill a parental role missing from the individual’s life. The program was systematically researched in order to see whether or not positive impacts could be observed within the program (Herrera et al., 2007). Children and youth who were randomly assigned to a Big Brother/Sister were observed over the course of 18 months and compared to a control group (children on the waitlist to be mentored) (Herrera et al., 2007). The results showed a

dramatic increase in resilience within the assigned Big Brother/Sister group when compared to the control group (Herrera et al., 2007). Participants who were assigned a Big Brother/Sister were less likely to try illicit drugs and showed an increased interest in academic goals (Herrera et al., 2007). This effect was even more prominent within minority groups such as aboriginal groups (Herrera et al., 2007). A potential reason as to why minority Little Brothers and Sisters showed a dramatic lowering effect in their likelihood to use drugs may be a lack of individuals within their own communities who could provide them with a positive role model. For example, many Aboriginal Canadian individuals tend to come from lower socio-economic backgrounds; therefore, it would be more difficult to find positive role models within their community. Cultural perceptions could potentially play a role in establishing positive relationships, as culture tends to stress the formation of strong bonds between family members, similar to the bonds provided by Big Brothers/Sisters. Therefore, minority Little Brothers and Sisters could view Big Brothers and Sisters as a family resource which promotes resilience. Social issues need to be considered as a foundation for psychology that is absent from the medical model. An example of this would be risk factors that are present within Aboriginal communities which are linked to high rates of addiction and suicide. The risk factors originate from policies of the Canadian government that attempted to assimilate Aboriginal people by suppressing their culture and identity (Hallett, Chandler & Lalonde, 2007). These risk factors are further augmented by negative stereotypes that society has developed towards Aboriginals (Hallett et al., 2007). Hallett

36 et al. (2007) illustrated that Aboriginal groups who & Le Mare, 2011). Children that exhibited secure have successfully maintained or reconnected with attachment behaviour demonstrated high levels traditions and practices intrinsic to their Aborigiof self-esteem, facilitation and maintenance of nal identity have little or no youth suicide. Aborig- relationships, academic achievement, cooperation inal youth who identify with a distinct community in group work, and activity involvement (Atwool, may increase their sense of value and commitment 2006). However, Maori children within the foster towards cultural practices, which translates into re- care system developed poor resilience behaviour silience when facing adversity (Hallett et al., 2007). due to a failure to develop a positive identity and sense of self, while already being vulnerable due to a lack of attachment to the new foster family Culture further facilitates resilience factors (Atwool, 2006). by connecting individuals to their ancestors’ practices as well as the concept of passing down these Similar to the Hallett et al. (2007) study of traditions in the future (Hallett et al., 2007). IndiAboriginal youth, Atwool (2002) demonstrated vidual, family, and community facets within a perthat minority children who were unable to form son’s life are used as resilience factors in order to buffer adverse life events. Research by Hallett et al. a cultural identity failed to develop positive resilience factors and increased their chances of ad(2007) on Aboriginal communities illustrates the effects of cultural dissonance in regard to negative versity. Furthermore, the Maori community faces negative stereotypes similar to those of Canadian emotional well-being and educational trajectories Aboriginals, such as being dysfunctional, uneduwithin Aboriginal youth. In both cases protective cated, and prone to drug abuse (Atwool, 2006). As factors were seen when youth were able to obtain stated above, Hallett et al. (2007) illustrated that cultural continuity through the establishment of indigenous groups who have successfully maina community identity, which increased resilience tained or reconnected with traditions and practices against adverse life events (Hallett et al. 2007). intrinsic to their Aboriginal identity have little or Werner (1989) also illustrated the importance of no youth suicide. Atwool’s results were similar, as mentors, and how interaction between non-familial adults and children can instill resilience factors Maori youth showed high levels of suicidal ideation in the absence of cultural and community against risk factors and adverse life events. Resilfactors (Atwool, 2006). Therefore, foster families ience can come in the form of secure attachment styles that lead to better self-regulatory skills when of non-Maori origin were unable to instill resilience to their Maori foster children, as many famhandling stress. Children who find support within ilies failed to recognize the link between identity individualized care provided by their foster families through community factors, such as Big Broth- and resilience (Atwool, 2006). ers/ Sisters, facilitate community resilience. Indi Therefore, the idea of cultural continuividually these factors can have a profound effect ty plays a significant role in fostering resilience on development trajectories and when combined factors within minority groups. Yeh et al. (2014) can further augmented resilient behaviour. wanted to examine the effects of intervention Similarly, Atwool (2006) examined the connection between attachment styles and aspects of resilience within Maori community. Atwool (2006) suggested that attachment styles encompass cultural, community, relationship and individual factors that form an interrelationship promoting resilience. This concept was similar to Lengua’s (2002) bioecological model, where an individual is a part of a series of interacting relationships that can influence developmental trajectories (Atwool, 2006). Furthermore, attachment styles can be used as predictors to determine the ability to manage stress in later life (Atwool, 2006; Audet

programs that were directed at minority groups, and examined Samoan American youth who were experiencing adverse life events such as family discord, behaviour problems, anti-social behaviours, and educational challenges. Yeh et al. (2014) helped to establish an intervention program that would be culturally responsive to Samoan heritage. The aims of the study were to promote cultural identity, social support, leadership skills, community involvement, and resilience (Yeh et al., 2014). The intervention program was successful in increasing resilience by hitting all of its targeted areas (social support, leadership skills,

37 and community involvement) within an 8-session program (Yeh et al., 2014). During the program, Samoan-American adolescents exhibited fewer behaviour problems and had developed a sense of belonging to a distinct community, which led to better academic trajectories (Yeh et al., 2014). In their research of aboriginal groups, Hallett et al. (2007) predicted that these positive changes, such as narratives and practices, would help to develop a unique identity that acted as a resilience factor that could buffer risk factors and adversity. Furthermore, Atwool’s concerns about foster families being unable to instill identity with Maori children seems to be merited, as there is strong evidence to suggest a link between cultural continuity and resilience. Nonetheless, low socioeconomic status, poor family dynamics and improper parenting puts children at risk of developing externalized behaviour and poor development trajectories (Atwool, 2006; Criss, Pettit, Bates, Dodge, and Lapp, 2002). Externalized behaviours can be defined as delinquent behaviour ranging from aggression to behavioural outbursts and emotional instability (Criss et al., 2002). Criss et al. (2002) examined how peer-group acceptance and friendship networks protect children from developing externalized behaviours, and also examined how gender, ethnic differences and temperament affected the degree of peer-group acceptance and networking when facing family-related discord. Peer-group acceptance refers to high-quality friendships that afford the individual with strong support to buffer family adversity (Criss et al., 2002), while friendship networking refers to the quantity of acquaintances that an individual has. The results showed that peer-group acceptance could potentially mitigate all family related risk factors, whereas friendship networking only buffered against behavioural issues caused by physical punishment (Criss et al., 2002). The reason for this was that peer groups acted as a type of community factor which provided the adolescent with social support. Furthermore, unmeasured factors such as physical attractiveness, IQ, and athletic ability could possibly account for the buffering effects of positive peer relationships and friendships (Criss et al., 2002). Such factors could influence positive peer relationships and friend-

ships, as individuals with average-to-higher IQs are more likely to exhibit prosocial behaviours that facilitate positive peer relationships (Tiet et al., 2001). Tiet et al. (2001) illustrated the importance of IQ to prosocial behaviour; one potential reason could be that higher IQ allows for the individual to acquire more reasoning and attention-focusing skills. Finally, the facilitation of positive relationships might be explained by the tendency of individuals with certain qualities, such as physical attractiveness, high IQ, and athletic ability, to seek others with similar qualities. Tiet et al. (2001) illustrated links between maternal psychopathology and risk factors associated with child-mother relationships. Although innate factors such as IQ and gender demonstrated the ability to buffer maternal psychopathology, other factors played a key role in instilling resilience (Tiet et al., 2001). Children who were monitored closely by parents and who had regular family interactions were more likely to exhibit resilient behaviours (Tiet et al., 2001). However, children of divorced parents may potentially lack family resilience due to a shift in resources from the child to issues caused by the separation. Rodgers & Rose (2002) examined the effects of divorce on adolescent children and its translation into a loss of resilience. This was examined through changes within the child’s temperament, family support, and the evaluation of relationship interactions between the divorced couple, including custody and changes to disposable income (Rodgers & Rose, 2002). Rodgers & Rose (2002) discovered that the transition period of finalizing the divorce shifted focus away from the adolescent, which led to an increase in risk factors. For example, adolescent children would develop externalized behaviours, defined through substance use and risky sexual activity, or internalized behaviours, defined as lowering of self-esteem, withdrawal from social activities, and depression. One of the more salient findings from the study illustrated the importance of peer-relations, which were found to provide adolescents experiencing both externalized and internalized behaviours with resilience factors. These results were similar to those of Criss et al. (2002), which showed that peer acceptance and friendship networks protected children against family adversity. Both studies demonstrate that peer relation-

ships act as outside factors or community factors in terms of resilience. Furthermore, both studies demonstrate the importance of community factors when there is a lack of family resilience factors when facing adversity or at-risk factors. However, a problem arises within Rodgers & Rose’s (2002) study, which is demonstrated through the examination of adolescent youths with internalizing behaviours. Adolescent youth with negative internalizing behaviours would potentially attract less peer support, as many of these behaviours are anti-social thought processes generally not found within social groups or peer groups. Peer groups provide a space where the individual can actively seek out support from other peers; however, individuals with negative internalized behaviours could potentially feel socially withdrawn and may be unable to provide their peers with support. Therefore, peers might move away from individuals with internalized behaviours, as peer support might not be reciprocated. This is where adults with no familial relations play a significant role in instilling resilience. Werner (1989) demonstrated that children who lacked secure attachment to any adult would display behavioural problems. Programs like Big Brothers/Sisters provide youth with a dependable positive role model from which they can develop resilience factors (Herrera et al., 2007). As long as the adolescent youth has some sort of community factor, whether it is peer relations or a mentor, they can develop resilience factors to buffer risk factors. Werner (1989) demonstrated the impact of community factors instilling resilience within an at-risk population. Intervention programs such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters have been effective at increasing resilience within children and youth because the program provides at-risk participants with a stable adult figure; the Big Brother or Sister essentially fills the role of a mentor and role model from the individual’s community, which can increase resilience. This effect is dramatically increased in individuals who come from a minority background, such as Aboriginal children. The reason for this can be attributed to a lack of positive role models with their own communities due to socioeconomic reasons and cultural perceptions about family. However, Aboriginal groups are usually linked to high rates of suicide and addiction

38 due to a lack of community identity (Hallett et al., 2007). Aboriginal groups that maintained their traditions and cultural practices had significantly less negative outcomes than the latter (Hallett et al., 2007). Therefore, being able to link oneself to a community identity also established a personalized identity within that community. However, minority children within the foster care system can potentially develop a negative sense of self which can possibly lead to suicidal ideation (Atwool, 2006). This contributes to foster families being unable to see the link between cultural identity and the child’s well-being (Atwool, 2006). Nonetheless, once cultural continuity is restored within the individual, positive resilient behaviours can start to emerge. Yeh at al. (2014) demonstrated the importance of intervention programs that were culturally attuned to establish identity within Samoan youth. Peer interactions were also seen to lessen the effect of adversity, especially in the case of family adversity (Criss et al. 2002). Peer acceptance and friendship networking were able to mitigate negative family dynamics through social support provided by peers (Criss et al., 2002, Tiet et al., 2001). Furthermore, individuals who exhibited improved prosocial behaviours were more likely to attract similar individuals, increasing the quality of peer relationships. This was especially important during transitioning periods such as divorce, as parents are unable to focus attention on their children and have to shift focus to other issues caused by the divorce (Rodgers & Rose, 2002). Individuals who can connect to a greater community develop a stronger sense of self-worth and identity, which promotes resilient behaviours. Community factors are an important tool to ensure positive life, mental, and development trajectories, but more importantly to provide individuals with the capability to face adversity.

References Atwool, N. (2006). Attachment and Resilience: Implications for Children in Care. Child Care In Practice, 12(4), 315-330. doi:10.1080/13575270600863226

39 Audet, K., & Le Mare, L. (2011). Mitigating Effects of the Adoptive Caregiving Environment on Inattention/Overactivity in Children Adopted from Romanian Orphanages. International Journal Of Behavioral Development, 35(2), 107-115. Criss, M. M., Pettit, G. S., Bates, J. E., Dodge, K. A., & Lapp, A. L. (2002, July/August). Family adversity, positive peer relationships, and children’s externalizing behavior: A longitudinal perspective on risk and resilience. Child Development, 73(4), 1220–1237 Hallett, D., Chandler, M. J., & Lalonde, C. E. (2007). Aboriginal Language Knowledge and Youth Suicide. Cognitive Development, 22(3), 392-399. Herrera, C., Grossman, J. B., Kauh, T. J., Feldman, A. F., McMaken, J., & Public/ Private, V. (2007). Making a Difference in Schools: The Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based Mentoring Impact Study. Public/Private Ventures, Lengua, L. J. (2002). The contribution of emotionality and self-regulation to the understanding of children’s response to multiple risk. Child Development, 73(1), 144–161. Rodgers, K. B., & Rose, H. A. (2002, November). Risk and resiliency factors among adolescents who experience marital transitions. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 1024– 1037. Tiet, Q. Q., Bird, H. R., Hoven, C. W., Wu, P., Moore, R., & Davies, M. (2001). Resilience in the face of maternal psychopathology and adverse life events. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 10(3), 347–365. Werner, E. E. (1989). Children of the Garden Island. Scientific American, 260(4), 106–111. Yeh, C. J., Borrero, N. E., Lusheck, C., Plascencia, L., Kiliona, K., Mase, M., & ... Tito, P. (2014). Fostering Social Support, Leadership Competence, Community Engagement, and Resilience Among Samoan American Youth. Asian American Journal Of Psychology, doi:10.1037/a0038545


Insidious Agents of Socialization: Gender and Sexuality Biases in Family, School, and Media Robyn Mooney Sociology

Many people in today’s society believe that social differences between genders are an artifact of genetics and biology — that girls naturally gravitate toward pink items, and boys to blue ones, without being taught. However, that is only partly true. Children in our society are shaped by the institutions that socialize them into citizens (Witt & Hermiston, 2010). What, then, are these institutions teaching children about gender and sexuality? For the purpose of brevity with this paper, I intend to examine the influence of three social institutions in particular: the family, the school system, and the media. The Simpsons is an extremely popular animated television show which debuted in 1989 and continues to air new episodes today (Alberti, 2004). Despite its popularity as a cartoon with both children and adults alike, the show serves not just as mindless entertainment but also as an often scathing satire of (North) American culture. The main characters are the members of the Simpson family: parents Homer and Marge, children Bart and Lisa, and baby Maggie. The Simpsons represent the American nuclear family, and their town, Springfield, symbolizes Anytown, USA; the show’s creators make sure of this by never revealing to us the state in which Springfield is meant to be located. The Simpsons’ satirical critique of American culture has proven worthy of academic discussion, and as such, the show will serve as a case study in my inquiry into institutional influences on children’s attitudes regarding gender and sexuality. It can be argued that the family is the most significant social institution in shaping a child’s attitudes and beliefs. It is through the family that children first learn norms regarding relationships

and parenting (Witt & Hermiston, 2010). As a result, parents tend to play a key role in the gendering of their children (Kane, 2003). This starts even before birth, as expectant parents purchase pink and blue items in preparation for the new baby. Even infants, who some would argue look only marginally distinguishable from one another, are often described with the use of gendered terms such as “pretty” for girls and “handsome” for boys. Ex and Janssens (1998) examined maternal influence on daughters’ attitudes toward gender, concluding that the more conservative a mother’s gender role attitudes are, the more likely that mother is to emphasize her daughter’s conformity to those same role expectations. This demonstrates how young girls internalize their mother’s attitudes and often adopt the same beliefs as them. Marge and Homer Simpson have their own beliefs regarding gender and sexuality, which are reflected in the couple’s parenting. In one episode, when Lisa sighs to herself that Al Gore has “kissed more boys than [she] ever will”, Marge’s immediate response is “Girls, Lisa. Boys kiss girls.” (“Summer of 4 Ft. 2”). This sentiment reflects the notion of heteronormativity, which is often embedded in our society’s attitudes about gender. Heteronormativity can be described as the “assumption of heterosexuality as the norm or normative behavior in any given setting” (Shaw & Lee, 2012). Heteronormativity is one of the values that children learn through gender socialization, as in the exchange between Lisa and Marge. When Lisa mentions homosexual behavior, Marge automatically corrects her to the heterosexual equivalent, implicitly stating that heterosexuality is the norm and that homosexuality is deviant. Similar-

41 ly, when Homer walks in on Bart and his friend Milhouse cross-dressing, he demands a “non-gay explanation” (“Grift of the Magi”). Milhouse offers up that they are drunk, and despite the fact that both Bart and Milhouse are just ten years old, Homer accepts this explanation with relief — he would rather they be drinking than engaging in homosexual behaviour. Homer’s feelings are not unusual in our society. In a qualitative interview involving a sample of parents of pre-school children, despite the fact that none of the research questions addressed sexuality, a full 30% of respondents spontaneously mentioned homosexuality (Kane, 2003). Many of the parents expressed discomfort at the thought of their child being gay — a thought which arose from questions about gender deviance. This link between gender nonconformity and sexual orientation is especially strong for male individuals, who regard gender deviance as a sign of homosexuality. Of the parents who discussed the possibility of their child being gay, most explained their distress as fear and worry about how the child would navigate our heteronormative and heterosexist society. However, when probed, many also admitted that if their child were gay they would feel like a failure as a parent (specifically, in most cases, as a father). Homer subscribes to the belief that gender nonconformity is a sign of homosexuality, as can be seen in a case study of the episode “Homer’s Phobia”. In this episode, the family befriends a gay man named John. However, when Homer discovers John is gay (which Marge has to tell him), he immediately becomes anxious about the influence John may have on Bart (i.e., that John will “give Bart gay”). To combat John’s potential influence and the harm Homer believes it will cause, he proceeds to take Bart to “manly places”: first he forces him to stare at a sexist billboard for two hours; next, they go to a steel mill (where all the workers turn out to be gay, thus amplifying Homer’s anxiety); and finally, they go hunting for deer. Unable to find any deer, they wind up at a reindeer farm, where Homer instructs Bart to “kill Blitzen”. Homer believes that these activities will stomp the “gay” out of Bart, and he is operating under the assumption that there is gayness present in Bart in the first place. In this episode, Homer represents many males’ uneasiness about the sexuality of

their sons. Aside from the family, the school system may be the most important agent of socialization in young children. The education system consistently segregates the genders (Bengu, 2005). Further, just as parents’ attitudes and beliefs become internalized by their children, so too do the attitudes and beliefs of those children’s teachers. A child’s teacher is one of the most important role models in their formative years, and often their attitudes are adopted by their students. Many teachers are aware of this fact and try to mask their own biases, but they are not always successful. In one episode of The Simpsons, when Lisa exposes the town’s hero as a fraud, her teacher describes her essay as “nothing but dead, white male-bashing from a PC thug”, further remarking that it is women like Lisa who prevent others from “landing a good husband” (“Lisa the Iconoclast”). Gender differences make themselves extremely apparent in a school environment, where it has been shown that boys respond to questions more quickly and confidently than girls, regardless of the quality of their response (Bengu, 2005). Girls, on the other hand, are more likely to form their response before speaking, and to be interrupted by others. Gender stereotypes are also maintained by the students themselves, with one’s level of gender conformity strongly linked to their endorsement of traditional gender stereotypes (Patterson, 2012). The influence of peers on gender conformity is examined in the Simpsons episode “Homer vs. Patty and Selma”. Bart, forced to take ballet, soon learns that not only is he good at it, but he loves to dance. However, afraid of being laughed at by the girls and beaten up by the boys, he only agrees to dance in a school-wide recital if he can wear a mask to hide his identity. During the performance, a school bully remarks, “He’s graceful, yet masculine… so it’s okay for me to like this.” Nonetheless, when Bart reveals his identity and expresses pride in his dancing, the girls still laugh and the boys still beat him up. We cannot underestimate the power of peer influence in a school setting. Gender biases in school are often most visible in the domain of mathematics, where it is commonly believed that boys perform better than

42 girls. Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated that teachers’ and parents’ gender stereotypes, beliefs, and expectations regarding children’s math aptitude has a direct effect on the children’s own attitudes about math and their subsequent achievement in a manner that is consistent with these gender stereotypes (Gunderson, Ramirez, Levine, & Beilock, 2012). That is, teachers tend to attribute girls’ success in math to significant effort made by the individual, and girls’ failure at math to be a sign of lack of ability. In contrast, when boys succeed at math it is often attributed to their ability, while their failures are believed to be a product of lack of effort. Children tend to internalize these misconceptions about mathematical ability. Using both implicit (Implicit Association Test) and explicit (self-report) measures, Cvencek, Meltzoff, & Greenwald (2011) discovered that, as early as Grade 2, students are demonstrating the stereotyped belief that math is for boys — on both measures. This math-gender stereotype is acquired early and influences children’s self-concepts before the age where any gender differences in mathematical achievement begin to appear. The Simpsons episode “Girls Just Want to Have Sums” explicitly explores this gender bias in schools. When Principal Skinner makes a sexist remark in front of the entire town, it prompts protest from the women of Springfield, who do not approve of Skinner remaining principal. He is subsequently replaced by a “women’s educational expert”, whose first order of business is to segregate the school by gender — essentially having one school for boys and one for girls. She says this is because boys create an “atmosphere of intimidation” that stifles the girls’ learning. At first, Lisa is excited about this prospect, but she soon discovers that at the girls’ school, real learning is replaced by confidence-building. That is, they are only taught about self-love and female empowerment. In order to learn “actual math”, Lisa is forced to disguise herself as a boy in order to attend the boys’ school. Not only does this episode demonstrate the bias our school system has regarding mathematics and gender, but it also teaches some lessons about masculinity. While being female is difficult, Lisa is surprised to learn that it is equally tough to be a male. Our society places expectations not just on women but on men as well, limiting their behavior and emotions under the guise of hegemonic mas-

culinity. The third primary agent of socialization that I would like to examine is that of the media. We are a society of consumers, and children are no exception; many parents allow their children to watch hours on end of television. Furthermore, unlike most adults, when a child likes a movie, s/he will often watch it over, and over, and over again (Smith, Pieper, Granados, & Choueiti, 2010). In an early study examining the link between television viewing and awareness of gender stereotypes, McGhee & Frueh (1980) discovered that children who are “heavy” television viewers have more stereotyped perceptions of gender than those who are “light” viewers. This finding implies that television functions to create and maintain gender stereotypes in our society. School-aged (and pre-school-aged) children are in the formative stages of developing gender schemas, identities, and values (Kahlenberg & Hein, 2010). In a content analysis of toy commercials airing between the hours of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon, a children’s programming station, Kahlenberg & Hein discovered that these commercials promulgate traditional gender role stereotypes. While boys are shown engaging in a range of interactions (some independent, some cooperative, and some competitive), girls are portrayed as engaging in cooperative play 75% of the time. Furthermore, boys are much more likely to be shown playing outside, while girls tend to be limited to “indoor play”. In this sense, kids’ toy commercials are selling not just toys, but a mindset of how one is expected to behave in today’s society (2010). But what about actual children’s programming, not just the advertisements? In a content analysis of 101 top-grossing G-rated Hollywood films, Smith et al. (2010) discovered that male characters outnumber female characters 2.57 to 1. This figure did not change across the entire range of films, which were released between 1990 and 2005. For emphasis: in fifteen years, the disproportionate ratio of male to female characters in children’s films did not change. Furthermore, only 28% of speaking characters were female, and women were twice as likely to be portrayed as parents or as being in a committed romantic relation-

43 ship than men. Women were typed as attractive and intelligent, where men were typically depicted as funny and strong. While children are in fact consumers, they are not informed consumers; that is, they do not yet have the ability or capacity to discern what is real and what is not, nor are they able to critically analyze the content of what they are watching. Rather, children operate as blank slates, internalizing most or all that they see. As such, these biases in portrayal of men and women are taken at face value and believed, by children, to be valid. In this manner, media does in fact perpetuate gender stereotypes. The episode “Lisa vs Malibu Stacy” serves as a case study for the influence of media on children. According to Henry (2007), this episode is the most overt critique of sexism and patriarchy to ever appear on The Simpsons. “Malibu Stacy” is meant to represent our society’s Barbie; essentially, the doll for girls. When a new talking version comes out, Lisa is excited to finally hear what her role model has to say. Much to her dismay, all of Stacy’s phrases are blatantly sexist: “Don’t ask me, I’m just a girl!” “I wish they taught shopping in school.” “Let’s bake some cookies for the boys!” “Let’s forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry ice cream.” “Let’s put on makeup so the boys will like us.” “Thinking too much gives you wrinkles.” Each of Stacy’s phrases promotes the subordination of women and the notion of heteronormativity. Lisa recognizes this immediately and goes on a mission to create her own talking doll, Lisa Lionheart, whose first phrase is, “When I get married, I’m keeping my own name!” — until Lisa recognizes that perhaps the phrase should be, “if I choose to get married”. She settles on the phrase, “Trust in yourself and you can achieve anything!” Although Lisa Lionheart is not a high seller (thanks to the new Malibu Stacy doll featuring a hat), one girl does buy a doll, and that is enough to

make Lisa feel that she has made a difference. It is clear at this point that The Simpsons successfully tackles our society’s beliefs regarding gender and sexuality with a satirical lens. However, The Simpsons is in fact a mainstream television show watched by children in our society, and thus is an artifact of media itself. So what messages do the characters send to children who watch it? How do the show’s creators treat gender? Mattsson (2009) performed a content analysis of four episodes of The Simpsons. While she found that female characters were present in each of these episodes, they were far outnumbered by male characters in an astounding ratio of 8 to 49. In these episodes, 85% of characters were male. This is in line with Woodcock’s (2008) analysis, where he points out that all principle positions of social advantage in Springfield are occupied by men (principal, superintendent, mayor, police chief, etc.). Further, not a single married female character is depicted working outside the home. Female characters on The Simpsons represent varying levels of femininity and feminism. Researchers have conflicting views on Marge Simpson: some believe she serves as a feminist role model (Henry, 2008), while others believe her function on the show is to “understand, love, and clean up after her man” (Woodcock, 2008). The message sent by Marge’s sisters, Patty and Selma, is much more clear: the two are depicted as decidedly unfeminine on the show. Neither is slim, both smoke excessively, and the two are often shown drawn with visible leg hair; it seems the show’s creators wish for Patty and Selma to represent the opposite of what our society expects in femininity. Furthermore, Patty is a lesbian, and plot lines surrounding Selma invariably focus on her status as “spinster” as well as her attempts at finding a man or becoming a mother. On the other end of the spectrum lies Lisa Simpson. While Bart can be said to represent the typical child, Lisa most certainly does not. After all, if she was a typical child, she would have had no criticisms of Malibu Stacy’s phrases. However, Lisa is an informed consumer, a feminist, a vegetarian, and a Buddhist. She serves as the show’s moral compass and is the character that the audience (especially female viewers) most relate to.

44 Lisa represents a feminist through and through, right down to the manner in which she is constantly criticized for her behaviour. Her teachers only encourage her up to a certain point, and she is rarely supported in her goals by her family members (Woodcock, 2008). In our society, while most individuals will state explicitly that they support the notion of gender equality, far fewer are willing to declare themselves feminists (which, by believing in gender equality, they are). Even worse, the general public only supports equality to a point — advocates are often labelled “extremists” and “femi-Nazis” for being perceived as too strong in their sentiments regarding gender equality. Lisa fits right in. In our society, children learn values regarding gender and sexuality from the social institutions that shape them: namely, the family, the school system, and the media. This analysis has made clear that the messages these institutions are sending to children are highly stereotyped and biased, placing women as subordinate to men and homosexuals as subordinate to heterosexuals. Serving as a critique of American culture, The Simpsons replicates these messages in their episodes and points out their absurdity. However, the show itself is one of the elements of media that children receive messages from, and the female characters on the show vary in terms of how progressive and positive a role model they are for children. While I would argue that The Simpsons does an excellent job of criticizing capitalist and heterosexist ideals, this criticism is only salient for those who have the ability to interpret it (Alberti, 2004). Children lack the capacity to be informed consumers, and thus the satire used in The Simpsons is presumably lost on them. Thus, they take gender values expressed on the show at face value, while more sophisticated viewers are better able to discern what is satire and what is not. As a result, The Simpsons provides us with a powerful parody of society’s beliefs regarding gender and sexuality, but its power lies in the ability of the viewer to interpret what the show is critiquing. Children lack this ability, but the show has enormous potential as a teaching tool for elementary- and high-school educators to enlighten students as to our society’s biases regarding gender and sexuality.

References Alberti, J. (2004). Introduction. In J. Alberti (Ed.), Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the possibility of oppositional culture (xi-xxxii). Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press. Bengu, A. (2005, April). Barbie against Superman: Gender stereotypes and gender equity in the classroom. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 1(1), 12-21. Collier, J. (Writer) & Anderson, M. B. (Director). (1996, February 18). Lisa the Iconoclast [Television series episode]. In J.L. Brooks, M. Groening, & S. Simon (Executive Producers), The Simpsons. New York, NY: Twentieth Century Fox. Cvencek, D., Meltzoff, A. N., & Greenwald, A. G. (2011). Math-gender stereotypes in elementary school children. Child Development, 82(3), 766-779. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467- 8624.2010.01529.x. Ex, C. & Janssens, J. (1998). Maternal influences on daughters’ gender role attitudes. Sex Roles, 38(3/4), 171-186. Forrester, B. (Writer) & Kirkland, M. (Director). (1995, February 26). Homer vs. Patty and Selma [Television series episode]. In J.L. Brooks, M. Groening, & S. Simon (Executive Producers), The Simpsons. New York, NY: Twentieth Century Fox. Greaney, D. (Writer) & Kirkland, M. (Director). (1996, May 19). Summer of 4 Ft. 2 [Television series episode]. In J.L. Brooks, M. Groening, & S. Simon (Executive Producers), The Simpsons. New York, NY: Twentieth Century Fox. Gunderson, E. A., Ramirez, G., Levine, S. C., & Beilock, S. L. (2012). The role of parents and teachers in the development of gender-related math attitudes. Sex Roles, 66, 153-166. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-011-9996-2. Hauge, R. (Writer) & Anderson, M. B. (Director). (1997, February 16). Homer’s Phobia [Television series episode]. In J.L. Brooks, M. Groening, & S. Simon (Executive

Producers), The Simpsons. New York, NY: Twentieth Century Fox. Henry, M. (2007). “Don’t ask me, I’m just a girl”: Feminism, female identity, and The Simpsons. Journal of Popular Culture, 40(2), 272303. Kahlenberg, S. G. & Hein, M. M. (2010). Progression on Nickelodeon? Gender-role stereotypes in toy commercials. Sex Roles, 62, 830-847. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-009-9653-1. Kane, E. W. (2003, January). Parental perceptions of gender and sexual orientation: Heteronormativity, homophobia, and gender boundaries in early childhood. (Unpublished ASA conference submission). Bates College: Lewiston, ME. Martin, T. (Writer) & Nastuk, M. (Director). (1999, December 19). Grift of the Magi [Television series episode]. In J.L. Brooks, M. Groening, & S. Simon (Executive Producers), The Simpsons. New York, NY: Twentieth Century Fox. Mattsson, A. (2009). Gender in The Simpsons (Unpublished bachelor thesis). Luleå University of Technology: Sweden. McGhee, P. E. & Frueh, T. (1980). Television viewing and the learning of sex-role stereotypes. Sex Roles, 6(2), 179-188. Oakley, B. & Weinstein, J. (Writers), & Lynch, J. (Director). (1994, February 17). Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy [Television series episode]. In J.L. Brooks, M. Groening, & S. Simon (Executive Producers), The Simpsons. New York, NY: Twentieth Century Fox. Patterson, M. M. (2012). Self-perceived gender typicality, gender-typed attributes, and gender stereotype endorsement in elementary-school-aged children. Sex Roles, 67, 422-434. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-012-0184-9 Selman, M. (Writer) & Kruse, N. (Director). (2006, April 30). Girls Just Want to Have Sums [Television series episode]. In J.L. Brooks, M. Groening, & S. Simon (Executive Producers), The Simpsons. New York, NY: Twentieth Century Fox.

45 Shaw, S. M. & Lee, J. (2012). Women’s voices, feminist visions: Classic and contemporary readings (5th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Smith, S. L., Pieper, K. M., Granados, A., & Choueiti, M. (2010). Assessing gender-related portrayals in top-grossing G-rated films. Sex Roles, 62, 774-786. DOI: 10.1007/ s11199-009-9736-z. Witt, J. & Hermiston, A. J. (2010). Soc: A matter of perspective (Cdn ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Woodcock, P. (2008). Gender, politicians and public health: using The Simpsons to teach politics. European Political Science (7), 153164. DOI: 10.1057/eps.2008.5.


Wedding Culture Tracy Anthonsen Sociology

In North America, the culture surrounding weddings includes a wide variety of traditions which have various meanings for different individuals. The marital status of an individual is used as a proxy and measures different qualities for different institutions. In the hands of the government, the marital status is a tool for tracking demography, such as with Statistics Canada, and for evaluating tax brackets and determining a person’s responsibility for their children. The definition of marriage according to the government has changed to include same-sex marriages, polygamous marriages, and common-law status. This means that marriage is considered a socially constructed phenomenon as defined by the government; however, religious institutions generally prefer an absolutist perspective on marriage, and may or may not recognize same-sex marriages. The marital status can also be used as a proxy to symbolize a transition into adulthood, or a transition from one independent stage of life to a new co-dependent stage. For the individual, the marital status has various purposes depending on the person’s intentions and cultural surroundings. Regardless of one’s reasons for getting married, North American wedding culture is full of rituals and socialization processes that link the personal decision to marry with cultural and institutional benefits. Marriage still serves the purpose of maintaining social order within communities by keeping track of who is single and who is in a relationship. Durkheim says that society needs stability and an equilibrium must be maintained. For this reason, the acknowledgement of marital status is a necessary measurement for enforcing structure, and acts as a formal social control. The legal aspect of marriage provides higher amounts of “enforceable trust” (Barnes, 2014). Some religions

do not recognize all relationships as legitimate marriages, and this selective label underlines the reality of social power theory; the rules in society are a reflection of the dominant class and their belief systems. Although the tradition of marriage began with religious origins, it is now embedded in the legal system. For some individuals, getting married is a commitment to their religion, not just to a partner; for others, marriage may be desirable because of benefits such as higher social status, tax benefits, and the label of “taken”. The latter is traditionally denoted by women changing their last names to their husbands’ names. This conflicts with feminist theory, which argues that women should have equal status to men in their social class, abilities, and legal rights. The tradition of women changing their last names devalues the identity of the female individual and elevates the importance of social status for men, reinforcing the patriarchal structure and the traditional hierarchy of men being in charge of women. Lockwood’s research indicates that men are far more likely to prefer this traditional choice of women and their children taking the man’s name (2011). Although this tradition is entrenched in North American culture, it is being challenged by increasing divorce rates. With such high divorce rates, it makes less sense for women to legally change their names and transform their identities if they may repeat this lengthy process in the future. Lockwood’s research also indicated that women’s main concern regarding changing this tradition is that it may upset family dynamics (2011); this reinforces Durkheim’s perspective of marriage and the family acting as pillars of structure in society. Arranged marriages are a less common practice typically used by religious groups. Regan

investigated the differences in levels of love, satisfaction, and commitment between arranged and love-based marriages of Indian-American culture (2012). This research indicated that there are no differences between participants in an arranged marriage and participants in love-based marriages, contrary to the expected results that a different power dynamic in arranged marriages, perhaps caused by the attainment of status and security as a primary goal of marriage, would undermine a couple’s affection for one another. The gap in belief systems between arranged and love-based marriages could be explained with neutralization theory, where the individuals getting married are not responsible for the process. They deny the responsibility because their parents or religious elders choose their partner for them. If the marriage doesn’t live up to expectations and the couple doesn’t fall in love after the marriage ceremony, they are able to condemn the arrangers of the marriage and blame them for choosing the wrong partner, or may be able to appeal to legal or religious authorities for divorce. The results of this research may also suggest that romantic love is a socially constructed concept, and different cultures evaluate this term in entirely different methods. Without the bridal industry to instruct young people how they should approach relationships, there is no defined process or timeline for dating, engagement, and marriage. Some individuals might wait a week before getting married, whereas others may date for a decade before fully committing. Social bonds to peers and family members dictate many of the individual’s choices in dating. General knowledge about arranged marriages has recently been popularized in television shows such as My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, a reality television series which has illustrated a minority’s approach to the wedding culture and reinforced many stereotypes about Roma gypsies. In Roma culture, the grandeur of a wedding dress is a proxy for measuring the bride’s social class; larger size and more jewels symbolize greater wealth and higher status. It is also a reflection of the “modern inclination towards big, sparkly dresses” (Tremlett, 2014). In the United States, this is a result of Disney’s marketing and the “princess obsession”. In reality television shows about Roma culture, the “princess obsession” is used to further marginalize

47 this group in society. For upper- and middle-class people, an elaborate dress is considered to be regal and tasteful, whereas a similar dress worn by lower-class people may be seen as tacky and too extravagant. This illustrates Marxist ideas about economic power and social status being used as powerful weapons that allow the dominant class to make rules for everyone, including minorities that reject their ideas and values. The cultural framework surrounding weddings heavily relies on social constructionism, and television shows about weddings, such as Say Yes to the Dress, Four Weddings, and Bulging Brides, are a powerful socializing agent, as they give a relatively coherent system of messages (Osborn, 2012). Hirschi’s social control theory states that an individual’s actions can be attributed to their bonds with people around them, defined by their attachment, commitments, involvements, and beliefs. The attachment aspect is based on people’s sensitivity to other’s opinions; commitment is the amount of investment in the activity; involvement is defined by the amount of time spent engaged in the activity; and beliefs are defined by how strongly the individual accepts the common belief system. Osborn’s research reveals that a personal belief in these television portrayals, rather than amount of time spent watching them, is the greatest predictor for attitudes toward wedding culture (2012). Theoretically, the prominence of the bridal industry in Western culture is a convincing indicator that the values the industry portrays are widely shared. The television show Four Weddings emphasizes the attachment bond, where brides attend and rate each other’s weddings. While Osborn’s research indicates that viewers of the show do not necessarily subscribe to others’ opinions and values when it comes to wedding culture, the participants are fully invested. Social control theory, coupled with Osborn’s research, leads us to conclude that while television provides a broad overview of the dominant wedding culture, people deviate even from these prescribed norms and form subcultures based on other characteristics such as their wealth, ethnicity, and family traditions. The budget for the weddings has continued to increase substantially in recent decades and

currently rests around $27,800 USD for the average wedding (White, 2012). The high costs limit participants to upper- and middle-class people who are reasonably wealthy. The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the production of bridal magazines, websites, consumer television shows, wedding-themed films, and advertisements that continue to sustain the traditional wedding rituals (White, 2012). The wedding culture has mainly been heteronormative, a reflection of the institutional structure’s exclusion of same-sex marriages. Cloward and Ohlin’s differential opportunity theory helps to explain the prejudices against lower-income people and same-sex couples that prevent them from participating in the wedding rituals, causing them to experience a significant strain in trying to attain higher social status. Social power theory explains that the dominant class blocks these individuals from having the legitimate opportunities needed to achieve their goals. Some professions have gained increased status from the popularity of the wedding culture. For example, the profession of wedding photographer was previously considered to be a lower-rate job and not well-respected (White, 2012). Wedding photography acts as an important structural component that perpetuates a standard for feminine beauty and grace based on delicateness and slimness, and television shows like Bulging Brides have found a market based on these cultural insecurities. As well, the popularity of bachelorette parties for brides and stag parties for grooms have also created opportunities in the economy; for example, bachelorette parties have popularized pole-dancing lessons as an empowering event for women, neutralizing the stigma that it would normally carry. In addition to providing an economic stimulus, weddings in North America have also replaced some previous events such as family reunions. Large, formal weddings encourage bonding between extended family members, which is even more important now than in previous decades considering higher divorce rates and remarriages (Barnes, 2014). As the role of marriage continues to evolve from a religious statement to a legal and political one and becomes more fragile, people seem to be overcompensating with new wedding-related rituals that involve as many family members as possible. Rebecca Mead says

48 that “weddings are now an individualistic adventure rather than a community sacrament” (Barnes, 2014). For previous generations, marriage acted as a proxy for the boundary between adolescence and adulthood, symbolizing an achievement by the individual. The revolution of women’s careers, education, and family arrangements has also contributed to the evolving role of marriage (Lundberg & Pollack, 2015). While economic opportunities may be decreasing for men, the economic opportunities are increasing for women, meaning that men may not fulfill the traditional gender role as provider in a marriage (Lundberg & Pollack, 2015). The expected gender roles within a marriage have also been manipulated by the wedding business and its associated industries. The history of the engagement ring for brides originated with the tradition of presenting a dowry, and the jewellery industry has capitalized on this. Men also did not always wear wedding bands; this tradition began in the 1940s when men were leaving for World War II (Barnes, 2014). The exchanging of wedding bands is a ritual that provides structure and connotes ownership over the spouse. Labelling theory helps to explain the significance of this ritual. After the marriage ceremony, the wedding band provides a tangible label to the person. Wearing a wedding band is expected to change a person’s behaviour in public and they are ascribed the title of married. This process provides structure for people to socially type one another and simplify the dating process by making a person’s marital status visible and obvious. One important aspect of weddings is the concept of purity. The wedding industry has capitalized on this religious virtue by encouraging consumers to purchase white wedding dresses. Historically, brides wore a red dress for their wedding, and this tradition was changed by a few powerful European rulers: Mary, Queen of Scots wore white to her wedding in 1558, and Queen Victoria of England popularized the white wedding dress in 1840 (Time magazine, 2015). Formal wedding events first became popular during the Victorian age, linked to the vulnerability that women felt when getting married, not knowing if they would have economic security or emotional happiness. Holding an elaborate “white” wedding

was considered a good prediction for their married life. The wedding industry has capitalized on this insecurity of women and their lack of economic security, seen in advertisements such as the famous De Beers slogan, “A diamond is forever” (Barnes, 2014). Along with wearing a white wedding gown, one radical approach that intends to guarantee the bride’s virtue on the wedding day is the purity ball. This is a formal dance event popular in the United States that promotes virginity until marriage (Purity Ball, 2015). This event involves daughters of all ages making a pledge to abstain from sexual behaviour until marriage, and fathers pledge pledging to protect the purity of their daughters’ souls, body bodies, and minds. The theory is that thisThis event will is intended to solidify a deep relationship between fathers and daughters so that young women will not look for love in the wrong places for love. A formal gift exchange takes placepresentation of gifts to the young woman, such as a necklace or a purity ring, takes place to symbolize the commitment. However, tThis event is laced with anti-fFeminist traditions where in which men are expected to govern women’s sexuality and tell them what behaviours are acceptable. The invitation only extends to father-daughter relationships and does not include mother-son relationships. As the event’s structure is based loosely on a formal wedding, it attempts to compete with and provide an alternative choice to the dominant wedding culture. Merton’s strain theory explains this event as a reaction to rejecting the cultural goals but embracing some of the culture’s materialistic habits, such as giving jewellery to signify a person’s value and label them. The event is used to establish norms and encourage conformity in a religious subculture. It also embraces an absolutist perspective on the definition of marriage. Additionally, these individuals are attempting to be moral entrepreneurs. By holding a purity ball, they are attempting to morally convert the attendants to their belief system that abstinence is the ideal choice. These events also frequently include keynote speakers preaching about the dangers of sexual activity, pregnancy, and STDs, creating a moral panic and encouraging change in attitudes and behaviours.

49 As a whole, the wedding culture in North America is marked by socially constructed ideas of what a marriage is and what behaviours are expected from a spouse. While traditional expectations of marriage and family structure are still embedded in policy-making and societal standards, the various deviations in wedding traditions signify that there is no general consensus and the religious history of marriage is not relevant to most people anymore. While some individuals still subscribe to the religious interpretation of marriage, the government’s expanded definition of marriage has separated its religious significance from its political significance. While philosophies about marriage continue to be perpetuated by the wedding industry, the understanding of marriage is expected to continually evolve as cultural shifts change public perceptions.

References Barnes, M. W. (2014). Our Family Functions: Functions of Traditional Weddings for Modern Brides and Postmodern Families. Qualitative Sociology Review, 10(2), 60-78. Lockwood, P. I., Burton, C., & Boersma, K. (2011). Tampering with Tradition: Rationales Concerning Women’s Married Names and Children’s Surnames. Sex Roles, 65 (11/12), 827-839. Lundberg, S., & Pollak, R. A. (2015). The Evolving Role of Marriage: 1950-2010. Future of Children, 29-50. Osborn, J. j. (2012). When TV and Marriage Meet: A Social Exchange Analysis of the Impact of Television Viewing on Marital Satisfaction and Commitment. Mass Communication & Society, 15(5). 739-757. Purity Ball (2015). What takes place at a purity ball? – Purity Ball. Retrieved December 5, 2015 from what-takes-place-at-a-purity-ball/ Regan, P.p., Lakhanpal, S., & Anguiano, C. (2012). Relationship Outcomes In Indian-American Love-Based And Arranged Marriges. Psychological Reports, 110(3),

50 915-924. Time Magazine (n.d.) The White Dress That Changed Wedding History Forever. Retrieved December 5, 2015 from http://time. com/3698249/white-weddings Tremlett, A. (2014). Demotic or demonic? Race, class and gender in ‘Gypsy’ reality TV. Sociological Review, 62(2), 316-334. White, M.m. (2012). The Dirt on “Trash the Dress” Resistance: Photographers, Brides, and the Mess of Post-wedding Imaging Sessions. Critical Studies In Media Communication, 29(2). 113-131.


Breaching the Psyche: Mental Processes that Influence Perception


Synesthesia: Abnormality or Adaptation? Heather Kardos Psychology

Synesthesia is an extremely interesting condition in which a person experiences sensory information in unique ways; those with synesthesia (synesthetes) experience a sensory stimulation, but perceive that stimulation in two or more sensory modalities, with one or more of these modalities usually unrelated to the original stimulus, such as tasting sound as well as hearing it. The primary sensory stimulus (sound, in the previous example) is commonly known as the inducer, while the secondary sense that is experienced (for example the sense of taste when a sound is heard) is commonly called the concurrent (Grossenbacher & Lovelace, 2001). To begin to understand synesthesia, it is first necessary to understand the huge range of combinations that are possible; there are over 50 different types of synesthesia that have been identified so far, and there could, theoretically, be as many types as the ways the senses can be combined. It is estimated that over 4% of people experience some type of synesthesia (Murray, 2010); the high number of varieties of synesthesia, compared to a relatively low occurrence makes synesthesia a difficult condition to explain; however, two main theories have been supported by empirical data; the crossactivation theory (Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001), and the disinhibited feedback theory (Grossenbacher & Lovelace, 2001); each have been proposed as the singular cause of synesthesia, but have also been considered together as the mechanism of synesthesia, and each of these shall be discussed in turn. Synesthesia is also thought to have a genetic component, as family members often are known to present with similar types of synesthesia (Ward, 2013). Understanding the phenomenon of synesthesia may give us some insight into its advantages, and whether or not the combining of the senses has an evolutionary advantage, as well as insight into our own sensory

experience. Some of the more common types of synesthesia are grapheme-colour, where different letters and numbers are experienced as being specifically coloured regardless of what colour they are presented in; phoneme-colour synesthesia, where hearing specific parts of speech produces visible colours associated with those sounds; number-form synesthesia, where numbers take three dimensional forms in space for the synesthete, and lexical-gustatory synesthesia, where words, sounds, and names have a distinct taste. The colours, visions, and tastes are usually different for each synesthete, and can be simple or very complex depending on the person (Brang, Miller, McQuire, Ramachandran & Coulson, 2013). The senses of taste and smell take very different pathways to distinct primary areas in the brain, but it is the integration of these signals in the orbitofrontal cortex that makes our perception of them so closely connected (Zatorre and JonesGotman, 2000). The interconnectedness between these two senses can, arguably, be compared to synesthesia in terms of neurophysiology; increased “cross-talk� between two sensory systems in the brain, in this case at the orbitofrontal cortex, has resulted in a multisensory experience that can not be experienced as deeply without one or the other. Take for example the experience of losing the sense of taste as a result of congestion of the nose during a cold or flu; taste is severely inhibited without the sense of smell. Several different theories about the cause of synesthesia exist, most of which focus on differences in brain structure or activity; evidence exists for each of these theories, especially when comparing different types of synesthesia. The

53 cross-activation theory suggests that the expression of synesthesia is a result of usually unrelated areas of the brain being activated unintentionally by the sensory signal (Hubbard, 2007). This idea seems reasonable, as the cross-modal sensations often occur between senses that have areas in the cortex that are adjacent to one another, such as the areas for colour processing and visual word and number forms located in adjacent regions of the fusiform gyrus (Hubbard E.M., Arman A.C., Ramachandran V.S., Boynton G.M. 2005; Ramachandran & Hubbard 2001). A study by Zamm, Schlaug, Eagleman, & Loui (2013) tested 10 synesthetic and 10 non-synesthetic participants for consistency on pairing of colours with different types of sounds, such as tones, chords, and different instruments, while undergoing diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to determine if there were any structural differences in white matter (tracts) between the occipital lobe and auditory regions in the temporal lobe. The subjects were given the Synesthesia Battery test prior to the experiment, to confirm self-reported synesthesia, and rule out synesthesia in the non-synesthetic participants of the control group. By comparing the DTI results of synesthetes and non-synesthetes, the experimenters were able to map an area of the brain with increased structural connectivity between auditory and visual processing areas in the brain, hypothesized to be a result of incomplete neural pruning (2013). Several other studies have found evidence to support the cross-activation theory; using positron emission tomography (PET) (Paulesu et al, 1995) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers found that in colour-grapheme synesthetes, areas of the brain associated with colour can be activated with or without activity in the primary visual cortex, indicating that the colour area is being activated by another system in the brain (Nunn, Gregory, Brammer, Williams, Parslow, Morgan, Morris, Bullmore, Baron-Cohen, Gray, 2002; Sperling, Prvulovic, Linden, Singer, & Stirn, 2006). These studies provide important evidence for the structural difference theory of the cause of synesthesia, however, more research into the mechanisms of other types of synesthesia needs to be done, particularly as imaging techniques improve.

Another biological explanation for the basis of synesthesia is the Disinhibited Feedback Theory of Synesthesia. This theory postulates that a lack of inhibitory feedback signals causes a neural signal to travel from the primary sensory area, to an area of integration such as the parietal cortex, and continue in a top-down manner to an area where it invokes the secondary sensory stimuli (Grossenbacher & Lovelace, 2001). A study by Neufeld et al. (2012) used fMRI to evaluate connectivity between the bilateral auditory cortex, the primary visual cortex and the left inferior parietal cortex of fourteen auditoryvisual synesthetes, and fourteen control subjects. Each participant was given a modified synesthesia battery test to determine the consistency of tone/ colour choices; the participants with synesthesia scored significantly higher on consistency than those in the control group. Participants were presented with 6 different sound classes (major, minor and dissonant piano chords and pure piano, sine, and bassoon tones) while brain function was imaged using fMRI. Participants were instructed to close their eyes to avoid distracting visual stimuli, and given a button to push each time they heard a tone. Three trials were run on each participant, consisting of 24 pseudo-randomly presented stimuli, with breaks in between to prevent fatigue. The researchers found that there was no difference in connectivity between the auditory cortex and the visual cortex, for the control and experimental groups; this provided evidence against the cross-activation theory of synesthesia. They also found that in the synesthetic participants, there was increased connectivity between the left inferior parietal cortex, left primary auditory cortex, and right primary visual cortex, suggesting that that sensory information that is integrated at the parietal cortex is allowed to travel back to other sensory areas, due to disinhibited feedback. This finding contrasts others that suggest that the integration of the senses in synesthesia occurs at a higher level of processing (Grossenbacher & Lovelace, 2001; Bargary, Barnett, Mitchell & Newell, 2009), indicating that more research needs to be done in order to fully understand synesthesia. Synesthesia is also thought to have a genetic component that is expressed one of three ways: first, it is thought that a difference in genes

that participate in axon guidance can result in differential connectivity between certain areas of the brain. Another hypothesis is that genes that are responsible for drawing borders between different areas of the brain may be expressed differently in sysnesthetes. Lastly, it is thought that genes involved in synaptic pruning may be ineffective in certain brain areas in synesthetes (Bargary, & Mitchell, 2008). Another important area of consideration is determining the effect synesthesia can have on individuals cognitively, as well as on their overall quality of life. The sense of smell (olfaction) was the first of the senses to develop, evolutionarily speaking; it has also been demonstrated that the sense of smell is firmly linked to memory and emotion, thought to be a result of connections with the limbic system (Silverthorn, Johnson, Ober, Garrison, Silverthorn, 2013). It is reasonable, then, to think that olfaction may be the first sensory structure to engage in combining with others, as it has with taste. The combination of 2 or more senses is something that happens in most human beings; however, the experience is so familiar that it may seem “normal,” compared to the description of the combined senses of synesthetes. Taste and smell are extremely closely related senses; in fact, the human tongue can only detect five distinct categories of stimulation: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami (a taste that comes from the amino acid glutamate and some nucleotides) (Silverthorn, Johnson, Ober, Garrison, Silverthorn, 2013). It is actually the sense of smell, combined with sensation from the taste receptors on the tongue that allows humans to discriminate between so many different tastes; 400 separate odour receptor proteins have been identified in human noses, each responding to different types of chemical stimuli; the stimulation of different combinations of these receptor proteins are what enables humans to differentiate between thousands of different smells and tastes (Silverthorn, Johnson, Ober, Garrison, Silverthorn, 2013). Once an odour receptor protein has received a chemical signal (in the form of odour), the signal is transduced into an electrical signal, and sent to the olfactory bulb in the brain via the olfactory nerve (Silverthorn, Johnson, Ober, Garrison, Silverthorn, 2013). From the olfactory bulb, the signal is sent to the

54 primary olfactory cortex, and to the orbitofrontal cortex, which is said to be involved in integration of the senses (Kringelbach, M. L. {2005}; Carmichael, Price, {1995}; Rolls, Baylis, {1994}). In contrast, taste signals travel through the brain via cranial nerves VII, IX, and X, which synapse in the medulla; from the medulla the signal travels to the thalamus, and from the thalamus to various regions of the cortex, such as the somatosensory, gustatory, and orbitofrontal cortices (Silverthorn, Johnson, Ober, Garrison, Silverthorn, 2013). Also, the fact that these senses are combined at a high level of processing in the brain indicates that sensory integration is a newer development, evolutionarily speaking. Studies have shown that sensory integration in other types of synesthesia takes place at higher-order networks in the cortices as well (Grossenbacher &vLovelace, 2001; Bargary, Barnett, Mitchell & Newell, 2009). Combining sensory modalities has a particular effect on memory; processing information in more than one way leads to deeper encoding and therefore better recall for information we have learned (Icht, Mama & Algom, 2014). It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that some synesthetes would experience some cognitive advantages. By experiencing sensory stimuli in more than one way, synesthetes can experience advantages in some areas of cognitive abilities, such as enhanced memory (Banissy et al. 2009; Ramachandran and Hubbard 2001; Rothen et al. 2012; Hale, Thompson, Morgan, Cappelletti, & Cohen Kadosh, 2014), visuo-spatial abilities (Simner et al. 2009; Brang et al. 2010, Brang, Miller, McQuire, Ramachandran & Coulson, S. 2013), sensory perception (Banissy, Walsh & Ward, 2009), creativity (Ward, Thompson-Lake, Ely & Kaminski, 2008), and others, depending on the type of synesthesia experienced. It has even been suggested that savant skills and synesthesia may be connected on a neural basis, but more research needs to be done before this can be claimed definitively (Murray, 2010). One of the most notably cases of famous cases of a synesthete was a man called Solomon Shereshevsky, who experienced synesthesia across all five senses, meaning that one type of stimuli, such as sound, could evoke sensation in vision, touch, smell, and

55 taste all at once (Mecacci, 2013). Shereshevsky was found to have superior abilities due to his multi-modal synesthesia, such as enhanced memory, problem-solving, and musical abilities. He was also able to experience several careers due to his unique abilities, including reporter, a broker, a vaudeville actor, an herbal therapist, and a taxi driver (Mecacci, 2013). Skills such as Shereshevsky’s could arguably be evolutionarily advantageous in the world today; people who are unusually skilled in one area are often desirable to others, as evidenced by the success of highly skilled actors and athletes. There is still much that is unknown about synesthesia, and one of the main challenges is finding enough synesthetes to participate in research; they often don’t know that their perception of the world is any different from others’. These challenges may be overcome as the awareness of synesthesia becomes more widespread and more research is conducted. While there is still uncertainty for the mechanisms of synesthesia, the current theories of crossactivation and disinhibited feedback will no doubt provide a framework for further research, and as imaging techniques improve we should be able to get a clearer picture as to how synesthesia occurs. Whether or not synesthesia will prove to be an adaptation that continues to present in new ways, or increase in numbers, is yet to be seen, however, this subject is undoubtedly a fascinating area of research that will provide many opportunities to be explored more in the future.

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56 -%20JCS.pdf Rolls, E. T. (2000). The orbitofrontal cortex and reward. Cerebral Cortex, 10(3), 284-294. doi:10.1093/cercor/10.3.284 Rolls, E.T., Baylis, L.L. (1994) Gustatory, Olfactory, and Visual Convergence within the Primate Orbitofrontal Cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 14(9): 5437-5452. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/8083747 Rothen N, Meier B, Ward J (2012). Enhanced memory ability: insights from synaesthesia. Neuroscience Biobehavioural Reviews 36:1952–1963 Silverthorn, D. U., Johnson, B. R., Ober, W. C., Garrison, C. W., Silverthorn, A. C., 2013. Human physiology: An integrative approach. (6th edition). Glenview, IL: Pearson Education Sperling, J. M., Prvulovic, D., Linden, D. J., Singer, W., & Stirn, A. (2006). Neuronal correlates of colour-graphemic synaesthesia: A fMRI study. Cortex: A Journal Devoted To The Study Of The Nervous System And Behavior, 42(2), 295303. doi:10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70355-1 Ward, J. (2013). Synesthesia. Annual Review Of Psychology, 64(1), 49-75. doi:10.1146/ annurev-psych-113011-143840 Ward, J., Thompson-Lake, D., Ely, R., & Kaminski, F. (2008). Synaesthesia, creativity and art: What is the link?. British Journal Of Psychology, 99(1), 127-141. doi:10.1348/000712607X204164 Zamm, A., Schlaug, G., Eagleman, D. M., & Loui, P. (2013). Pathways to seeing music: Enhanced structural connectivity in colored-music synesthesia. Neuroimage, 74359-366. doi:10.1016/j. neuroimage.2013.02.024 Zatorre, R. J., & Jones-Gotman, M. (2000). Functional imaging of the chemical senses. In A. W. Toga, J. C. Mazziotta, A. W. Toga, J. C. Mazziotta (Eds.) , Brain mapping: The systems (pp. 403-424). San Diego, CA, US: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-012692545-6/5001


Hormones and Cognition: An Examination of Emotion Perception, Verbal Fluency, and Verbal Short-Term Working Memory across the Menstrual Cycle Alison Hughes Psychology

than females on all tasks. Studies such as this one are important in further understanding the role of The aims of the present study are to determine how hormones on cognition with the goal of extending verbal fluency, verbal short-term working memory, the research to the menopausal population. and emotional processing (Theory of Mind) vary across the menstrual cycle as a result of the rise and Keywords: hormones, cognition, menstrual fall of female sex hormones estrogen and progester- cycle, estrogen, progesterone one. Both males and females between the ages of 18 and 30 will be recruited by means of advertisements and through convenience sampling. This study will Of increasing interest is the role that female use a 4 x 2 mixed subject factorial design. The 4 lev- sex steroid hormones have on cognitive functionels of menstrual cycle include: menstruation (days ing. One of the reasons such an interest exists is 1-5), late follicular phase (days 6-14), early luteal due to the cognitive improvements seen in menophase (days 15-22) and late luteal phase (days 23- pausal women taking estrogen replacement therapy 28); the 2 levels of gender are: female and male. (ERT; Maki, Rich & Rosenbaum, 2002). Estrogen The dependent variables will be performance on is thought to have a modulating effect on the precognitive tests measuring verbal and written fluen- frontal cortex, a region of the brain which is heavcy, emotional processing (Theory of Mind) and ver- ily involved with many cognitive functions (Duff bal short-term working memory. A mixed ANOVA & Hampson, 2000). However, recent research sugwill be used to interpret the data. Participants will gests that estrogen may only be partly responsible be asked to complete a series of tests—Digit Span for enhanced cognitive functioning, such that pro(Wechsler, 1981), Verbal (Benton et al., 1983) and gesterone is also thought to be involved in improved Written (Maki et al., 2002) Fluency, The Awareness memory function. Duff and Hampson (2002) for of Social Inference Test (TASIT; Rollins, Flanagan example, found that women taking hormone re& McDonald, 2002) and the Comprehensive Affect placement therapy (HRT)—either an estrogen supTesting System (CATS; Froming, Levy, Schaffer & plement or a combined estrogen and progesterone Ekman, 2006)—each assessing different cognitive supplement—performed significantly better than functions, 4 times over the course of 1 month (each women not taking HRT on verbal and spatial memtest is to be completed 4 times). It is hypothesized ory tasks. Furthermore, they found that women that emotional processing will be best during the taking the combined estrogen and progesterone early follicular phase, when estrogen and progester- supplement made even fewer errors than women one are low, verbal and written fluency will be best taking the supplement containing only estrogen on during the mid-luteal phase when estrogen and pro- both tasks. Consequently, these findings illustrate gesterone are high and verbal short-term working the role of progesterone in the facilitation of cognimemory will be best during the early luteal phase tive functioning. when progesterone is high and estrogen is low. Males are expected to display more consistency Abstract

There is also evidence that changes in cognitive skills result from the rise and fall of female hormones at different stages of the menstrual cycle (see Maki, Rick & Rosenbaum, 2002; Solis-Ortiz & Corsi-Cabrera, 2008; Guapo, Graeff, Zani, Labate, dos Reis & Del-Ben, 2009). Day 1 of the menstrual cycle starts when a woman begins menstruating and marks the early follicular phase, when both estradiol—the most prevalent estrogen—and progesterone concentrations are very low. Estradiol begins to increase between days 6 and 13, during the late follicular phase until it peaks on day 14 right before ovulation (Ferree, Kamat & Cahill, 2011); progesterone levels remain very low. Progesterone levels rapidly increase during the luteal phase (between days 15 and 31) and peak around day 22, after which they start to drop. Estradiol levels reach their second peak during the luteal period, however this peak is significantly lower than the pre-ovulatory peak reached on day 14 (Ferree et al., 2011). Thus, if different cognitive skills are affected more by one hormone than another (i.e., progesterone over estrogen and vice versa) it stands to reason that during certain times of the menstrual cycle, women will be better at one set of cognitive skills than others. Indeed the research shows that sustained attention, emotional processing, and verbal fluency vary specifically in both functionality and efficiency across the month. For example, Guapo et al. (2009) found that women in the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle (low estrogen and progesterone) were better able to recognize the negative emotion of anger than compared to women in the luteal phase (high estrogen and progesterone). During ovulation (high estrogen), the emotion of fear was better recognized, and happiness was the most easily and consistently identified emotion across the menstrual cycle (Guapo et al., 2009). The researchers found that during ovulation, the recognition of angry faces was less accurate than compared to the follicular phase, suggesting that estrogen plays a primary role in emotional processing (Guapo et al., 2009). Based on the authors’ findings, estrogen was correlated with poorer identification of the emotion anger, which suggests that it inhibits the recognition of certain emotions. Derntl, Kryspin-Exner, Fernbach, Moser and Habel (2008a) also found that women in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle were more accurate on emotion recognition tasks than those in the luteal phase. Like Guapo et

58 al. (2009), they too found that the most commonly recognized facial expression was happiness and the least recognized was disgust. Additionally, they found that women made the most errors during the luteal phase where they frequently mistook other facial expressions as anger or disgust. Independently, errors did not reach significance (i.e., mistaking sadness for disgust), but collectively errors did reach significance when mistakes for the emotion anger were all pooled together (i.e., mistaking fear for anger; mistaking sadness for anger, etc. to gain a score for anger confusion; Derntl et al., 2008a). Furthermore, they found that both estrogen and progesterone were significantly correlated with emotion recognition, where those with higher levels of estrogen and progesterone (i.e., in the luteal stage) demonstrated poorer recognition. These findings suggest that high levels of estrogen and progesterone are negatively correlated with emotional processing. As previously noted, progesterone increases during the luteal phase. According to Little (2013), this increase occurs in order to prepare the woman for possible pregnancy. Provided a women conceives, she needs to be aware of her surroundings so as to protect her unborn child. Conway et al., (as cited in Little, 2013), explain that during the luteal phase, when progesterone is high, women need to be more attentive to visual cues (i.e., facial expressions) which could pose as possible threats and thus be a danger to the mother and her developing baby. Perhaps women were making more recognition errors as part of a natural response that would be elicited if they were indeed pregnant, therefore acting as a protective mechanism and an explanation for the increased number of errors made in the luteal phase. A study by Derntl et al. (2008b) provides a feasible explanation regarding the enhanced emotion recognition demonstrated by women during the follicular phase. They describe the amygdala as playing a central part in emotion recognition and found that it had stronger activation—in that the amplitude of the functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) was greater—for emotions portraying disgust and happiness during the follicular phase. Thus, it would appear that females’ emotional network activity is elevated during the pre-ovulatory phase, when concentrations of progesterone and estrogen are low. It is suspected that emotional network activity is elevated during the follicular phase because women are fertile and perhaps more

interested in social signals and interactions, factors that may enhance mating potential (Derntl et al., 2008b). The results of the fMRI support the findings by Guapo et al. (2009) in that negative emotions were more recognizable during the follicular phase. Additionally, these findings foster the claims that emotion recognition changes throughout the menstrual cycle. An extension of emotion recognition, Theory of Mind (ToM) “refers to the capacity to attribute mental states, such as thoughts, beliefs, desires, and intentions to others, and is pivotal to the ability to make sense of social behaviour and interpersonal communication” (McDonald, 2012, p. 40). In other words, ToM is one’s social perception of other people (i.e., their perceived intentions) which contributes to interactions between the individual and others. Typically, ToM is negatively affected in those with cognitive deficits such as autism spectrum disorder. For example, they may demonstrate a high IQ and speak fluently, yet fail to recognize social cues and infer meaning from sarcastic statements (McDonald, 2012). Although there is very little research examining ToM across the menstrual cycle, there have been a few studies which present interesting findings. According to Gardner et al., and Pickett et al., (as cited in Maner & Miller, 2014), it has also been found that social monitoring, or having a heightened awareness of social cues which may indicate harm or threat, increases during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle when progesterone is elevated. Congruent with the explanation by Little (2013), this is thought to be because the luteal phase is when conception is possible and women therefore must pay attention to social cues that could represent a threat to their unborn child. Based on this knowledge, it would seem likely that ToM would fluctuate across the menstrual cycle as a response to varying levels of progesterone. DeSoto, Bumgarner, Close and Geary (2007) also looked at how ToM is affected by hormones, however, they considered testosterone (predominantly found in males) in addition to estrogen. Their study comprised two separate experiments. Both experiments had participants view photographs of individuals expressing different emotions where their task was to select the adjective that best described the emotion portrayed in the image. Experiment one tested only female participants. These

59 participants were tested twice, one month apart. After completion of the first trial, half of the participants (experimental group) began taking oral contraceptives while the other half (control group) did not. Experiment two tested both males and females. These participants were tested only once. The researchers found that there was no difference in performance between females who were taking oral contraceptives and those who were not; however they did find that males with higher levels of testosterone demonstrated poorer abilities when it came to accurately identifying emotions (DeSoto et al., 2007). Even though these findings suggest that estrogen does not influence ToM, it is inaccurate to fully settle on this conclusion. This study tested participants during the same time of their menstrual cycle and therefore, hormones levels would have been relatively similar. As a result, it is impossible to know whether fluctuating levels of estrogen and/ or progesterone play a role in ToM abilities. Additionally, the researchers’ experimental group (in experiment one) consisted of participants who recently started taking oral contraceptives, which do not consider natural hormones, only synthetic ones. An interesting finding however, was that testosterone levels were related to poorer emotion identification, therefore suggesting that hormones do indeed play a role in ToM skills. It would be interesting to know whether females’ ToM does in fact change across the menstrual cycle due to the natural fluctuation of female sex hormones, thus presenting a reason for future research. In addition to emotional processing, verbal fluency has also been found to fluctuate across the menstrual cycle. However, unlike emotional processing, enhanced verbal fluency is correlated with high levels of estrogen (Maki et al., 2002). Hampson et al., (as cited in Maki et al., 2002) found that women who completed a battery of cognitive tests demonstrated increased verbal fluency during the mid-luteal phase, when both estrogen and progesterone are high. Maki et al. (2002) tested verbal fluency by having participants complete three fluency tests; a rhyme fluency test, a phonemic fluency test and a category fluency test. They found that overall, participants performed better, in that they were able to generate more words on all three tasks, during the mid-luteal phase compared to the follicular phase. However, only the verbal rhyming test reached significance across the cycle (Maki et al.,

2002). Their results suggest that verbal fluency is indeed influenced by levels of estrogen. Similarly, Mordecai, Rubin and Maki (2008) report that suppression of ovarian hormones (estrogen) results in decreased verbal memory, a deficit that is reversed when estrogen is reintroduced. It would thus seem that estrogen influences verbal fluency, which would consequently vary depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. Attentional processing is another cognitive skill that appears to be influenced by the phase of the menstrual cycle. Solis-Ortiz, Guevara and Corsi-Cabrera (2004) had participants complete the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST; Grant & Berg, 1948; Heaton, 1981), a task that indeed requires sustained attention. Performance was measured by how quickly participants could figure out the sorting pattern. The authors concluded that women performed better while in the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle, when progesterone levels are high compared to the late luteal phase (low estrogen and progesterone) and during ovulation (high estrogen). However, participants also performed well during menstruation (Solis-Ortiz et al., 2004), when both estrogen and progesterone levels are low, presenting some conflicting results. The authors suggest this discrepancy was due to the stability of both hormones during menstruation which could have resulted in enhanced performance. A later study by Solis-Ortiz and Corsi-Cabrera (2008) tested participants’ sustained attention by having them complete a Continuous Performance Task (CPT; Lorenzo et al., 1995) and found that reaction time and number of correct responses increased during the early luteal phase, when estrogen is low and progesterone is high. Furthermore, they found that reaction time and number of correct responses decreased during the ovulatory phase, when estrogen is at its peak, thus suggesting that sustained attention is influenced by levels of progesterone. Both of these studies demonstrate that attention is indeed influenced by the varying concentrations of female sex hormones across the menstrual cycle.

60 sex hormones. Indeed further evidence of the roles played by female hormones on cognitive functions can be found in studies of the menopause. Fuh, Wang, Lee, Lu and Juang (2006) for example propose that the menopause tends to govern a time when memory complaints are very common. In one of their previous studies (Fuh et al., as cited in Fuh et al., 2006) they found that many cognitive functions did in fact significantly decline between the premenopausal to postmenopausal stage. These results support the belief that cognitive functioning does indeed decline throughout the menopause.

Based on the aforementioned findings, it is evident that cognitive abilities are influenced by the rise and fall of both estrogen and progesterone across the month. Being a greatly neglected area of research, it is essential that additional research is conducted in order to further understand which cognitive abilities are most affected by female sex hormones, and specifically whether estrogen or progesterone is of larger influence. Thus, the purposes of the present research are to determine (a) how verbal fluency (executive function of working memory), verbal short-term working memory, and emotional processing (ToM) vary across the menstrual cycle; and (b) which female sex steroid hormones are enhancing or hindering these cognitive functions. It is hypothesized that emotional processing (ToM) will be elevated during the early follicular phase, when estrogen and progesterone levels are low; verbal short-term working memory will be best during the early luteal phase, when estrogen is low and progesterone is high; verbal fluency (executive function of working memory) will peak during the mid-luteal phase when estrogen and progesterone are high and decrease during the early follicular phase when estrogen is low; males will demonstrate more consistency across all cognitive tasks. If the hypotheses hold true, there will be further evidence in support of cognitive functions being facilitated by female sex hormones. Additionally, it is hopeful that the results will further identify which specific hormones—either estrogen or progesterone—are of larger influence to these skills. By separating the It would seem from the previous studies cycle into four phases (as opposed to two) we can that cognitive skills are to some degree facilitated better isolate the fluctuation of hormones, thus alby levels of female hormone secretions. It can also lowing more information to be drawn from the rebe assumed that older women and certainly those sults. entering the menopause would experience similar cognitive changes due to the natural decrease in

61 hormone levels on spontaneous intrusive recollections following emotional stimuli. Consciousness and Cognition, 20, 1154-1162. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2011.02.003

The present research has many implications. For example, ToM has not been examined across the menstrual cycle, so the findings of this research are expected to be of importance with regards to if and how the social brain is affected by female hormones. As ToM is highly involved in so- Fuh, J., Wang, S., Lee, S., Lu, S., & Juang, K. (2006). A longitudinal study of cognition cial interactions and communications, this research change during early menopausal transition has both theoretical and practical importance. It in a rural community. Maturitas, 53, 447-453. is hopeful that this research can be extended to the doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2005.07.009 menopausal population and provide insight as to whether certain hormones present in HRT may be Guapo, V. G., Graeff, F.G., Zani, A. T., Labate, helpful in preventing cognitive deficits. The impact C. M., dos Reis, R. M., & Del-Ben, C. M. of the menopause on cognitive function is subject (2009). Effects of sex hormonal levels and to debate, so any information that can be gathered phases of the menstrual cycle in the prothrough research regarding hormones and cognicessing of emotional faces. Psychoneuroention will help to further understand the ambiguity docrinology, 34(7), 1087-1094. doi:10.1016/j. that exists. Finally, this research may be used to help psyneuen.2009.02.007 understand the relationship between hormones and dementia, which is another topic of current inter- Little, A. C. (2013). The influence of sex steroid est. hormones on the cognitive and emotional processing of visual stimuli in humans. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 34, 315-328. doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2013.07.009 References

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The Relationships of Nursing Education, Ageism, Perceived Vulnerability to Disease and Elderspeak Gabriel Deros Psychology

In 1997, a single man was responsible for six percent of all homicides in England and Wales, with more than nine out of every ten of his victims being older adults (Gilleard, 2008). This man was Dr. Harold Shipman, a family doctor who murdered at least 215 of his older adult patients over the span of two decades in the late 20th century, primarily in their own homes and without possessing any significant pathology (Gilleard, 2008). Gilleard (2008) describes Dr. Shipman’s actions as a “murderous ageism”, selecting his targets based on their age (p. 88). Duncan and Schaller (2009) provide a further definition of ageism stating that it is “age based prejudices and acts of discrimination” (p. 97). While the example of Dr. Shipman is extreme, it can serve as an illustration of how health care relationships can be susceptible to abuses of power. Ageism remains a serious issue, and it has the capacity to only become more prominent as the older adult population in the United States is projected to grow at three times the rate as other groups (Brush, Sochalski, & Berger, 2004). In fact, this is a worldwide demographic phenomenon in both high and low income countries as well (Koh, 2012). This increase in the older adult population has led to a nursing shortage, and the United States alone is projected to be short 800,000 nurses by the year 2020 (Brush, Sochalski, & Berger, 2004). Furthermore, Haron, Levy, Albagli, Rotstein, and Riba, (2013) found that in both Belgium and Australia, only approximately eight percent of nurses work in geriatrics, and that this is likely due to negative attitudes towards ageing. Thus, as demand for geriatric care specialization increases, health care education must be involved in reducing ageist attitudes and promoting good communication with older adults amongst health care workers: first, to

increase quality of care; second, to promote interest in health care work with older adults; and third to reduce nursing burnout (Koh, 2012). As such, this paper will explore one of the causal agents of ageism, Perceived Vulnerability to Disease (PVD), followed by a discussion on the efficacy of nursing education in reducing ageism in health care, and then investigating elderspeak, an aspect of intergenerational communication and how it relates to ageism in health care. The roots of ageism are complex and involve many variables, such as cultural shifts from collectivist to individualistic societies, advertisements, the media, and more (Nelson, 2011; Özer & Terkes, 2014). Another factor found to influence ageism is an awareness and fear of one’s own mortality, referred to as Terror Management Theory, and has received much empirical investigation and support (Nelson, 2011; Boudjemadi & Gana, 2012). Similarly, data shows that one’s PVD contributes to higher levels of ageism as well, although it has received less attention and is a relatively newly delineated construct (Stahl & Metzger, 2013); Stahl and Metzger (2013) define PVD as a heightened concern about disease transmission (p. 199). PVD is comprised of two sub-components: germ aversion and perceived susceptibility to infection (Duncan, Schaller & Park, 2009). Duncan et al. (2009) indicate that the perceived susceptibility to infection component is a more stable trait than germ aversion, and that germ aversion is more predictive of negative affective appraisals, such as disgust, towards stimuli perceived to be disease salient (p. 545). Duncan and Schaller (2009) describe how the physical changes that occur in older adulthood could implicitly cue avoidance in younger people; an indi-

vidual’s linkage between the concepts of ageing and being immunocompromised could build a strong association between seeing an older adult and thoughts of disease, activating the behavioural consequences of PVD. Essentially, along with the immune system, Duncan and Schaller propose a “behavioural immune system,” whereby cues of disease, such as coughing or lesions on the skin, lead to the psychological response of disgust and then avoidance of the individual, which decreases the chances of contracting an illness (p. 99-100). The use of such a process is due to the microscopic nature of pathogens unseen by the human eye, and the necessary need to use perceptible cues to identify their presence (Duncan & Schaller, 2009). Duncan and Schaller go on to say that it is more harmful to misidentify someone who is sick as being healthy, than it is to misidentify someone who is healthy as being sick, so a broader brush is used to distinguish which cues to avoid. This then leads to the discrimination of many individuals who deviate morphologically from the species-typic norm, such as higher instances of anti-fat attitudes among children and adolescents who scored highly on the PVD measure (Magallares, Juaregui-Lobera, Carbonero-Carreño, Ruiz-Prieto, Bolaños-Ríos, & Cano-Escoriaza1, 2015). Principally, it is more costly for organisms to make type II errors (incorrect failure to reject the null hypothesis; i.e. disease is present but the organism fails to notice it), than type I (incorrect rejection of the null hypothesis; i.e. the organism perceives disease as present that in reality is not there), when identifying objects in the environment that can transmit disease, and the behavioural immune system reduces this risk (Haselton & Buss, 2009; Duncan & Schaller, 2009). One suggestion made by Duncan and Schaller (2009) is that clinical placements in hospitals and care facilities could increase the saliency of illness for health care workers, thus increasing PVD, and thereby contributing to higher levels of ageism among health care staff (p. 110). In this case, nursing students could develop stronger cognitive associations between older adulthood and the concept of disease throughout the course of their nursing programs. To date, there does not appear to be any published research concerning whether nursing education has an effect on nursing students’ PVD, in what direction an effect would be seen if one exists, and how it might affect nurs-

64 ing practice. It is possible that a working environment consisting of older adults with pathology, and the study of disease as a part of course work, could create conditions ideal for cultivating ageist attitudes, as suggested by Duncan and Schaller. However, the opposite can also be argued, in that exposure to disease-salient stimuli for an extended period of time could create a buffering effect against PVD. This second explanation may be more likely to be the case. A growing body of research does address the issue of nurses and nursing students’ attitudes towards older adults and their interest in specialization in geriatric care (Courtney, Tong, & Walsh, 2000; Koh, 2012). In their review of this literature, Courtney et al. (2000) found that as nurses’ education level increased, negative attitudes towards older adults decreased. For example, Söderhamn, Lindencrona and Merit Gustavsson (2001) found that first-year nursing students scored higher on a measure of ageism than third-year nursing students. Furthermore, registered nurses scored lower than the third-year nursing students in the same study. This study echoes earlier findings, such as research conducted by Haight, Christ, and Diaz (1994), which assessed cohorts of nursing students’ attitudes towards older adults throughout their degree, and described the specific educational interventions regarding older adults that the students received. The authors noted that having positive role models of older adults, such as grandparents, also acted as a contributing factor to lower ageist attitudes (Haight et al., 1994). Additionally, Hope (1994) found that nurses working in geriatric patient wards scored significantly lower on measures of ageism than nurses working on general medical wards. More recently, Rodgers and Gilmour (2011) studied attitudes towards older adults by administering questionnaires assessing ageism to first year nursing students at the beginning and end of the semester. During this particular semester, students completed a clinical rotation in a long term care facility for older adults and wrote a paper on gerontological theory. The authors found that over the course of the semester, the sample of nursing students’ negative attitudes of older adults dropped significantly (Rodgers & Gilmour, 2011). These examples help reveal how both education and experience with older adults, whether professional or personal, can prove to be

beneficial in improving attitudes. Thus, while the environment in which nursing students are imbedded is argued to be ideal for entrenching ageist attitudes by Duncan & Schaller (2009), it is evident that the education and experience that nursing students receive appears to be effective at reducing ageism. However, it must be noted that the relationships between nursing education, PVD and ageism have yet to be closely studied in concert. One particularly concerning behavior in health care is elderspeak, an adaptation in speech wherein the listener is perceived to have disabilities in hearing and comprehension due to their older age (Cunningham & Williams, 2007). Elderspeak manifests in the following ways: simplified grammar and vocabulary, shorter sentences and slowed speech, inappropriate terms of endearment, speaking loudly and in a higher pitch, and exaggerated changes in prosody (Cunningham & Williams, 2007). Elderspeak has been often observed in health care settings (Cunningham & Williams, 2007), and while some older adults respond positively to it because they find it comforting, this is only a minority of older adults (Williams, Kemper, & Hummert, 2003), and the majority of older adults respond negatively to being talked to in this way (Williams, Herman, Gajewski, & Wilson, 2009). Research has found many adverse consequences for older adults when elderspeak is used, including increased aggression, agitation, withdrawal, wandering, and refusal of care, which are collectively referred to as Restiveness to Care (RTC) behaviours (Cunningham & Williams, 2007; Herman & Williams, 2009). RTC is a major cause of nursing burnout, and indicates a need for meaningful social interaction in older adult patients (Cunningham & Williams, 2007). Furthermore, according to one study, people rate those who use elderspeak as less intelligent, condescending and mean, and those addressed with elderspeak as less capable (Balsis & Carpenter, 2005). These data reveal the negative outcomes of the use of elderspeak for all parties involved. The reasons people engage in elderspeak are complex, although some aspects have been uncovered. For example, it is well known that people adjust their speech to the individual they are conversing with, a phenomenon known as ‘audience design’ (Horton & Spieler, 2007), and that this can help aid understanding (O’Connor & St. Pierre, 2004). O’Con-

65 nor and St. Pierre (2004) list examples of positive outcomes for audience design, such as to increase one’s perceived attractiveness or intelligence; a person would not speak to their date the same way as they would to a prospective employer and vice versa. Despite its necessity and many positives, audience design can be taken too far through over accommodation for the listener, although often unintentionally and without any malicious intent. This results in the use of elderspeak when the interlocutor is an older adult (O’Connor & St. Pierre, 2004). O’Connor and St. Pierre explain that this often occurs between younger adult speakers and older adult listeners, and is primarily due to false beliefs about the capacities of older adults (p. 198). As such, stereotypes, which Palacios, Torres, and Mena (2009) define as “attributes which are believed to characterize members of a certain social category” (p. 385), may account for some of the underlying causes behind why people use elderspeak (Balsis & Carpenter, 2005). Palacios et al. discuss the negative stereotypes associated with ageing, such as older adults being perceived as being ill tempered, socially isolated, and cognitively impaired, and they further mention that negative stereotypes have been found to lead to negative attitudes (p. 385). Samuelsson, Adolfsson, and Persson (2013) elaborate by discussing the Communication Predicament Model, which suggests that markers of ageing, such as grey hair, are what activate these stereotypes, and lead to these over accommodations in speech. Balsis and Carpenter (2005) provide further insight by mentioning that elderspeak may be used as a way for people to socially distance themselves from the older adult they are speaking with, lest they be associated together (p. 82). As outlined in the literature, the use of elderspeak is possibly due to a misguided kindness for perceived deficits in ability of older adults, or as a result of negative stereotypes and attitudes in an effort to not be socially connected with an older adult conversant. Therefore, while it has been demonstrated that elderspeak is in part caused by stereotypes of ageing, the role of negative attitudes (i.e. ageism) has not been directly investigated and is currently unknown. Furthermore, how an individual’s PVD would further modulate its use should also be taken into account; as discussed earlier, evidence suggests that PVD is a causal agent for ageism. The importance of such

66 an investigation is clear, as the use of elderspeak has negative consequences for both the patient and health care practitioner, and further efforts towards understanding and reducing its use in health care settings is necessary. In light of the reviewed literature, the role of nursing education as a means to reduce the likelihood of ageist attitudes among health care professionals and improve patient-nurse communication is paramount. It could be that higher level nursing students, having increased exposure to disease-salient stimuli, will have higher levels of PVD and therefore also possess greater magnitudes of ageism. In contrast, however, the chronic exposure to these stimuli could habituate their negative effects among nursing students, and they will therefore be unaffected by PVD, resulting in reduced ageism. The use of elderspeak may be an ageist phenomenon, with users stereotyping and trying to distance themselves from their conversational partner (Balsis & Carpenter, 2005). Conversely, it is possible that the use of elderspeak comes from the intention to compensate for perceived difficulties in understanding on behalf of the older adult (Samuelsson et al., 2013). In this case, the use of elderspeak could be seen as a misguided, yet well-intentioned way that people try to help older adults (Samuelsson et al., 2013). Continuing research in this area is important as the age discrimination literature is still relatively young (Nelson, 2011), and the serious issues of ageism and elderspeak should not be neglected, especially as they relate to health care due to their impact on the patient, practitioner, and the public at large. In a society glorifying youth and geared towards the rapid disposal of technology, it is important to further understand how to prevent the cultural disposal of valuable human beings who have successfully lived to older adulthood.


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Medium is the Message: Identity Performance and Representation


A Record Scratched: Esi Edugyan’s Use of Imperfect Documentation within Half-Blood Blues Julia Dovey English

Half-Blood Blues is an evocative novel that focuses on music as resistance against adversity, with the use of highly descriptive language and heavy imagery. At the forefront is the image of the scratched vinyl record, a primary focal point throughout the book. Though the record’s importance is apparent in the simplest of plot summaries, its importance as a record scratched is just as, if not more, significant, on a much more subtle scale. Esi Edugyan uses the imperfect record as a tool, creating parallels between elements of the story, the characters, and readers, while also questioning if, in this case, imperfect is preferable to perfect documentation. Not many will disagree that the vinyl record is a central object in Half-Blood Blues. Esi Edugyan paints it as an object of resistance and reverence in both 1939, as Sid states that he would “never be involved in no greater thing in my life” (279), and in 1990, with the record described as a “collective finger to the authorities” in the documentary (46). As Charles Nunley points out, the jazz record as resistance is not a new concept; French poet Robert Desnos defies German authority similarly by collecting records, and if the “act of listening to jazz under the Occupation can be viewed as a gesture of subtle resistance, Desnos both embraces this notion and broadens it to present record collecting itself as a viable avenue for defending one’s cultural open-mindedness in the face of racial and political intolerance” (124). In a tale of defiance in wartime Europe from the point of view of a Jazz band, it seems only fitting that the record is the symbol of resistance, and with its image upon the cover, the importance the vinyl record has to the book itself is evident.

On a second read, however, it is clear that the idea of the record is not singular to the vinyl record; the theme of physical record and documentation is prevalent in many different forms throughout. The documentary, Hiero’s letters, and the legal papers are all forms of physical documentation that are crucial to the story. Yet, there is another similarity in these various records that add a deeper complexity to the story; the records themselves are mostly imperfect. The vinyl record is “warped” and “half-baked” (30), with Hiero “yelling halfway through” (47), ruining parts of the track. This is not a throwaway line meant to fall under the radar, as a scratch is visible even in the cover picture. Secondly, the documentary of Hiero is not conclusive or even accurate; it “wasn’t told in no straight line” (46) and includes speculation by Chip of Sid’s betrayal that was not entirely true. Chip himself states that the documentary was edited to be different than the initial interview, and that he “ain’t said half of that.” (60). Finally, it is also not the real papers that hold importance to the plot, it is the false passports that are crucial, and though they are good forgeries, “they aren’t perfect” (70). This does not seem coincidental; Edugyan could have made some of these forms of documentation perfect, and yet it is imperfect records that pop up more often in the story as crucial plot points and imagery, not to mention visually on the physical cover. This suggests that the use of the imperfect document is a choice on the author’s part, given that it wouldn’t have had a massive impact on the story had some been perfect; a flawless vinyl hidden in a wall would have sufficed, as would a documentary that was told in a “straight line”. It may have even benefited the story, having a perfect recording of the song

despite resistance, and a flawless documentary that is more likely to be believed, by both the fictional audience and the real. That she has made these specifications suggests that there is something she couldn’t convey with perfect forms of recording. On its own, the idea of the record has importance to the plot, but it is only when the records become imperfect that suggests a deeper importance for these forms of flawed documentation. As the characters in Half Blood Blues have their suspicions of the world they live in, so too must readers have suspicions of the way it is represented. It is apparent the story is not as accurate as Sid wants readers, or even himself, to believe, as evidence of his unreliability as a narrator is peppered throughout the text. His biased point of view is evident, especially when it comes to Hiero. One example would be Sid’s assumption that Hiero had maliciously kept information from him despite causing him grief, and done “nothing to soften it” (217). There is an immediate switch in language in regards to Hiero after this revelation, with a use of increasingly harsh wording, describing how he “complained” (218), “squealed” (219), while more than once referring to him as “Judas” (218, 222), and a “scrawny Kraut bastard” (245), only for the language to abate once “some of the fury” had “sort of evaporated off ” (248). These subtle changes in language are in tandem with the switches in Sid’s mood, and can have a huge influence over readers–an influence that would have been lost had the story been told from an unbiased perspective. Further, the colloquial diction in the storytelling gives the idea of orality, suggesting that it is an unedited flow of memory, subject to mistakes; it is peppered with filler expletives, notably the word “hell”, and occasional parenthetical asides: “When he finally come to (don’t you love how these exec types talk?), he known he needed to do three things.” (31). Edugyan’s decision to use an unreliable narrator is interesting, and likely as intentional as her decision to use forms of imperfect documentation. Per Krogh Hansen suggests that the use of an unreliable narrator is used as a way to switch the reader’s focus from what “is being told to the one who is telling” (230). It is perhaps this reason that

70 readers first assume when coming across Sid, and while this could indeed be one of the reasons— readers are given a very in-depth character study in the way he tells the story—there is another possible reason. The use of unreliable storytelling gives readers another, albeit subtle, form of false documentation: the book itself. Edugyan uses the unreliable narrator as a way to emphasise Sid’s flawed character, but it is possible she used it to create a direct parallel to the imperfect recordings within the plot. This not only offers an irony to the storytelling, but is further proof that the imperfect recording is a crucial aspect of the story. Why does Edugyan make the decision to emphasise imperfect documentation so frequently within Half-Blood Blues? There are a number of possible reasons. First, the imperfect record is reflected in the setting and tone of the story. In terms of setting, one sees the imperfections of the war-torn world they live in, with their home of a club where “rats lived in the walls” (71), though there is the emphasis that it once had “red velvet stairs” (71), just as the record had to have been “absolutely smooth” to have been recorded on; thus, they were both perfect, only made imperfect by circumstance. In terms of tone, the use of the imperfect document creates a sense of unease; an inkling that readers are not getting the full picture, as they do not get the full, true recording, a feeling that parallels the suspicions and betrayals within Sid’s tale, and the incredible fear of experiencing war from the sidelines. Secondly, the expectations that readers have when reading must be considered. One typically jumps into a book assuming what they read is true; a perfect document. Even in stories with unreliable narrators, it is still possible for a number of readers to miss the hints, and assume it to be true. In Sid’s case, his unreliability is somewhat disguised, as his position as an intelligent adult is a much more uncommon form for an unreliable narrator. This, again, creates a parallel. What readers assume in reading the book match the assumptions of the characters within the story; that is, the accuracy of false or imperfect documentation. This idea of expectation verses reality in reading is echoed also in Hiero’s surprising genius despite his youth and waifish appearance. Edugyan likely had her future readers as much in the forefront of her mind as the

unreliable narrator himself; Catherine McKinnon points out that “the identity of the listener [is] a more vexing problem than the voice of the storyteller” (86). Edugyan’s use of the imperfect recording in both plot and storytelling connects readers directly to the characters in terms of expectation verses reality. What is ironic is that the less the idea of the imperfect recording is noticed by readers, the thicker the connection becomes. In short, the imperfect record is both a reflection of setting and tone of the story, while it also causes readers to become inadvertent reflections of the characters themselves in their immediate assumptions of accuracy. Importance aside, imperfect documentation is generally seen in a negative light; perfect and true information is preferable to falsity and lies. Within the story, this idea is upheld in many instances. Sid has obvious distain toward the falsity of the documentary, as the fact that it was “told in no straight line” was his first impression of the film (46). The damage to the record caused “actual pieces of the performance [to be] missing”, and prevented the full genius of the song to be heard (47). Though the falsity of the documents were what ultimately allowed freedom to most of the characters, they were imperfect in that they were incomplete; Hiero’s document did not include an American passport, and hiding the papers became the root of Sid’s extreme guilt his “whole life” (305) for inadvertently causing Hiero’s arrest. Many aspects of the story indicate the widely accepted credence that truth trumps falsity. However, it is not true that imperfect documentation is always seen as negative within the story. Consider the song within the scratched record. Barring the damage, it was never a perfect recording in the eyes of Hiero; in fact, he made to throw it out, calling it a “damn braid of mistakes” (47), and was barely salvaged by Sid. Yet it is ironically hailed as “genius” by the public—a recording deemed not only imperfect, but garbage, by its primary creator (47). On Sid’s unreliability as a narrator, it is his naivety on some occasions that leave him in a better state of mind, such as his assumption that Ernst stayed behind to save them, rather than the very likely possibility that he simply wished to save himself (163).

71 Additionally, Sid’s idiosyncrasies and biases as a storyteller create a more flavourful tale, one that is more relatable for many readers, rather than a story that is completely impartial. Hansen notes that “if reader and narrator share a worldview, a moral standard, values, or beliefs, the narrator will be reliable to the reader. If not, he/she will be unreliable” (227). On the other hand, one of the only instances of absolutely perfect recording is seen in a very negative light within the story. The German’s attempt at Jazz was perfect down to the note, as it is read from “sheet music” transcribed from a record, yet is described by Sid as a “sickness”, and that listening to this jazz, according to Sid, caused one to think they had “died and gone to hell (42). Julien Laroche and Ilan Kaddouch point out that improvisation in music is “a mean to reveal oneself from both a personal lived perspective, and the perspective of the observer of one’s living behavior” (2). Thus improvisation, a highly personal aspect of music, is entirely lost in a perfect recording. Finally, this imperfect, improvised recording as a counter to the perfect recording is a direct representation of the character’s fight to take back what the Third Reich had taken away. The Nazis had confiscated Hiero’s papers, rendering him “stateless” and a “cultural stain” (49). Thus, they had taken away his identity as both a German and a human being, just as they had taken the identity from Jazz in their bastardization of the genre. This identity is re-claimed in the recording of “Half-Blood Blues”, both in Hiero proclaiming and accepting his mixedness in the name, and the regaining of Jazz’s signature style in the song itself. The perfection of the Arian race, reflected in the perfectly accurate identification papers and note-by-note sheet music, is countered by the imperfection of Jazz improvisation, recorded by half-bloods upon on a scratched record. Though perfection is typically strived for, imperfection, as seen in Half-Blood Blues, can sometimes be preferable. The imperfect recording is crucial to HalfBlood Blues in both obvious and elusive ways. Its many variations drew connections between characters, readers, and the book itself, while also alluding to the preferability of imperfection within a world of forced cookie cutter precision.

72 Esi Edugyan masterfully uses the imperfect record as her own instrument, directing any readers who were listening toward these connections, while giving them a touch of flawed magic through the medium of harsh reality and muddy language. After all, in a world that is far from perfect, yet still strives for perfection, sometimes one must slow down and appreciate the bumps on the road; without the bumps, a needle running through a record’s groove would only produce silence.

Works Cited Edugyan, Esi. Half-Blood Blues. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2011. Print. Hansen, Per Krogh. “Reconsidering The Unreliable Narrator.” Semiotica 2007.165 (2007): 227-246. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. Laroche, Julien, and Ilan Kaddouch. “Spontaneous Preferences And Core Tastes: Embodied Musical Personality And Dynamics Of Interaction In A Pedagogical Method Of Improvisation.” Frontiers In Psychology 6.(2015): 1-4. Academic Search Complete. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. McKinnon, Catherine. “Case Study: Writing Unreliable Narrator Will Martin.” Narrative 22.3 (2014): 395-416. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. Nunley, Charles Arthur. “For The Record: Robert Desnos, Music, And Wartime Memory.” Substance 2 (2009): 113. Project MUSE. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.


Abed and Metaphorical Spaces in Community Katie Stobbart English

Community (Dan Harmon) is not only a medium for exploring and transmitting culture; it offers a commentary on how culture is explored and transmitted via media. The TV show observes how people relate to each other and how that corresponds to their relationship with culture and media. In this paper, I will examine more narrowly how this commentary is reflected in a central character. In the first season and in every summary of Community, Jeff Winger—a lawyer forced to earn a community college degree after being exposed as a fraud—is identified as the hero. His placement as main protagonist suggests a story arc where, at the end, Jeff ’s conflicts are resolved, and that Jeff is connected to, or representative, of the show’s central focus. As the story progresses, the audience’s eye is drawn instead to a character whose conflicts are more complex, and who belies the trope of the handsome, charming, but overly arrogant modern hero. In at least two ways, Abed Nadir is a more fitting hero for Community. The show is concerned with outcasts; each character is apparently an outcast version of a social stereotype (an overachiever who went too far, a star athlete who lost his scholarship, an aged forever-student who hasn’t truly become an adult, and so on). They all find themselves in an island-of-misfit-toys community college after failing to succeed in the goals for their respective tropical roles. Jeff and Abed are foils in that Jeff has comparatively limited knowledge of popular culture but high fluency, where Abed has considerable cultural currency but often has difficulty conveying his feelings effectively, even to people he becomes close to over the course of the show.

Abed is no less an outcast than the other characters, but stands out as an exception; Abed is not alienated for what he has failed to do but for his failure to relate to others—his failure to be or embody a readily understood role. This makes Abed a stronger hero for Community, as a central question of the show asks how we communicate with and interpret each other. This is a question whose answer has higher stakes for Abed than for any other character. Abed often represents the viewer or audience within the show. He frequently comes close to breaking “the fourth wall” and seems most aware, at least in part because of his familiarity with TV shows and their tropes, that he is in one. While my paper will acknowledge this view, I will essentially argue the opposite: that Abed is more like the author than the audience. Abed is not only an author-like agent in the work; he also represents the crucial “life is a TV show” metaphor in Community. “Introduction to Film” For Abed, the “life is TV” metaphor goes both ways. Life is film and film is life. In the third episode of season one, Abed’s autobiographical documentary film becomes his way of using that metaphor. In the episode, Abed goes through life normally, except he films all of it. When other characters attempt to draw him into the “real world,” he declines: “I don’t think I’m really in this scene.” This shows the overlap, in Abed’s mind and in the show as a whole, of life and film. Britta and Jeff, members of his study group who take (however unwittingly) parental roles in his real-life situation, are cast as Abed’s mom and dad in the film. When Abed shows the documentary at the end of the episode, he cuts quotes from

74 Britta and Jeff that represent his understanding of and feelings about his relationship to his parents, then superimposes images of his parents’ faces onto theirs to suggest they would say the same things. For example, Jeff says, “I don’t want to be your father,” and Britta shouts, “Are you doing this on purpose?” before storming out of a scene. In addition to the “life is film” metaphor, Abed sees his relationships with others in terms of his relationship with his family; the way he relates to the people he came from defines metaphorically how he relates to others. Upon seeing the film, Jeff and Britta initially appear confused. But Abed’s father, who has laboured throughout the episode under an inability to connect with Abed, is moved to tears. Abed’s use of film—and metaphor—to express the way he feels, then, is successful. His experience is consistent with George Whalley’s stance on the relationship between metaphor and reality: “Metaphor is complex because it renders the complexity of reality; primitive man grasps reality comprehensively because he does not know any more limited or protective way of apprehending the world around him” (143). Abed’s conflation of life and film is a way of comprehending and conveying his reality. Whalley also suggests the essence of our relationship with reality precedes language; giving a word to something, or to see one thing in terms of another, becomes a way of transmitting raw experience of the world (by a person or community or nation and so on) to be translated (interpreted) by a receiver (audience). This places Abed, yes, as an observer. The feeling he expresses in the documentary is of being an audience member in his own life; he is implicated in other characters’ actions, can see patterns in their behaviour, and perceives their thoughts and feelings through a particular lens, but he does not feel able to control or affect them, and sees his own involvement in their “plots” as unnecessary or unwanted. This description could belong to an author as well as an audience, and Abed demonstrates the key characteristic of an author: to transmit this feeling using metaphor. The work (the documentary) is autobiographical, so Abed is its subject, but he is primarily its director.

“Messianic Myths” The relationship Abed perceives between film and reality is revived in the fifth episode of season two, in which Abed sets out to make a film about Jesus. I want to tell the story of Jesus from the perspective of a filmmaker exploring the life of Jesus. See, in the filmmaker’s film, Jesus is a filmmaker trying to find God with his camera. But then the filmmaker realizes that he’s actually Jesus and he’s being filmed by God’s camera, and then it just goes like that forever in both directions like a mirror in a mirror because all the filmmakers are Jesus and all their cameras are God’s, and the movie is called … ABED. All caps. Filmmaking beyond film. A meta film. Here, again, Abed strives to unite reality and film, with the added dimension of myth. The episode essentially proceeds in triplicate: the layering of significant moments in the story of Jesus, Abed the actor/director making a film about the story of Jesus, and ‘real’ Abed undergoing personal growth which is held up in parallel to the Jesus story, with him humbled and at the mercy of events beyond his control. This gets really meta when one considers the fact that this all takes place within the context of a TV show with its own actors, stories, and likely creators—Dan Harmon, for example—undergoing personal growth. “Messianic Myths” also presents an opportunity for Abed to directly voice the ‘life is TV’ metaphor within a religious framework. “We’re all in a movie, even when there are no cameras,” he says. When he is asked when his film will be released, he answers with a rhetorical question: “When is life released? Every minute of our lives is a world premiere, and my Father [he looks up] has already bought the popcorn.” This kind of meta, film within a film within life which is a film, narrative would risk spiralling into the realm of pointlessness, but this is addressed in the episode when Abed watches a take and realizes he hates the film. He leaves the set to pray, calling the project an adolescent mess and “the worst piece of crap I have ever seen in my entire life.” He prays God will take the project away from him, which ends up happening, as Shirley hears him praying and is

moved to destroy the camera equipment and tapes. In Ricoeur’s exploration of Aristotle’s mimesis, he says: Mimesis preserves and represents that which is human, not just in its essential features, but in a way that makes it greater … on the one hand, the imitation is at once a portrayal of human reality and an original creation; on the other, it is faithful to things as they are and it depicts them as higher and greater than they are (40). To read this alongside Whalley, who implies art’s purpose as conveying the complexities of reality (and feeling), and even Giambattista Vico’s statement on the threefold labour of great poetry, the first of which is “to invent sublime fables suited to the popular understanding,” Abed’s project fails to communicate human reality and feeling in a form that will connect with a viewer; he went through the process of creating something, but he didn’t communicate anything except abstract ideas which, purposeless, become at least ridiculous, if not meaningless. The strongest part of the episode is when he is pulled out of the “meta” spiral; he gains new understanding and empathy with Shirley, and learns something about what makes good art. In that exercise, Abed also resolves a central conflict of the show’s character: Community often engages with this idea or characteristic of being meta, and Abed’s discovery sets limits on the show’s subsequent tendency to move in ridiculous and uncontrollable directions. “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” Later in the series (season two, episode eleven), Abed specifically explores metaphor, grafting real life onto a stop-motion animation mindscape. Meanwhile, the episode features the study group trying to interrogate “what’s wrong” or abnormal with Abed. Shortly before Christmas, Abed shows up to college claiming that everyone is in stop-motion animation, or claymation, which he says means it’s the most important Christmas of all. Early in the episode, the characters—and audience—have no way of accessing or decoding his meaning. However, they at least pretend to suspend disbelief and go along with what they believe is Abed’s delusion.

75 In the episode, Abed not only translates life into another film-related medium, he also translates his life and friends into a metaphorical space with metaphorical versions of themselves. In the spirit of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys, Abed magically transports them all from the study room to a remote, wintry landscape (called “Planet Abed”), where the clay form of each “outcast” character is given the physical characteristics of toys which correspond with their traits. For example, Annie becomes a toy ballerina (graceful, thin, and “tightly wound”) while Britta becomes a robot (“programmed badly” with no faith in herself or friends). The psychology teacher from the community college, who is trying to figure out Abed’s so-called delusion as well, says he can come along as a Christmas wizard. “I guess I can see that,” Abed says, then we see what Abed sees: the psychology teacher in wizard robes. Eventually, Abed concedes to visit the cave of frozen memories. Here it becomes clear that not only is Abed the only one who controls the metaphorical landscape (understandable, if it is to be interpreted as a projection of his own psyche), but he is also the only one who really uses metaphor. At one point his friend Troy tries to describe the cave in the way Abed has been (still technically, physically in the study room in everyone else’s eyes) describing Planet Abed into being, but only succeeds in saying, “It’s cave-like in here” (a cave). However, this also holds the key to Abed’s potential defeat in his own world: the wizard, growing more and more frustrated as Abed refuses to dwell on “real” memories, instead gravitating toward a gift box marked “the meaning of Christmas” in the centre of the cave, shouts that “it’s you against reality, and reality always wins.” He continues to argue that people put too much meaning into Christmas, and get let down. This is paired with Abed’s opening of the gift (and unpacking of metaphor), which is packaged in a box within a box within a box: the first season of Lost on DVD. “It’s a metaphor for lack of payoff,” Abed says, and reflects on what’s really disturbing him about the holiday—it usually means spending time with his mom, which won’t happen this year. As he reflects, a layer of ice covers him until he is totally frozen over. The wizard and reality have ostensibly won. However, Abed’s friends rally to him and

76 defeat the wizard by saying what they think the meaning of Christmas is, and Abed melts. At the end of the episode, he says, “I get it. The meaning of Christmas is the idea that Christmas has meaning. … For me, it used to mean being with my mom. Now it means being with you guys.” In the end, it is Abed who is able to decode or unpack the metaphor that will return everyone to normal instead of stop-motion animation, again suggesting a certain degree of control or authorship. This is also a successful example of Abed using metaphor to express himself in a more affecting way than if he just said, “I’m feeling lonely this Christmas without my mom.” This, too, recalls Whalley, who says metaphor “illuminates a fresh relation between the metaphorical image and the poet, and in turn between the image and the reader” (146). Here, the poet is the author or creator, and the reader is both the study group and the audience of the show; both are given a unique ability to understand Abed’s way of perceiving the world as it is communicated figuratively. “Virtual Systems Analysis” Abed’s impulse to create a space in which he can safely (creatively) explore reality carries over into his creation of the Dreamatorium. The Dreamatorium occupies the second bedroom in the apartment Abed shares with Troy and Annie, and is established early on as a space in which Abed, usually accompanied by Troy, is free to imagine and act out the scenes or “bits” that earn confusion and frustration from others. All the walls are painted black, and yellow lines have been painted to make a 3D grid on every surface of the room. In season three, episode sixteen, the room is revealed to have another use. Abed explains to Annie, who is eager to see how the room works, that “much like myself, the Dreamatorium has higher functions.” In essence, Abed says he uses the room to anticipate (by acting out) exactly how his friends from the study group will behave in countless scenarios. To control these, he presses buttons drawn onto a piece of cardboard on the wall. He then shows Annie the “inner workings” of the Dreamatorium: its engine, stored in the closet. A box labelled ABED is at the top of the construction, which Abed says contains his thoughts, and another box at the bottom labelled OTHER

PEOPLE he says contains everything he knows about his friends; then both are “distilled by logic and collected for observation.” However, Annie is unable to suspend disbelief, and points out that the “engine” is just cardboard tubes and a funnel. Frustrated with the gap of understanding between herself and Abed, Annie then switches the two labelled boxes. “You know what would make your scenarios a lot more realistic? Why don’t you take all your thoughts and logic and add one step to the process. From now on, before you do or say anything, you are going to think about how it affects the people around you.” This, she says, is an exercise in empathy. However, Annie’s attempt to force Abed to be realistic results in his retreat from her—over the course of the episode, he refuses to act as himself, instead impersonating other characters who all agree that since “no one needs Abed” he has been filtered out of the simulation. This is despite the fact that Abed is the one controlling the simulated world, and is the only one who can really “see” it; it is made clear a few times in the episode that Annie can only guess what is happening, and sees only the black room with the yellow grid. This also suggests that she is looking at Abed the whole time, but is unable to “find” Abed. Eventually Annie does find Abed handcuffed to the wall of a large grey room, which he explains is a giant locker. “It’s a metaphorical locker,” he says. “It’s a place where people like me get put when everyone’s fed up with us.” Through this metaphor, Annie is finally able to connect or empathize with Abed’s feelings of being isolated and afraid, and reaches out to him in turn. To invoke Max Black (537), this metaphorical focal point (the locker) exists within the frame of the Dreamatorium simulation. Through that metaphor, Abed is able to communicate with (or achieve a state of empathy with) Annie, and by extension the audience. In a summary of the episode in Vulture, an online entertainment subsidiary of New York Magazine, writer Steve Heisler explains that this episode helped him connect with the purpose of Community. As ‘Virtual Systems Analysis’ unfolded— as Annie went deeper into the recesses of Abed’s mind, mostly as Annie but par-

tially as Abed himself—I found myself understanding Abed more and more … I’ve wondered in the past why I should be rooting for these characters and what it is I should be rooting for them to accomplish. ‘Virtual Systems Analysis’ offered a peek at the answer: Maybe they were simply meant to find and understand each other. Abed’s use of a figurative space in the show, then, can be seen as a way of approximating the audience with both the focal character and Community, as well as extending the show’s exploration of how we communicate with each other beyond the context—at least within the parameters of the medium—of media. Works, worlds, and interpretation With Ricoeur in mind, it should be noted that Abed—whether he is creating a film (art), a stop-motion mindscape, or the imaginative space of the Dreamatorium—is the author of a “work” in each case. The other characters (and ourselves) are placed within the new contextual space of that work, and are engaged in an act of interpretation. Interpretation proper … develops the aspect of meaning which we have called a ‘reference,’ that is, the intentional orientation toward a world and the reflexive orientation toward a self … we can reserve interpretation for the sort of inquiry concerned with the power of a work to project a world of its own and to set in motion the hermeneutical circle, which encompasses in its spiral both the apprehension of projected worlds and the advance of self-understanding in the presence of these new worlds (Ricoeur 583). In essence, this supports the position that Community is a meta exploration of media and also places Abed into a point of interpretive focus: while we as the audience are on the same plane as the other characters in our interpretation of Abed’s “works” or “worlds,” Abed is the author or creator—in other words, our focus is shifted away from the characters who are interpreting Abed’s works simultaneously, since it is the work itself that attracts the focus of interpretation (and its author, since the work is purportedly an extension of Abed’s

77 psyche). We interpret ourselves reflexively, but our orientation is toward Abed and the metaphors he uses. This reading does not completely oppose the view of Abed as an interpreter himself, since his creation of works which graft his psyche over the world is his way of ‘reading’ a world with which we are more familiar. Returning to the idea of Abed as author, it’s worth noting that the creator of the show, Dan Harmon, apparently also felt the shift of main protagonists as the show progressed. Whereas he expected to relate most to Jeff, he said in a Wired interview, he eventually discovered he had most in common with Abed. When he created a TV character who relates to the world through television, Harmon didn’t realize that he was, in a sense, inserting himself into his show. Ever since he recognized this, writing in Abed’s voice has gotten much easier; all Harmon has to do, he says, is ‘open up my memory.’ And he has learned to understand himself a bit better, including why—like Abed— he sometimes unintentionally hurts those around him (Raftery). In a sense, there is a metaphorical connection between the two: a surprising similarity between Harmon, the creator of Community, and the pop-culture savvy but socially awkward Abed. When we experience Abed’s world-interpretive work (itself open to our interpretation), we are within the space of Harmon’s work, which is his microcosmic interpretation of his own world context. Interpretation, as Ricoeur suggests, goes both ways. Abed, then, is a part representative of a whole, or a metonymy, for the show, and acts out Community’s central metaphor of life as TV. A TV show, like many other works, is an artistic medium open to interpretation; therefore, the show suggests via Abed that life is just as open to interpretation, and the purpose of our experience of life is twofold: one is to discover that the meaning of life is the idea that it has meaning, or that meaning is very open considering the audience’s agency in interpretation; the second is to connect and communicate with other people—to understand each other.

78 Works Cited “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.” Community. NBC. 9 December 2010. TV. Black, Max. “Metaphor.” Coursepack for ENGL386: Figurative Language. Ed. Hilary Turner. Abbotsford: UFV, 2015. 535-552. Print. Heisler, Steve. “Community Recap: Trapped in the Dreamatorium.” 20 April 2012. Web. 2 April 2015. “Introduction to Film.” Community. NBC. 1 October 2009. TV. “Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples.” Community. NBC. 21 October 2010. TV. Raftery, Brian. “How Dan Harmon Drives Himself Crazy Making Community.” 22 September 2011. Web. 2 April 2015. Ricoeur, Paul. “‘Between rhetoric and poetics: Aristotle’ from The Rule of Metaphor.” Coursepack for ENGL386: Figurative Language. Ed. Hilary Turner. Abbotsford: UFV, 2015. 9-43. Print. ---. “Metaphor and the Central Problem of Hermeneutics.” Coursepack for ENGL386: Figurative Language. Ed. Hilary Turner. Abbotsford: UFV, 2015. 577-592. Print. “Virtual Systems Analysis.” Community. NBC. 21 April 2012. TV. Whalley, George. “‘Metaphor’ from Poetic Process.” Coursepack for ENGL386: Figurative Language. Ed. Hilary Turner. Abbotsford: UFV, 2015. 139-160. Print.


Deconstructing White Privilege: Jennifer Reeder’s White Trash Girl Kendra Schellenberg Art History

Privilege is a difficult mode to combat, especially from the inside, because it operates by making itself invisible to those who benefit from it. Even once the existence of privilege has been acknowledged, the ways it functions on an individual level can still remain invisible. To me, as a woman and feminist, the position of privilege afforded to men but denied to women is blatant, because through my feminist practice I have learned to see sexism when it occurs. However, since gender is obviously not the only way to describe a person’s subjectivity, it follows that other positions of privilege may be afforded to me that I am not fully aware of. As Zillah Eisenstein states in Audacious Feminisms: “Feminists that do not embrace the full egalitarianism of all peoples, and recognize the structural constraints limiting their lives are a diversion, not a completion of feminist vision.”1 It then follows that to better my feminist practice, my position as a white, first-world, cis, heterosexual, educated, middle-class woman must be taken into account to form an intersectional approach to the deconstruction of privilege. Stating this, however, and putting it into practice are two different things. The relationship between these positions of privilege are interwoven and would require much more study and many more words than can be afforded to this paper, and for this reason my focus will be on white privilege specifically. I argue that although the road to racial equality may be pitted with uncomfortable realizations and guilt, for those of us who benefit from racial privileging, to make no attempt whatsoever is tantamount to complicity. The deconstruction of privilege as a goal should greatly outweigh any fear of discomfort we may have. After all, the discomfort of acknowledging one’s participation

in discriminatory social structures can in no way be equal to the discomfort of being discriminated against. Much has been written towards developing a methodology for white people to acknowledge and actively contribute to the dismantling of white hegemonic culture; this paper will discuss this methodology in terms of the work of Jennifer Reeder, specifically Law of Desire, part three of an uncompleted series of videos titled Clit-o-matic: The Adventures of White Trash Girl. Reeder received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996, where she produced the White Trash Girl series “specifically to irritate [her] graduate advisers.”2 The videos follow the adventures of White Trash Girl, played by Reeder, as she wages “biological warfare on any dumb fuck who asks for it.”3 Like any superhero, White Trash Girl comes with her own origin story, although hers is less than auspicious: born of incest and rape, baby White Trash Girl was flushed down the toilet by her own mother, who then killed her rapist/uncle and leapt out a window to her death. Apparently unharmed by her mother’s attempt to throw her away, White Trash Girl grows up to become a waitress and vigilante. As a result of her time spent in the sewers, her bodily fluids have become toxic; these are the source of her crime-fighting powers. The viewer presented with the premise of the story, with its dismissal of academic propriety and alignment to the scatological, would immediately be confronted with the disparity between the white-cube setting4 and the trashy images being shown on the screen. We must wonder if the ‘irritation’ felt by Reeder’s graduate advisers is similar to the discomfort of confronting race privilege from the comparably comfortable

80 position of a white perspective. In Law of Desire, we are introduced to Trelita, a Chicana sex worker and single mother, when she comes into the diner where White Trash Girl works. We learn that Trelita had been living with Bud, a drunk and a thief, who liked to beat on Trelita until eventually he “turned up dead,”5 and while many suspect Trelita of killing him, no one ever did anything about it. At this point in the story, we learn that Trelita works for “a real sonof-a-bitch” who is exploiting her to the point that her bills are piled to the ceiling and her baby is starving. After listening to this story, White Trash Girl decides she’ll help Trelita. “It was a great day to kick some ass,” Reeder’s voiceover says in a hillbilly twang, “But then again, for White Trash Girl, any day is a great day to kick some ass.”6 One of the first obstacles required in overcoming white privilege is the acknowledgement of white culture as a hegemonic system of oppression by those who benefit from it, and the recognition of whiteness as a racialized subjectivity as opposed to a position of racial-neutrality. Although this seems simple enough, confronting your own participation in a racist system is complicated by “extremely low thresholds for enduring any discomfort associated with challenges to our racial worldview.”7 As Sonia Kruks notes, the initial stages of recognizing one’s own white privilege are often accompanied by feelings of guilt and self-hatred that can be debilitating and even stall the process before it can reach a point of actively working against itself.8 Further, methodologies of self-transformation that encourage a self-reflexive look inward to examine how we have benefitted from white privilege may easily “collapse into a long-drawn-out, rather self-referential, even self-indulgent, concern with one’s own feelings”9, to the point that “the commitment against racism becomes itself immobilizing”10.

also avoids falling into the narcissistic pitfalls of self-transformation, as its focus does not remain long on Reeder’s alter-ego, but rather on the character of Trelita. We are given an equal amount of backstory on this secondary character, and from a narrative perspective, our sympathies lie with Trelita, who has been disadvantaged and abused her whole life. This may have the potential of reducing Trelita to the position of victim, however Reeder deliberately includes her in the final scenes, shown trashing her boss’s office alongside White Trash Girl and stuffing money down the front of her shirt. This eliminates the potential hierarchal discrepancies between the two characters: White Trash Girl, although she is the (super)hero of the story, is not a ‘saviour’ figure acting out her independent understandings of what Trelita needs; rather, they are a unit working together to right the wrongs that Trelita herself has identified. This distinction is important, as white Western feminism is susceptible to casting itself as a saving force that does not take into consideration the agency of non-white and Third-World women, which Adale Sholock notes is “expressive of the intellectual confidence and moral arrogance characteristic of the privileged.”11 Reeder avoids this because White Trash Girl is not portrayed as a superior entity to Trelita but rather a comrade-in-arms.

Another proposed method of combating white privilege from the inside is that of racial sedition, or acting as a ‘traitorous’ white. While this methodology is fundamentally flawed, (as Linda Martín Alcoff succinctly notes: “whites cannot disavow whiteness”12) in the guise of White Trash Girl, Reeder may come as close as is possible: White Trash Girl simultaneously embraces her whiteness while undermining everything ‘high’ about her racial positioning. It is White Trash Girl’s innate trashiness that undermines the ‘purity’ of her whiteness. She is the spitting, excreting, slimy embodiment of all things low. In Reeder’s own words: “‘Low’ is a form of cultural terrorism These ideas can be applied to Reeder’s video, which addresses race, as is evidenced by the — it is an effective way to be completely outside of the power structure while at the same time exerttitle of the piece and name of the main character. ing a violent (and violating) force against it.”13 White Trash Girl is literally named by the racial and class position she occupies. Her very existence Reeder’s racial sedition does not come in the form is evidence that Reeder has overcome the guilt-rid- of cultural appropriation or racial disaffiliation, den first steps of racial recognition and has entered but rather a tearing down of the myth of white superiority. White Trash Girl operates on a base, into the discussion of race privilege. Law of Desire animalistic level free of the hierarchical scaffolding

of ‘proper’ (read: white) society, with its pretensions to the transcendence of body. She wallows in her bodily functions; they are the source of her power, both literally and metaphorically, as they signify a devaluing of whiteness as a position of moral superiority.14 The devaluing of whiteness, however, does not erase it. Even white trash occupies a position of privilege over non-whites; As Kruks states: Even if we behave as ‘traitorous’ whites, we will still be seen and treated as whites, even if deviant ones. The structural asymmetries of privilege, and so also our degrees of implication in it, may sometimes be mitigated but cannot be expunged through our own individual volition.15 White Trash Girl’s racial sedition, then, is not enough to completely eliminate the disparities of privilege between herself and Trelita. Although Reeder’s depiction of body is one of the more successful components of Law of Desire, it is not entirely unproblematic. Evidence of this is seen in our introduction to Trelita. The voice of the narrator tells about a “saucy little sex worker named Trelita.” We are told that “Trelita was delicious: a heart-shaped ass, and tits like cupcakes. You could taste her cummin’ for miles away.”16 Although it could be argued that the overt sexualization of the character is unavoidable given Trelita’s occupation or done to further emphasize the corporeal nature of the narrative and distance itself from the cerebral, the accompanying found footage taken from phone-sex commercials is damaging to the feminist themes of the piece. It is presented without any element that undermines the objectification inherent in such a portrayal of female bodies. Further, the narrator refers to Trelita as a “real hot tamale, if you know what I’m sayin’.”17 The camera then follows Trelita down the street to the sound of whistles. The term “hot tamale” which references Trelita’s racial heritage in a sexualized way, is a term that connotes an uncomfortable sense of racial fetishization. As a feminist viewer, being confronted with such blatant objectification has the effect of making me acutely aware of my own voyeuristic presence, but

81 I question whether this would extend to the average viewer. Images of sexualized female bodies are so prevalent that as a culture we have become desensitized to them. We are not given any additional cues as to how to differently interpret the images of Trelita in her topless-dancer costume and so are left with the fall-back position of viewing her the same way as we view similar objectified images: with a sort of apathetic numbness that does little to deconstruct the status quo. Another moment that sits uneasily with me is after the narrator implies that Trelita may have been involved with the death of her abusive boyfriend. “I guess it’s true,” Reeder’s voice says, “What goes around, comes around.”18 In a discussion of privilege, this statement can only be taken ironically, as it is the central core of how privilege works: what goes around, absolutely does not come around. Those who possess privilege are often protected from ‘it’ ever coming around and those that do not possess privilege are far more likely to be trampled by ‘it’ as it veers away from coming into contact with the privileged. The irony of this statement, however, is lost in the narrative movement of the story. We are not given enough time or information to contemplate what we know to be reality: that the far more likely story for abuse victims and particularly for women of colour, is that their abusers are never brought to justice. This could be read as an example of the systematic ignorance that is ingrained in positions of privilege. Although we are given a snapshot of the trajectory of Trelita’s life, a true understanding of how that life was shaped by racism and discriminatory social structures is impossible, especially from a white perspective. As Sholock writes, “a methodology of the privileged should not resolve the self-doubt of white anti-racists but rather strategically deploy epistemic uncertainty as a treasonous act against the cognitive privileges that support white Western hegemonies.”19 Reeder’s epistemic uncertainty on this account does not seem to be strategic, however. Trelita’s disadvantaged life is laid out for us in story-book form: coming from a poor migrant family, with a father who died unexpectedly, she left home at a young age, fell in with the wrong kind of people, got pregnant, and began working in the sex trade. As the entire story

82 is narrated from the perspective of White Trash Girl/Reeder, we must question the authority of the narrative. This highly sequential account of Trelita’s life does not allow for uncertainty; rather, it comes across as belonging to the “intellectual confidence and moral arrogance characteristic of the privileged” discussed earlier.20

Bibliography Alcoff, Linda Martín. “What Should White People Do?” Hypatia 13, no. 3 (Summer 1998): 6-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.1998. tb01367.x (accessed November 19, 2015). Banks, Kira, et al. “The Impact of Feminist Attitudes on the Relation between Racial Awareness and Racial Identity.” Sex Roles 70, no. 5/6 (March 2014): 232-239. SocINDEX with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed November 8, 2015).

Sholock goes on to advise the use of epistemic uncertainty to generate dialogue and coalition-building. She advocates for white allies to lean into the position of knowing that we cannot know what it is like to experience racial discrimination. As the racial themes of Law of Desire are not as Bowles, John P. “Blinded by the White: Art and straightforward or directly addressed enough to History at the Limits of Whiteness.” Art realistically allow for this kind of methodology Journal 60, no. 4 (Winter 2001): 38. Huto be applied (without breaking from the narramanities Source, EBSCOhost (accessed tive structure of the piece), we must assume that November 19, 2015). Reeder’s intention was more to force the viewer into a state of questioning than to provide any Brody, Jennifer Devere. “Rereading Race and Genanswers (assuming there are answers to provide). der: When White Women Matter.” AmerThe disgust afforded by the visceral footage may ican Quarterly, Vol. 48 No.1 (March 1996), be enough to knock some viewers into a state of 153-160. John Hopkins University Press. uncertain discomfort, but the link between this reaction and white privilege is not concrete enough Eisenstein, Zillah. “Audacious Feminisms.” Australian Feminist Studies 26, no. 70 (December for the viewer to easily make this connection. We 2011): 393-412. SocINDEX with Full Text, recoil— but not in a purposeful manner. EBSCOhost (accessed November 8, 2015). Overall, Law of Desire appears to be a first Frankenberg, Ruth. White women, race matters: The step in addressing positions of privilege. The social construction of whiteness. Minneapolis: storyline is engaged in several interwoven layers University of Minnesota Press, 1998. of power dynamics that concern gender, race and class. Ultimately, this intersectional approach sums Ferguson, Ann. Resisting the veil of privilege: up Reeder’s position towards how discrimination Building bridge identities as an ethico-polneeds to be addressed; Law of Desire “suggests that itics of global feminisms. Hypatia: A all attempts to deconstruct/overcome oppression Journal of Feminist Philosophy 13, no.3 must regard race, class and gender equally.”21 (August 1998): 95–113. doi: 10.1111/ Although Law of Desire’s deconstruction of white j.1527-2001.1998.tb01372.x (accessed privilege is not without its problems, it represents November 19, 2015). a beginning—an entryway into a discussion that is far too often overlooked or denied as a problem Gulati-Partee, Gita and Maggie Potapchuk. “Payof a past generation. While we must acknowledge ing Attention to White Culture and Privithat white artists cannot speak from a position lege: A Missing Link to Advancing Racial entirely outside of their white privilege, it would Equity.” GIA Reader, Vol 25, No 3 (Fall be defeatist to say the effort to speak about that 2014). privilege is a waste. Although the progress made Kruks, Sonia. “Simone de Beauvoir and the Poliby the study of whiteness may be plodding, it is, tics of Privilege.” Hypatia 20, no. 1 (Winter at the very least, a move in the right direction and 2005): 178-205. SocINDEX with Full Text, one that needs to be made if social equality is ever EBSCOhost (accessed November 8, 2015). to be reached. Lehoczky, Etelka. “Once the rage, ‘Girl’ finds

83 peace.” Chicago Tribune, July 16, 2003. (accessed November 19, 2015). Reeder, Jennifer. “Living low: the politics of gross.” New Art Examiner 25, (November 1997): 16-17. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed November 19, 2015). Segrest, Mab. Memoir of a Race Traitor. Boston: South End Press, 1994. Sholock, Adale. “Methodology of the Privileged: White Anti-racist Feminism, Systematic Ignorance, and Epistemic Uncertainty.” Hypatia 27, no. 4 (November 2012): 701-714. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2012.01275.x (accessed November 19, 2015). Sullivan, Shannon. Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006. Talbot, Margaret. “Getting credit for being white.” New York Times Magazine 147, no. 50992 (November 30, 1997): 116. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed November 21, 2015).

Endnotes 1 Eisenstein, Zillah, “Audacious Feminisms,” Australian Feminist Studies 26 (2011): 410, accessed November 8, 2015, pdfviewer?sid=9bf4ff4f-b2bc-4205-a9f9-65969671 fd38%40sessionmgr4002&vid=0&hid=4111 2 Lehoczky, Etelka. “Once the rage, ‘Girl’ finds peace.” Chicago Tribune, July 16, 2003. (accessed November 20, 2015). http:// 3 Law of Desire - White Trash Girl, directed by Jennifer Reeder (1997), https://vimeo. com/136233710 (accessed November 18, 2015).

4 Law of Desire has been screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain; PS. 1, New York, the 48th International Venice Biennale, among others. 5 Law of Desire, (1997). 6


7 Dr. Robin DiAngelo, “The Good Men Project: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism.” Huffington Post, April 30, 2015. (accessed November 8, 2015). 8 Sonia Kruks, “Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Privilege,” Hypatia 20, no. 1 (Winter 2005): 183-184. SocINDEX with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed November 8, 2015). 9

Kruks, 183.

10 Marilyn Frye, “White woman feminist,” Willful virgin: Essays in feminism 1976-1992. Freedom, Calif.: Crossing Press, 148, quoted in Adale Sholock, “Methodology of the Privileged: White Anti-racist Feminism, Systematic Ignorance, and Epistemic Uncertainty,” Hypatia 27, no. 4 (November 2012): 705. doi: 10.1111/j.15272001.2012.01275.x 11 Adale Sholock, “Methodology of the Privileged: White Anti-racist Feminism, Systematic Ignorance, and Epistemic Uncertainty,” Hypatia 27, no. 4 (November 2012): 708. 12 Linda Martín Alcoff, “What Should White People Do?” Hypatia 13, no. 3 (Summer 1998) 17. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.1998.tb01367.x (accessed November 19, 2015). 13 Jennifer Reeder, “Living low: the politics of gross,” New Art Examiner 25, (November 1997):17. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed November 19, 2015). 14 Ann Ferguson, “Resisting the veil of privilege: Building bridge identities as an ethico-politics of global feminisms,” Hypatia 13, no.3 (August 1998): 105. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.1998.

84 tb01372.x (accessed November 19, 2015). 15

Krucks, 184.

16 Law of Desire - White Trash Girl, directed by Jennifer Reeder (1997), https://vimeo. com/136233710 (accessed November 18, 2015). 17





Sholock, 709.


Sholock, 708.




(De)Constructing Deviance: Criminals, Terrorists, and Witches


Explaining the Crime Decline through Theoretical Perspectives Jessica Jahn Criminal Justice

Introduction Over the past few decades, notable developed countries have experienced an unprecedented decline of crime rates. More specifically, recent figures reveal that Canadian crime trends are at their lowest since the 1960’s, and crime rates in the United States have decreased steadily since 1991 (Mangat, 2015; Roeder, Eisen & Bowling, 2014). This marked crime reduction is consistent internationally as Europe, Australia, and Latin America have reported similar patterns (Mangat, 2015). There is promising research suggesting potential explanations for the substantial reduction of crime, including the decriminalization of abortion, the aging demographic, mass incarceration of offenders, and innovative law enforcement strategies. Importantly, no single factor can reliably explain the marked difference of crime patterns; rather, the interplay of potential explanations ought to be considered to inform best practices related to crime reduction and crime prevention (Zimring, 2007). This paper will examine four evidence-based factors to explain the notable crime decline and ground the explanations in theoretical frameworks. More precisely, the decriminalization of abortion, aging demographic, mass incarceration of offenders, and innovative police strategies will be explored to highlight possible explanations for the decline of crime rates. Decriminalization of Abortion The decriminalization of abortion has been recognized as a contributory factor leading to the contemporary crime decline (Donohue & Levitt, 2001), as providing women the option to abort their unborn offspring has resulted in fewer children born into potentially low socio-economic

circumstances and maladaptive familial environments (Mangat, 2015). In addition, abortion may be used to control the timing of procreation as a woman’s capacity to provide her child with a supportive, nurturing, and financially stable childhood is often dependent on her age, education, and employment (Donohue & Levitt, 2001). Since Canada decriminalized abortion on the grounds of unconstitutionality in 1988 (Mangat, 2015), the effects of the reform have impacted subsequent generations of youth. To further explicate the relationship between abortion and the crime decline, the social bonding theory and the cheater theory will be explored. Social Bonding Theory As a social control theory, the overarching theme of the social bonding theory is the importance of family as a catalyst for conventional socialization and the development of meaningful bonds to society (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Hirschi (1969) operationalizes social bonding into four strands, including attachment, involvement, commitment, and beliefs (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). If an individual experiences weakened bonds to society in their formative years, they may relinquish societal restraint and feel free to deviate from conventional values (Williams & McShane, 2010). More precisely, the social bonding theory posits that the bonds one has to society decrease the likelihood of delinquency and antisocial conduct. Hirschi (1969) acknowledges attachment as the most important strand of social bonding, offering that intimate connections with caregivers, authority figures, and friends consolidate respect for prosocial norms.

The idea of respect for prosocial norms and the importance of family during a child’s formative years attests to the implications of the decriminalization of abortion in the context of crime reduction. If a woman is unintentionally impregnated and does not wish to rear her offspring, she may develop feelings of resistance toward the child, which could lead to a detached parent-child relationship. This detached relationship would considerably weaken the child’s social bond, creating the potential for a delinquent trajectory. Moreover, the mother may lack sufficient funds to involve her child in socially acceptable hobbies, which increases the amount of time to engage in criminal activity (Williams & McShane, 2010). In turn, the child’s level of commitment to their education, family, and employment may weaken, resulting in a higher likelihood of criminal behaviour (Williams & McShane, 2010). In addition, if the mother is diligently working to provide for her dependent, she might not have time to instill conventional values in her child. In the absence of these values, the child could feel free to deviate from societal rules, elevating the propensity for criminal behaviour. Therefore, providing women a legal avenue to terminate their unwanted offspring increases the likelihood that children will be reared in nurturing and supportive environments, often guiding them on a prosocial trajectory. Hirschi’s (1969) social bonding theory provides a basis for understanding the relationship between the decriminalization of abortion and crime rates, however biosocial theories are also important to consider in the context of parent-child relationships. Cheater Theory In addition to the social bonding theory, Mealey’s (1995) cheater theory can be applied to explain the reduced crime trends. More specifically, Mealey (1995) contends that fathers can be classified based on their level of parenting efforts, whereby fathers who initiate high levels of parental dedication are considered ‘dads,’ while fathers who exhibit low commitment to their parental duties are referred to as ‘cads’ (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Additionally, ‘cads’ are more likely to display psychopathic tendencies compared to their ‘dad’ counterparts. As such, the offspring of ‘cads’ are predisposed to developing psychopathic traits. These psychopathic traits contribute to crime rates

87 as psychopaths are inherently more prone to criminal behaviours (Hare, 1999). An underlying idea of Mealey’s (1995) cheater theory is that ‘cads’ are generally unprepared and unwilling to adequately assume their role as a father. This lack of preparedness could result from an unplanned pregnancy. As such, by providing parents the option to abort their fetus, the cycle of ‘cads’ can be averted. Moreover, it allows secondary psychopaths the needed time to ‘age out’ of their criminal behaviour and mature into nurturing fathers. In this context, it is clear that the decriminalization of abortion has, indeed contributed to the decline of crime. However, it does not explain the societal shift entirely. Another potential factor that has been substantiated in the scholarly literature is the increased demographic of elderly people. Aging Demographic Congruent to recent research, the composition of age in a population serves as a potential determinant of crime reduction (Mangat, 2015; Zimring, 2007). More precisely, elderly persons are less likely to engage in crime compared to youth between the ages of 15-24, who experience an elevated propensity for criminal behaviour (Roeder, Eisen, Bowling, Stiglitz & Chettiar, 2015). In many developed countries, increased life expectancy and decreased fertility rates have shifted the demographics towards higher rates of elderly people (Anderson & Hussey, 2000). This assertion holds true in Canada, whereby the number of persons who are over the age of 65 exceeds the number of children under the age of 14 (Statistics Canada, 2016). According to Statistics Canada (2016), elderly people are projected to account for 20% of the population in 2024, while children under 14 years old should comprise 16% of the population. As such, the baby boomer population is expected to steadily accelerate the age discrepancy in Canada, which contributes to decreased crime trends since offenders born in the baby boomer era may have ‘aged out’ of their criminal behaviour. In an effort to further reinforce the nexus between the distribution of age in a population and crime rates, the developmental taxonomy theory and the agegrade theory of informal control will be examined.

Developmental Taxonomy Moffitt’s (1993) developmental taxonomy theory aims to explain the age-crime curve, of which criminal behaviour typically peaks at or around the age of 17 and declines thereafter in young adulthood (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Moreover, Moffitt (1993) contends that there are two offending trajectories, including adolescent limited and life-course persistent offenders. Lifecourse persistent offenders begin their criminal careers early in life (typically at or around the age of 10) and often continue committing crime late into adulthood (Farrall & Calverley, 2006). Additionally, these offenders experience considerable challenges during the process of desisting away from crime (Moffitt, 1993). Conversely, adolescent limited offenders engage in antisocial conduct starting in the teenage years, and begin to desist during adulthood. According to Moffitt (1993), adolescent limited offenders are more common compared to life-course persistent offenders, whereby adolescent limited offenders comprise 95% of offenders. Therefore, the vast majority of offenders naturally engage in the process of desistance by late adulthood (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015; Moffitt, 1993). The developmental taxonomy theory underscores the inherent developmental transition from adolescence to adulthood (Moffitt, 1993). This transition marks substantial changes with respect to societal expectations and age-appropriate norms. These age-appropriate norms guide behaviour, in so far as behaviours that were perceived as acceptable in adolescence are often not condoned in adulthood (Massoglia & Uggen, 2010). In addition, elderly people generally have more social, human, and economic capital compared to youth; therefore, they have more to lose and less to gain by committing crime (Williams & McShane, 2010). In recognizing the interplay of variables that promote the process of desistance, Sampson and Laub (1993, 2003) created the age-grade theory of informal social control. Age-Grade Theory of Informal Social Control Drawing from Hirschi’s (1969) social bonding theory, Sampson and Laub’s (1993, 2003) age-grade theory of informal social control acknowledges the interrelated milestones that shape

88 conventional trajectories, including school, work, and family (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Sampson and Laub (1993, 2003) posit that in order to successfully achieve these milestones, significant transitions must be executed. In doing so, people are compelled to re-examine their values and goals, which often leads to increased social bonding and desistance. Similar to the social bonding theory, Sampson and Laub (1993, 2003) argue that familial relations and attachments are essential to ‘age out’ of crime. Although the aforementioned developmental and life course theories lay a strong foundation for explaining the interaction between the aging population and decreased crime trends, these theories fail to account for the standard of athleticism required to commit crime. More specifically, youth naturally experience elevated fitness and stamina levels, contributing to their ability to commit physical crimes, such as assault, robbery, and murder. Conversely, elderly people often lack the necessary physiological capability to perpetrate crime (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Therefore, even though some offenders may wish to commit crime, their weakened physiology may prevent them from doing so. Undoubtedly, the aging demographic is conducive to crime reduction; however, the demographic of incarcerated individuals is also important to consider in this context. Mass Incarceration of Offenders Similar to the aging population, the argument of mass incarceration of offenders holds for the change of crime patterns. More precisely, over the past few decades, the United States (US) has maintained a ‘tough on crime’ agenda, implementing mandatory minimum sentencing and decreasing rehabilitation efforts. As such, the numbers of people incarcerated has increased exponentially (Mangat, 2015), which serves as a contributory factor for the crime decline. The underlying principle of the effects of incarceration on crime reduction is that offenders typically cannot commit crime while incarcerated. To lend support for this relationship, the routine activities theory will be applied. Routine Activities Theory

Contrary to many criminological theories,

89 the routine activities theory concerns criminal activities and the fluctuation of crime rates, rather than explaining criminal behaviour. Proposed by Cohen and Felson (1979), the routine activities theory outlines three principles that increase avenues for crime: A motivated offender, suitable target, and the absence of a capable guardian (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Additionally, Cohen and Felson (1979) build upon concepts originally introduced by Durkheim (1895, 1938) by acknowledging that modern advancements alter the mechanisms and means by which crime is committed (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Therefore, responses to innovative opportunities for criminality ought to be addressed. The routine activities theory can be applied in the context of mass incarceration to support the principle that avenues for crime are limited in correctional facilities. More specifically, although the prison population inherently comprises offenders, inmates may be deterred from committing additional crime. Moreover, prisons contain few suitable targets and many capable guardians, whereby property and people are not readily accessible and correctional staff members constantly oversee inmates’ movement (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). However, it is important to recognize that victimless crimes such as drug smuggling are still committed in most prisons (Standing Senate Committee on Public Safety and National Security, 2015). Despite the theoretical support for the mass incarceration of offenders and subsequent crime reduction, academics often doubt this approach. Mangat (2015) offers that the effects of this relationship ought to be questioned as Canada experienced similar crime trends without the mass incarceration of offenders. In addition, incarcerating offenders to deter them from committing further crime can have adverse implications (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Correctional environments often promote criminal activity through close proximity of inmates, thereby leading to potentially increased crime rates upon release of these offenders. While acknowledging that mass incarceration of offenders is conducive to the decline of crime rates, the outcomes of innovative poling strategies will be explored to fully inform the scope of this phenomenon.

Innovative Policing Strategies Several decades of research have substantiated the claim that innovative police work fosters decreased rates of crime (Mangat, 2015). More precisely, this research has revealed significant advancements in crime prevention and crime reduction strategies, including community policing initiatives and geographic profiling (Mangat, 2015; Parent & Whitelaw, 2014; Braga, 2007). The premise of these initiatives is that total crime rates can be reduced by allocating police resources to high crime areas. Recently, the allocation of police resources has also included strategic environmental design that deters potential offenders from engaging in crime. This concept is commonly referred to as the crime prevention through environmental design approach (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Crime Prevention through Environmental Design With biosocial roots and rational choice theory ideas, the crime prevention through environmental design approach provides a framework for considering environmental configuration as a method of crime prevention (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). Proposed by Jeffery (1971), this approach suggests that amendments to the structure of the environment can drastically change crime rates. More specifically, increased lighting and the calculated placement of poles can displace offenders away from specific areas due to the increased risk of being caught (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015; Jeffery, 1971). This approach to crime prevention has provided a proactive way of controlling behaviour and eliminating opportunities for crime. However, similar to the mass incarceration of offenders, the depth of police innovation in relation to crime reduction is questionable. The ability of police personnel to reduce crime is limited given that their primary objective is to enforce laws and apprehend criminals (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015; Parent & Whitelaw, 2014). Additionally, Mangat (2015) maintains that the allocation of police resources is more important than increased numbers of front-line officers with respect to crime reduction. Therefore, innovative police strategies do affect crime rates, but only to a certain extent.

90 Conclusion Crime reduction is a complex phenomenon that involves several interrelated explanations. In an effort to better understand the contemporary crime decline, this paper has examined four evidence-based explanations, including the decriminalization of abortion, aging demographic, mass incarceration of offenders, and innovative police strategies (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015). The decriminalization of abortion has been highlighted as a proxy for preventing undesirable births (Joyce, 2004; Donohue & Levitt, 2001), leading to decreased crime rates as more children are reared by prepared and dedicated parents (Mealey, 1995). Furthermore, the aging demographic contributes to reduced crime patterns since most offenders ‘age out’ and naturally desist from criminal trajectories (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015; Moffitt, 1993). The mass incarceration of offenders is also conducive to crime trends as it is assumed that captive individuals cannot commit crime (Mangat, 2015; Cohen & Felson, 1979). Lastly, innovative police strategies should be recognized in relation to crime reduction given the success of the environmental design approach (Heidt & Wheeldon, 2015; Parent & Whitelaw, 2014; Jeffrey, 1971). Although these explanations provide a strong basis for understanding crime patterns, additional exploration is required to fully inform the scope of the phenomenon (Mangat, 2015).

References Anderson, G. F., & Hussey, P. S. (2000). Population aging: a comparison among industrialized countries. Health affairs, 19(3), 191-203. Braga, A. A. (2007). The effects of hot spots policing on crime. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 578(1), 104-125. Cohen, L. E., & Felson, M. (1979). Social change and crime rate trends: A routine acivity approach. American Sociology Review, 44, 58-608. Donohue III, J. J., & Levitt, S. D. (2001). The impact of legalized abortion on crime. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 379-420.

Farrall, S., and Clalverley, A. (2006) Understanding desistance from crime. McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from https://books. desistance%20from%20crime%3A%20 emerging&f=false Hare, R. D. (1999). Without conscience: The disturbing world of the psychopaths among us. Guilford Press. Heidt, J., & Wheeldon, J. P. (2015). Introducing Criminological Thinking: Maps, Theories, and Understanding. SAGE Publications. Hirschi, T., & Stark, R. (1969). Hellfire and delinquency. Social Problems, 17(2), 202-213. Jeffery, C. R. (1971). Crime prevention through environmental design. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Joyce, T. (2004). Did legalized abortion lower crime?. Journal of Human Resources, 39(1), 1-28. Mangat, S. The Rise and Fall of Crime in Abbotsford British Columbia. University of the Fraser Vally. Honours Thesis. Massoglia, M., & Uggen, C. (2010). Settling down and aging out: Toward an interactionist theory of desistance and the transition to adulthood. AJS; American journal of sociology, 116(2), 543. Marvell, T. B., & Moody Jr., C. E. (1994). Prison Population Growth and Crime Reduction. Journal Of Quantitative Criminology, 10(2), 109-140. McVie, S. (2005). Patterns of deviance underlying the age-crime curve: The long term evidence. British Society of Criminology e-journal, 7, 1-15. Mealey, L. (1995). The sociobiology of sociopathy: An integrated evolutionary model. Behavioral And Brain Sciences, 29(3), 327.

91 Moffitt, T. (1993). Adolescent-limited and lifecourse persistent antisocial behaviour: a developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674-701. Nevin, R. (2007). Understanding international crime trends: the legacy of preschool lead exposure. Environmental research, 104(3), 315-336. Parent, R., & Whitelaw, B. (2014). Community-based strategic policing in canada. Nelson Publishing. 4th ed. Roeder, O. K., Eisen, L. B., Bowling, J., Stiglitz, J. E., & Chettiar, I. M. (2015). What caused the crime decline?. Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law. Retrieved from sites/default/files/analysis/Crime_rate_report_web.pdf Sampson, R, J., & Laub, J. H. (1993). Crime in the making: Pathways and turning points through life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Sampson, R. J., & Laub, J. H. (2003). A general age-graded theory of crime: Lessons learned and the future of life-course criminology. In D. P. Farrington (Ed.), Integrated developmental and life-course theories of offending (Vol. 14). (pp. 165-181). Standing Senate Committee on Public Safety and National Security. (2015). Bill C-12, An Act to Amend the CCRA – Drug Free Prisons. Retrieved from HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=2&DocId=6845545&File=0 Williams, F. P., & McShane, M. D. (2010) Criminological theory 5th edition. Pearson Prentice Hall. Wilson, L. (2012). Civic engagement and the baby boomer generation: Research, policy, and practice perspectives. Routledge. Zimring, F. E. (2007). The great American crime decline. New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2007.


Charlie Hebdo Shooting: The West’s Problematic “Clash of Civilizations” Explanation Anecia Gill Sociology

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting of January 7, 2015, the West adopted a Clash of Civilizations explanation to determine the causation of the event. A “Clash of Civilizations” perspective argues that conflict is due to opposing cultural interests. In placing an overemphasis on culture, the West is able to continue to propagate a hegemonic narrative which confirms its power and simultaneously allows the West to ignore internal causes for the shooting.

words, civilizations with incompatible cultures are more likely to come into conflict with one another while compatible civilizations are likely to ally together.

According to Huntington, a civilization is the “highest cultural grouping of people” and the world’s civilizations include the West, Islamic, China, Japan, Hindu, Latin America and Africa (Huntington, 1993, p.25). He argues that tensions between these civilizations were kept in check by Although cultural realist Samuel Huntingbeing placed in the ideological camps by Cold ton did not coin the term or perspective of the War politics. However, in the dissolution of the “Clash of Civilizations” (COC) his work is one of Cold War, conflict amongst civilizations will occur the most circulated and infamous on the subject. more frequently as increased inter-cultural contact, Henderson and Tucker (2001) explain “the clearthe indigenization of non-Western elites, increasest and most controversial articulation of cultural ing regionalization of economies, and the global realism is found in Huntington’s (1993a, 1993b, rise in religious fundamentalism all serve to make 1996) clash of civilizations thesis”. Moreover, populations more conscious of their civilizational his work continues to be the most cited amongst differences. The single most important factor in scholars and the most referred to in political circles inter-civilizational conflict and cultural identity (p.318). Consequently, I will refer to Samuel Hun- is religion. As Huntington says, “Civilizations tington’s perspective in explaining the Clash of are differentiated from each other by history, a Civilizations over that of other earlier cultural real- language, culture, tradition and, most important, ists such as Bernard Lewis and Basil Matthews. religion.” (Huntington, 1993, p. 25) He adds that as national identity has weakened, religious iden Huntington’s article first appeared in the tity is increasingly taking its place. Religion, insists Foreign Affairs journal in 1993. Following the fall of Huntington, has had the ability to create a sense the Soviet Union, academics scrambled to predict of solidarity amongst vast regions and greatly a “New World Order” or the nature of internashapes people’s worldview. Moreover, he explains tional politics with the newly sole superpower the while people may hold dual citizenship or be half United States. Huntington’s prediction was that in black and half white; one cannot be “half Muslim the post-cold war era international conflict would and half Catholic” (Huntington, 1993, p. 27). It is now be between civilizations (cultural camps) that important to note that there is abundant literature have competing and different interests. Huntingcontradicting Huntington’s claim that one cannot ton explains “cultural identity is the central factor partake in dual religious identity. For instance, shaping a country’s associations and antagonisms Jewish Israeli women have been noted to adopt and, therefore, states increasingly define their inMuslim rituals during child birth (Sered, 2007). terests in civilization terms” (1993, p. 34). In other

Nonetheless, he goes on to cite Muslim Indian author M.J. Akbar who states that “the West’s next confrontation is definitely going to come from the Muslim world. It is in the sweep of the Islamic nations from the Maghreb to Pakistan that the struggle for a new world order will begin” (Huntington, 1993, p. 32). In summation of Huntington’s argument, the post-cold war world will be dominated by conflicting cultural interests. In particular, Western values will come to clash with non-Western values with an emphasis placed on Islam as the West’s biggest cultural adversary. In congruence with this perspective, the West created a “clash of civilizations” explanation of the shooting which took place at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, in Paris in January 2015. The events were as follows: two masked men, French brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, entered the Charlie Hebdo offices with assault rifles. The shooting resulted in the deaths of 12 people including the magazine’s editor and one police officer and injured many others. The magazine, which had a history of printing cartoons of the prophet Muhammed, had printed cartoons which depicted Muhammed naked as a porn star. Thus, the shooting’s motive was to avenge this act which was seen as offensive due to the obscene nudity, portraying the prophet artistically, and in a manner which was grossly disrespectful (Vinograd et al., 2015). On the very day of the shooting, Western politicians began releasing statements condemning the attacks. Their language alludes to a COC perspective. For instance, French President Francois Hollande stated “Freedom is always bigger than barbarism… France has always vanquished her enemies when she has stood united and remained true to her values” (France Diplomatie, 2015). Here, West represents the concept of ‘freedom’ and by default Islam represents the concept of ‘barbarism’. He vows that France will defend the cartoonists’ message of freedom for which they had died. Moreover, the president perpetuated the idea of Western cultural values being the source of the animosity toward them: “The Republic equals freedom of expression; the Republic equals culture, creation, it equals pluralism and democracy. That is what the assassins were targeting” (France Diplomatie, 2015). Moreover, American president

93 Barak Obama’s statement described how France has remained one of its deepest allies through its “shared values” in the “fight against terrorism”. He went on to say the attackers were “cowardly” and “evil” who fear “our freedom”. The attack was an “attack on the freedom of press” and France and the United States share a “belief in the freedom of expression that cannot be silenced by violence” (The Telegraph, 2015). Again, the West has co-opted the ambiguous values regarding “freedom” as a Western idea and in describing the attack as a cowardly, evil act of barbarism the ‘terrorists’ are cast off as irrational and unable to reason with, perpetuating the use of force as the only means to ‘deal with terrorists’. Echoing these remarks, UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron said, “I think we are at risk because there are a group of people who believe in this fanatical death cult of Islamist extremism and frankly you can’t appease them. They hate our democracy, our freedom, our freedom of expression, our way of life” (Mason, 2015). Thus, in solidarity, Western leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy participated in a march for free speech. The rally took place on January 11 in Paris and 3.7 million people took part. Moreover, the “Je Suis Charlie” campaign featured heavily in social media stressing the fight for the “western value of freedom of speech” and various cartoons were made in protest of the attack which also place emphasis on cultural causes (see figures). This clash of civilizations response is not unique to the Charlie Hebdo shooting as Jackson et al. (2011, pg. 63-65) explain the similar narrative constructed around 9/11. Similarly, the terrorist attack was viewed as an attack on Western values. In his state of union address, George W. Bush calls the 9/11 perpetrators “enemies of freedom” and described how they were in a world “where freedom itself is under attack”. He declared: “They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other” (CNN, 2001). Indeed, in both cases, explanations boiled down to, in the minds of mainstream Westerners, a clash of Islamic and Western cultural values. This uniform response of

Western leaders in fact mirrors colonial rhetoric used to subjugate the global south. This framing of the Orient as an ‘ideal other’ for Europe is in fact a historical process which began during the colonial era due to the politics of power and knowledge. The colonial expedition was characterized by its droves of experts who created comprehensive studies of their colonized states. Despite the often entirely fabricated nature of these representations, Orientalist images became the globe’s most authoritative explanation of Oriental peoples. While Eastern epistemologies would be more reliable, the realities of global politics meant they would not be regarded with any sort of comparable legitimacy. It is this historical relationship of power in the production of knowledge that has led to the Western intellectual authority on the East irrespective of its lack of actual authenticity. Said (1978) states, “Orientalism is premised upon exteriority, that is, on the fact that the Orientalist, poet or scholar, makes the Orient speak, describes the Orient, renders its mysteries plain for and to the West. He is never concerned with the Orient except as the first cause of what he says” (p. 36). In other words, the West was not concerned with East itself but merely the Western judgement of it as exotic. Due to the longstanding authority of the Orientalist rationale, Orientalist tropes continue to reproduce themselves. Said (1978) explains that colonial scholars developed “a kind of second-order knowledge—lurking in such places as the ‘Oriental’ tale, the mythology of the mysterious East, notions of Asian inscrutability—with a life of its own, what V. G. Kiernan has aptly called ‘Europe’s collective day-dream of the Orient’” (p.62). This allowed orientalist experts to simply cite themselves with no regard to historical or regional particularism. For example, Gerard de Nerval in his book Journey to the Orient describes the Syrians of the early 20th century by citing Edward W. Lane who had described 19th century Egyptians (Said, 1978, p.152). This second-order knowledge marked the East as uniformly mysterious and fixed in an imaginary history; the ideal other for Europe which was considered to be progressive and modern.

94 In relation to conflict in particular, Edward Said (1978) sheds light on the Western framing of Muslim violence. During the colonial era, works were produced to legitimize the Western claim to administrate the Middle East by describing its people as being too violent and irrational for self-governance (p. 48). This train of thought continued well into the 20th century and present day. For instance, Giddens (1972) attempted to describe the psychological makeup of the Middle East with regards to violence–a task which came to generalize the psychology of over 100 million individuals over a period of 1300 years. The article explains that Islam has a “shame culture” which stresses conformity, therefore acts of violence are all somehow related to “wiping out shame”. Giddens states: “from a Western point of view the only rational thing for the Arabs to do is to make peace… for the Arabs the situation is not governed by this kind of logic, for objectivity is not a value in the Arab system.” (Said, 1978, p.49). This explanation echoes the narrative surrounding the Charlie Hebdo attack. Similarly, to its colonial purpose, the framing of Muslims as violent and irrational continues to justify a military presence in the Middle East. In addition, power and knowledge are also deeply important in considering what has been termed “Western values”. According to Gramsci’s concept of hegemony, those in power have the ability to shape what becomes the common sense narrative in order to justify their privileged status. Hegemony occurs on the international scale through economic and militaristic domination. The hegemonic narrative is especially important on the international scale, where states have been allotted formal equality. In these cases, words such as “leadership” which have positive connotations are also an “an ideology that legitimates domination and exploitation” (Chase-Dunn et al., 1994, p. 362). Through using positive terms, the interests of the hegemon can be translated into universal values such that what is advantageous for the hegemon is framed to be advantageous for the world. This narrative of values is successful in accordance to compliance from other states through cordial economic and political relations (Chase-Dunn et al., 1994, p.364). It achieves this through intellectual and moral management that allows for a “grey space” to be formed between consent and

95 coercion. In other words, by using connotations of morality, the hegemonic state is able to induce the cooperation of other states through covertly coercive means. Therefore, in the context of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, it is important to consider how the term “freedom” is being used an ideology to legitimize Western power. As discussed above, in co-opting positive values, the West is able to legitimize its supremacy over the Middle East. Moreover, in posing its interests in terms of morality, it is able to gain cooperation from other Western states. The use of the term “freedom” can be used to legitimize state power domestically as well. In belief of the hegemonic narrative of their freedom, Western citizens simultaneously agree that their system of government and economics is not oppressing them. For instance, the view of the East as anti-freedom also serves to emphasize Western freedom so that the faults of the capitalist system seem acceptable in relation to what has been portrayed as a worse alternative. The predicament of Western citizens is scapegoated to the exotic other of “Islamist Jihadists”. Moreover, by describing terrorists as “evil” the West is able to shirk its responsibilities of addressing their political grievances. Through the perpetuation of these and other myths regarding terrorism, Western powers are able to justify extreme counter-terrorism measures such as the use of torture and the suspension of civil liberties (Jackson et al, 2011, p. 23). Therefore, the labeling of the “Western value” must be considered critically in relation to power and knowledge. Especially when terms such as freedom are so highly subjective that even in the West a variety of definitions exist. Furthermore, in the West’s COC explanation, the Charlie Hebdo shooting is transplanted into being a part of the international incidences of terrorism when it was in fact an act of domestic home grown terrorism. This response discourages a critical self- reflection into the domestic causes of the attack and isolates further the Muslim population in France. Considering that both brothers were born in Paris and attended public school with other French children, it is nonsensical that simply their choice of religion could cause them to be isolated entirely from Western thought.

Indeed, soon after the Charlie Hebdo shooting the BBC published an article discussing Europe’s “Islamic Problem”. Particularly, that France had been struggling with Islamic youth who despite being born in France, refused to adopt “Western values and lifestyles” (Wyatt, 2015). As discussed above, the labelling of Western and Islamic values are deeply laden in the structures of power and knowledge. According to Abbas (2012, p. 346), the terrorism narrative has caused Muslims in Britain to be increasingly viewed as threatening by the wider populous, and as apparent in the BBC article “Paris attack highlights Europe’s struggle with Islamism”, Muslims are gaining a stereotype of resisting assimilation to Western society. In actuality, Muslims in the West experience much discrimination. For example, Muslim youth who are convicted of crime are punished severely in relation to other criminals and are deeply vilified in the media (Abbas, 2012, p.351). Moreover, specific counter-terrorism legislation in part of the West’s war on terror target Muslim populations specifically causing a feeling of alienation. Muslim youth who feel a sense of social and economic marginalization by the wider society often look to better understand their religion. The parents of these youth tend to lack the understanding or skills in communication to answer their questions thus; they seek more relatable explanations or ‘empowerment knowledge’ outside of the home. This process makes them more susceptible to coming across messages of radicalization and becoming involved in political Islam (Abbas, 2012, p.350). Therefore, the marginalization caused by islamophobia increases the chance for Muslim youth to become involved in political Islam. This process makes counter-terrorism measures themselves a cause for increasing domestic non-state terrorism. For instance, France`s secularization of clothing directly targets the Muslim population which serves as a reminder of their status as an unwanted other. The burqa became, in the eyes of Westerners, a symbol of misogyny and even used as justification for the war in Afghanistan. Therefore, Muslim women are often viewed as passive victims in need of rescue (Hussein, 2013, p. 145). Many Western organizations such as the Feminist Majority ignored the agency of Afghan women as well as the culpability of American foreign policy in presenting an over-simplified portrait of the gen-

96 der issue in Afghanistan to ‘brown women in need of saving from brown men by white men’ (Hussein, 2013, p.146). To the surprise of many Westerners, after the fall of the Taliban regime, many Afghan women continued to wear the burqa. Furthermore, women who “refuse rescue from patriachical repression” and continue to wear the burqa by choice are seen as threatening agents of the Islamatization of the west. The west has developed a ‘good/bad’ Muslim dichotomy. Those women who cast off Islamic practices are labelled as ‘good Muslims’ while those who continue to practice their religion are labelled ‘bad Muslims’ (Abbas, 2013, p.147). The entire process problematizes ‘Muslimness’ causing islamophobia. This conflicting framing not only causes inter-racial tensions but also a conundrum of personal identity for Muslims. In order to live in the West, it appears that Muslims must make a choice between adopting Western lifestyles entirely or imposed isolation to preserve their religious identity. Therefore, the West’s role in the marginalization of its Islamic population should be considered in determining the cause of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Henderson et al (2001) explain that the vast majority of scholars do not rule out cultural factors all together (p.315). Most agree that cultural factors play out the largest roles in international conflict in prioritizing certain values during the negotiation process. Often times, logical solutions to these conflicts would often result in compromise, but in some cases cultural beliefs renders these compromises unacceptable. For instance, in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a logical solution would be compromise where both groups share territory however cultural beliefs placed on the meaning of that land renders compromise an unacceptable solution. Henderson et al (2001) explain that cultural realists such as Huntington have an over exaggeration of culture as the root cause of conflict. In conclusion, the West used a “Clash of Civilization” perspective to label the causation of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Western leaders proclaimed that the shooters hated the “western value” of freedom and therefore the shooting represented an attack on this value. In reality, the co-opting of positive values to frame the Islamic

Orient as an ideal other for the Judeo-Christian West is a historic process developing from Colonial power relations. Moreover, “moral values” are in fact steeped in ideology which serves to propagate a hegemonic narrative in terms of international politics and class relations. Lastly, by claiming that the attack was due to cultural differences, the West ignores its role in developing the conditions of discrimination which makes terrorism committed by Muslims more likely. Ultimately, due to the subjective and political nature of terrorism, the mainstream narrative regarding it should always be considered critically within the context of power and knowledge.

Bibliography Abbas, Tahir. “The symbiotic relationship between Islamophobia and radicalisation”. Critical Studies on Terrorism. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. 2012. Chase-Dunn, Christopher and Taylor, Peter and Arrighi, Giovanni and Cox, Robert and Overbeek, Henk and Gills, Barry and Frank, Andre Gunder and Modelski, George and Wilkinson, David. “Hegemony and Social Change”. Mershon International Studies Review, Vol. 38, No. 2. Wiley. 1994. CNN. “Text of Bush’s Address”. September 11, 2001. George W. Bush. Retrieved from: bush.speech.text/ France Diplomatie. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Attack against Charlie Hebdo. Francois Hollande. Retrieved from: http:// Henderson, Errol and Tucker, Richard. “Clear and Present Strangers: The Clash of Civilizations and International Conflict”. International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (Jun., 2001), pp. 317-338. Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association. Huntington, Samuel P. “The Clash of Civilizations?”. Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3 (Sum-

97 mer, 1993), pp. 22-49. Council on Foreign Relations. Hussein, Shakira. From Rescue Missions to Discipline: Post-9/11 Western Political Discourse on Muslim Women”. Australian Feminist Studies. Routledge Taylor & Francis .2013 Jackson, Richard and Jarvis, Lee and Gunning Jeroen and Breen-Smyth, Marie. Terrorism: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. 2011. Mason, Rowena. “David Cameron supports Charlie Hebdo cover that depicts Muhammad”. The Guardian. January 13, 2015. Retrieved from: politics/2015/jan/13/david-cameron-cover-charlie-hebdo-muhammad-prophet-freedom-offensive Said, Edward. “The Clash of Ignorance”. The Nation (October 2001). [Consulted]. Said, Edward. Orientalism. Pantheon Books. 1978. Sered, Susan. “Taxonomies of Ritual Mixing”. History of Religions, Vol. 47, No. 2/3 (November 2007/February 2008), pp. 221-238. The University of Chicago Press. The Telegraph. Published on Jan 7, 2015. “Barack Obama condemns “cowardly, evil” attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris” [video file]. Retrieved from: watch?v=ommcdhMIqQs Vinograd, Classandra and Jamieson, Alastair and Viala, Florence and Smith, Alexander. “Charlie Hebdo Shooting: 12 Killed at Muhammad Cartoons Magazine in Paris”. NBC News. January 7, 2015. Retrieved from: paris-magazine-attack/charlie-hebdo-shooting-12-killed-muhammad-cartoons-magazine-paris-n281266. Wyatt, Caroline. “Paris attack highlights Europe’s struggle with Islamism”. BBC News. January 7, 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.

98 Figures



Social Sorcery: Witch Interrogations, Gender Relations, and Familial Accusations in Seventeenth-Century Lancashire Tasha Guenther History

Embedded within the historical study of the early modern European witch-hunt from 14501750 is a sequence of demanding historiographical debates. The most stringent, and perhaps interesting, of these debates has its roots in the relationships between those accused of witchcraft, the family members and neighbors accusing them, and the magistrates and judges examining them. These relationships have informed an array of historical analyses, including Anne L. Barstow’s notion of widespread misogyny,1 Hugh Trevor-Roper’s assertion regarding the correlation between Catholic-Protestant tension and increasing witch accusations,2 and Lyndal Roper’s argument that the witch-hunts were a product of collective fantasy and fears surrounding the destruction of fertility.3 However, an in-depth analysis into the gender relations that facilitated, drove, and in some cases, intensified these accusations and subsequent trials and confessions, has been widely ignored. As well, the way in which the gendered relationships between family members, neighbors, and members of the elite established and deepened political and religious anxieties has been overlooked. The importance of analyzing gender in relation to witches is most especially revealed by looking at one of the most famous set of cases during the early modern English witch-hunt, the Pendle witch trials of 1612. When conducting a gendered analysis of the witch trials of 1612, Brian Levack, established historian and author of the well-known book The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, now in its third edition, is an imperative source to draw on. His-

torians, like Levack, have already begun to dissect notions of gendered anxiety by turning their focuses to multifaceted responses in an attempt to answer questions like, why was society anxious about witchcraft in the first place, and what factors facilitated the subsequent trials?4 By focusing on cases recorded by Thomas Potts in his 1613 publication The vvonderfull discouerie of witches in the countie of Lancaster, this essay will engage in a gendered analysis of social superstition, interfamilial conflict, and intrafamilial animosity. Such an analysis will reveal the way in which gender relations during the early seventeenth century facilitated and emphasized the need for judicial intervention. This essay will further attempt to look beyond arguments, like Barstow’s, that fears surrounding witchcraft were solely the result of misogyny, and like Trevor-Roper’s that Catholic-Protestant tension spurred the need to stamp out superstition. It will further engage in an exploration beyond Roper’s that fears surrounding the destruction of fertility, on a natural level, fed the witch trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.5 Along with a gendered analysis of the primary source, I will move towards encompassing scholars James Sharpe, Stephen Pumfrey, and John Swain’s arguments, that the political, theological, and economic environments of the English Reformation facilitated witchcraft anxiety in areas like Lancaster County. Further, by adopting Levack’s multi-causal approach I will examine what caused the accusation, persecution, and execution of witches in Pendle, Lancashire. This gendered exploration will be grounded in an analysis of, arguably, the most crucial stage of the seventeenth century witch-hunts in Lancashire—the accusa-

101 tions. Since Jennet Device, a nine-year-old girl, implicated all of her family members and many of her neighbors, connecting them to witchcraft, the social atmosphere evident before these trials is crucial to analyze. In this setting, and through a close reading of Potts’ records, this essay will employ an analysis of the possibilities within the gender performances of males and females apparent amongst the accused, the accusers, and the magistrates and judges. By engaging in a multifaceted gendered approach, the intricacies of familial relations, communal belonging, and class hierarchy will be uncovered and a more complex, nuanced methodology in which to analyze distinct witch-hunts in the larger European context will be revealed.

astical reign over the witch-hunt. And lastly, by placing the prosecution of witches in the hands of local and regional courts, magistrates and judges were liberated from the central judicial control and could convict and execute more readily.11 With these changes, social and economic conflict within specific local or regional areas could be more effectively monitored. Social and economic developments bring fuller understanding to the hunt. Levack makes it clear, however, that following the intellectual and legal foundational preconditions, social and economic developments “were neither necessary preconditions nor efficient causes, but they did serve to intensify the process of witch-hunting.”12 Thus, it is evident that gender relations within the social milieu of Pendle, Lancashire only further intensified the operation of witch-hunting. The tension that precipitated between the female heads of household, Old Chattox and Old Demdike, following the intervention of Roger Nowell (as a representation of judicial masculinity), is revealing of the greater social setting of England. For example, the profound religious developments that took place in early modern England encouraged the witch-hunt since the unity of medieval Christendom had been fragmented.13 Levack argues that the prosecution of witches in a religiously divided area served to eradicate the threat of either the Protestant or Catholic minority, depending on the region.14 Following the publication of King James I Daemonologie in 1597, which took “an intense scholarly interest in Protestant theology, including the theology of witchcraft,” Catholic individuals in places like Lancaster County, were now the minority, marginalized and in danger.15

This context of the entire European witchhunt is needed in order to analyze the specific area of Pendle, Lancashire. Levack “sees the emergence of new ideas about witches and a series of fundamental changes in the criminal law as necessary preconditions of the witch-hunt, and both religious change and social tension as its more immediate causes.”6 Levack sees intellectual foundations as one of the main underlying conditions that brought forth conflict and accusations during the hunt.7 More generally, early modern Europeans shared beliefs that defined what constituted witchcraft and diabolism in general. First, Europeans believed that witches had made a pact with the Devil and that they gathered communally in forests or Sabbaths as a way to resist ecclesiastical gathering.8 When the term was used by early modern Europeans, witchcraft referred “to either or both two types of activity,” maleficia (harmful black magic) or white magic for purposes of healing or divination.9 Legal foundations and later developments often blurred the lines between black While England was becoming increasingly and white magic—leaving even those with ‘good’ Protestant under King James I, Lancaster County intentions in danger. was known to have deep roots in Catholicism and As Levack makes clear, the entire Europesuperstition, which lent itself to heightening com10 an witch-hunt was essentially a judicial process. munal tension and interfamilial conflict. For exImportant changes precipitated the magnitude of ample, it was recorded by Potts that following the the witch-hunt. For example, through the adoption imprisonment of Old Demdike, her granddaughter of secular and ecclesiastical inquisitorial systems, Alizon Device, Old Chattox, and her daughter witchcraft cases were more easily targeted and Anne Redferne, the local judiciary system partprosecuted. Then, through legal torture, courts nered with the church and ordered community could more readily gather confessions and more members to take communion in order to reveal offenders. Next, by acquiring jurisdiction over who was socially deviant.16 According to Potts, witchcraft, secular courts replaced the ecclesiinstead of attending the service on April 10, 1612,

102 the Device family organized a congregation of witches at Malkin Tower, the home of the imprisoned Old Demdike.17 Since the family had been socially marginalized for years, and since recent events had precipitated the accusation of Alizon Device as a witch, and subsequent interfamilial accusations between Old Chattox’s family and Old Demdike’s, judicial members saw this Device family congregation as a Sabbath—one influenced by the Devil.18 Importantly, however, as Levack argues, “In England…the crime of witchcraft remained essentially one of performing harmful magic, not one of worshipping the Devil.”19 So, though Potts outlines relationships between these women and men and the Devil, he emphasizes the Device family’s intention for “The Castle of Lancaster to be blowen up, and ayde and assistance to be sent to kill M. Lister, with his old Enemie and wicked Neighbour Jennet Preston.”20 Here, the role of familial relations within the larger setting of community is revealed to be crucial. The fact that Pendle, Lancashire was a community that had a strong social memory— where friends, enemies, and opposing families lived in close proximity—is revealing of the ways in which these types of witch accusations precipitated. Using Levack as a theoretical framework, it becomes evident that the intellectual and legal foundations, religious developments, and social and economic changes apparent throughout much of Europe were also evident in the region of Pendle, Lancashire. For example, the intellectual sets of beliefs surrounding witches were clear undercurrents for the Pendle witch trials of 1612, which then drove the accusations and confessions of those living in and around the forest of Pendle. The intellectual foundation of Pendle, which accepted beliefs in maleficia and white magic, drove the rivalry between the marginalized families of Old Demdike and Old Chattox. These people made up “a couple of poor, marginal local families in the forest of Pendle with a longstanding reputation for magical powers, which they had occasionally used at the request of their wealthier neighbours.”21 The superstition that facilitated these families’ reputations is well outlined by John Swain in terms of a witchcraft market. In other words, the supposed witches made a living by selling their skills on the market. As he argues, “they were competing against each other for a limited

market, making a living by healing, begging and extortion.”22 With this, it becomes imperative to explore the extent to which femininity played a role in these interfamilial relationships. In his description of Old Demdike, Potts outlines the Device family’s structure: “Thus lived she [Old Demdike] securely for many yeares, brought up her owne Children, instructed her Graund-children, and tooke great care and paines to bring them to be Witches.”23 When analyzing this statement through a gendered lens, it becomes evident that matriarchy and witchcraft worked hand in hand. Old Demdike clearly raised her family up with a set of values she saw necessary for survival in her community. These matriarchal structures existing within an intense economic setting and alongside the increasingly patriarchal association between law and religion undoubtedly provided the stimulus necessary for interfamilial accusation. Swain states, “many of the accusations of witchcraft in 1612 spring from the family of Old Demdike blaming that of Old Chattox, or vice versa.”24 This is seen in Potts records. Upon questioning, Old Chattox, states that she had “about foureteene yeares past… entered through the wicked persuasions and counsel of Demdike, and was seduced to condescent & agree to become subject unto that.”25 Through interrogation, it is clear that Old Chattox, having been incriminated by members of Old Demdike’s family, wished to incriminate Old Demdike. This conflicted environment of accuser versus accused (and vice versa) is further underlined by the fact that both parties were female. The superstitious beliefs that facilitated this feminine opposition in Pendle, Lancashire were preconditions that drove the socio-economic market of witchcraft. Further, these two opposing families, whose matriarchs were marketing themselves to the greater community as cunning women, capable of healing, enchanting, and prophesizing, led to an intensification of the witch-hunt operation in Lancaster County.26 As aforementioned, legal developments often blurred the lines between black and white magic and left even those with ‘good’ intentions in danger. As Swain points out, “some of those indicted were probably wise women or men, practitioners of herbal or folk medicine, and inevitably sometimes things went wrong and they

got the blame.”27 Regardless of right or wrong, the judiciary magistrates, like Roger Nowell, had clear motives. These motives revealed intrafamilial animosity amongst the most fragile participants in the entire process of witch accusation, persecution, and execution—children. In the midst of interfamilial conflict, predicated on the socio-economic conditions of the witchcraft market in Lancashire, Potts’ account brings forth evidence that suggests that conflict may have been present within the families, as well. Though historians must remain careful when analyzing Potts’ text,28 since his account is filled with “political brown-nosing,”29 The Wonderfull Discoverie is especially important in revealing the fragile mother-daughter relations between Elizabeth and Jennet Device. In the examination and evidence of Jennet against her mother, Potts’ describes that upon calling Jennet to testify: Her Mother, according to her accustomed manner, outrageously cursing, cryed out against the child in such a fearfull manner, as all the Court did not a little wonder at her, and so amazed the child, as with weeping teares, shee cryed out unto my Lord the Judge, and told him shee was not able to speake in the presence of her Mother.30 Again, a gendered reading of Potts’ account here reveals Elizabeth Device’s strong maternal bond to her child, who is not only going against the family, but is also (perhaps unknowingly) damaging the very fabric of the mother-daughter relationship. Since it has been recently discovered that Jennet Device was a bastard child, the intrafamilial animosity that existed between her, her mother Elizabeth, and her two siblings Alizon and James Device has been speculated.31 Since Jennet’s testimony reveals the mixture of confusion and anger on the part of her mother, however, it is imperative to remember just how young Jennet Device was and just how involved she was to become in the fate of her mother. As Robert Poole points out: Much of the key evidence in the trial of 1612 was given by two children, James and Jennet Device, aged about nine and twelve. Caught up in a terrifying web of charges and arrests they panicked, and their stories, designed to clear themselves, ended up

103 in the deaths of most of their own family members, and indeed of James himself.32 Accordingly, what is left out of Potts’ account are the interactions between Jennet and her interrogators. It is unknown the extent to which Nowell had been in contact with the little girl before the trial, but many historians assume that he had in some way or another coached her and had her well-rehearsed before testifying against her mother.33 This is evident in Potts’ record where Jennet simply, “confesseth and saith, that her said Mother is a Witch, and that this shee knoweth to be true.”34 What is included in Potts’ account, then, reveals an already marginalized family pushed to the brink of instability. The fact that Pendle, Lancashire was a community that had a strong social memory—where friends, enemies, and opposing families lived in close proximity—is revealing of the ways in which these types of witch accusations precipitated. Jennet’s ability to implicate members of her family as well as members of her community, both men and women of differing classes, demonstrates the social closeness of Pendle. As well, the structure of the matriarchal household within the larger economic setting of witchcraft, in which Jennet lived, appears to have had disastrous impacts following Nowell’s judicial investigations. For example, Jennet and James Device’s testimony and evidence against the wealthy Alice Nutter placed her at Malkin Tower and further established her role as social deviant for magistrates and JPs like Nowell.35 Since the Nutter family had deep ties to Catholicism, it has been speculated by historians that Nutter was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time trying to avoid the mandatory Protestant service on April 10, 1612.36 Whatever the reason, Potts’ account situates her as a “rich woman [with] a great estate, and children of good hope: in the common opinion of the world, of good temper, free from envy or malice; yet whether by the meanes of the rest of the Witches, or from unfortunate occasion, shee was drawne to fall to this wicked course of life.”37 With such heavy emphasis on the matriarchal structures of those like Old Demdike’s family and Old Chattox’s family in the lower class of Lancashire society, perhaps judicial fears in relation to such structures at a higher social standing were growing. Nevertheless, accu-

sations against individuals within these structures reveal a complex relationship between the accused, the accuser, and the examiner that goes deeper than misogyny—especially since many of those accusing had been just as much involved in the matriarchal structuring of the two households. As a result of this inter and intra-household tension, the judicial foundations had been preconditioned so witchcraft cases were more easily targeted, courts could more readily gather confessions, secular courts had the power, and local or regional courts had jurisdiction. 38 These foundations were crucial in establishing the events that precipitated in Lancaster County in 1612. As Sharpe duly notes: From the point of view of the investigating authorities, the real breakthrough came on 27 April, when in the course of further examinations Elizabeth Device and her children James and Jennet all told of the meeting at the Malkin Tower. This implicated a number of other local people as witches, and convinced Nowell and his fellow JPs that they were confronting a major outbreak of witchcraft.39 Thus, the social and economic conflict between the two families within the area of Pendle was now more being effectively monitored. For rigorous Protestant men, like Roger Nowell who had read King James I’s Daemonologie and probably Henrich Kraemer’s Malleus Maleficarum, effective monitoring meant getting rid of the harmful maleficia at whatever the cost. Jonathan Lumby explores the extent to which masculinity and religious misunderstanding between families in communities played a role in driving the staggering number of accusations seen in a small area like Pendle. Much like Eve Sedgwick Kosofsky’s notion of homosocial desire through cuckholding,40 Lumby’s exploration examines the way in which men used women as a means to interact with other men.41 Importantly, this exploration moves beyond Barstow’s man versus woman theory and instead moves into the realm of paternalism, protection, and man versus woman versus man. Lumby explores Nowell’s stereotypical interest in the secrets of a highly feminized witches’ Sabbath, “about a Faustian compact with the

104 Devil, about a girl’s selling of her soul, about the erotic enormities of the witches’ sabbat, and about the sensual intimacies of animal familiars.”42 In this, the social factors involved even in the judicial process are apparent. Had Nowell been a magistrate or a man of less stereotypical tendencies, the witch trials of Pendle Hill, Lancashire might not have advanced at the scale to which they did. Nowell’s own ideologies concerning gender conventions, as Lumby points out, intensified the operation of this particular witch-hunt. Lumby most eloquently argues, “Alizon, Demdike, Chattox and James were involved in a simpler notion of witchcraft that did not answer to Nowell’s stereotypes. From this mismatch too evolved the tragedy.”43 As this essay has used Levack’s multi-causal approach as a general framework for analyzing the Pendle witch trials of 1612, alongside a gendered reading of Thomas Potts’ The vvonderfull discouerie of witches in the countie of Lancaster, it becomes imperative to readdress the importance of understanding the social milieu of the early modern European witch-hunt in general. While the socio-economic environment of the families involved in the Pendle witch trials of 1612 certainly intensified the operation of Nowell’s hunt, the already established intellectual belief in witches and witchcraft (both black and white) as well as the judicial foundation for accusing, persecuting, and executing witches undoubtedly caused the deaths of Old Chattox’s and Old Demdike’s families. Though it goes beyond the scope of this paper, a greater look into the gendered stereotypes of witchcraft and resistances to these stereotypes during the early modern period should be pursued. This essay further begs the question: how does this notion of matriarchal witchcraft have the capacity to bring forth resistances to the existing gender hierarchy, judicial reforms to sexuality and self-identity, and patriarchal anxieties? Analyzing these themes may just bring us closer to understanding the reality of the true magic at work: the social sorcery.

Bibliography Barstow, Anne Llewellyn. Witchraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts. New York: HarperOne, 1995. Kindle edition.

105 “On Studying Witchcraft as a Women’s History: A Historiography of the European Witch Persecutions.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 4, no. 2. (1988): pp. 7-19. Gibson, Marion. “Thomas Potts’s ‘dusty memory’: reconstructing justice in The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches.” The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories. Ed. Robert Poole. New York: Manchester University Press, 2002. 42-57. PDF e-book. Lumby, Jonathan. “‘Those to whom evil is done’: family dynamics in the Pendle witch trials.” The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories. Ed. Robert Poole. New York: Manchester University Press, 2002. 58-70. PDF e-book. Mullet, Michael. “The Reformation in the parish of Whalley.” The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories. Ed. Robert Poole. New York: Manchester University Press, 2002. 588-104. PDF e-book. Potts, Thomas. The vvonderfull discouerie of witches in the countie of Lancaster. London, 1613. Early English Books Online. Web. 30 November 2015. < full_rec?SOURCE=pgthumbs.cfg&ACTION=ByID&ID=99850200&FILE=../ session/1449082177_23221&SEARCHSCREEN=CITATIONS&SEARCHCONFIG=var_spell.cfg&DISPLAY=AUTHOR>. Roper, Lyndal. Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. Kindle edition. Sharpe, James, “Introduction.” The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories. Ed. Robert Poole. New York: Manchester University Press, 2002. PDF e-book. Swain, John. “Witchcraft, economy and society in the forest of Pendle.” The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories. Ed. Robert Poole. New York: Manchester University Press, 2002. 73-87. PDF e-book. The Pendle Witch Child. Documentary. Directed by Ros Ereira. 2011. London: BBC, 2011.

DVD. Trevor-Roper, Hugh. European Witch Craze of the 16th and 17th Century. London: Penguin Books, 1969. Kindle edition.

Endnotes 1 Anne Llewellyn Barstow, Witchraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts (New York: HarperOne, 1995) Kindle edition. 2 Hugh Trevor-Roper, European Witch Craze of the 16th and 17th Century (London: Penguin Books, 1969) Kindle edition. 3 Lyndal Roper, “Prologue,” Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), Kindle edition. 4

Levack, 2.

5 Lyndal Roper, “Prologue,” Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), Kindle edition. 6

Levack, 3.


Ibid., 25.


Ibid., 25-6.


Ibid., 10.


Ibid., 63.


Ibid., 63-4.


Ibid., 93.


Ibid., 93.


Ibid., 116.

15 Stephen Pumfrey, “Potts, plots and politics: James I’s Daemonologie and The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches,” in The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories ed. Robert Poole (New York: Manchester University Press, 2002) PDF e-book, 23. 16 The Pendle Witch Child, Documentary, directed by Ros Ereira (2011; London: BBC, 2011), DVD.

17 Thomas Potts, The Wonderfull Discouerie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster (London, 1613). 18

Pumfrey, 33.


Levack, 9-10.


Potts, Wonderfull Discoverie, C3.

21 Robert Poole, “The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012” The Public Domain Review, accessed 7 December 2015. 22 John Swain, “Witchcraft, economy and society in the forest of Pendle,” in The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories ed. Robert Poole (New York: Manchester University Press, 2002) PDF e-book, 80. 23

Potts, Wonderfull Discoverie, B2.




Potts, Wonderfull Discoverie, B4.

26 The Pendle Witch Child. 27

Swain, 80.

28 Marion Gibson, “Thomas Potts’s ‘dusty memory’: reconstructing justice in The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches,” in The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories ed. Robert Poole (New York: Manchester University Press, 2002) PDF e-book, 42. 29 The Pendle Witch Child. 30

Potts, Wonderfull Discoverie, G.



32 Poole, “The Lancashire Witches 16122012.” 33 The Pendle Witch Child. 34

Potts, Wonderfull Discoverie, G2.


Ibid., O3.

36 The Pendle Witch Child. 37

Ibid., O4.


Levack, 63-4.

106 39 James Sharpe, “Introduction,” in The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories ed. Robert Poole (New York: Manchester University Press, 2002) PDF e-book, 2. 40 Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, “Between Men,” in Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993): 696. 41 Jonathan Lumby, “‘Those to whom evil is done’: family dynamics in the Pendle witch trials,” in The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories ed. Robert Poole (New York: Manchester University Press, 2002) PDF e-book, 67. 42

Ibid., 67-8.


Ibid., 68.


Eve and the Nature of Women: Morality, Sexuality, and the Female Body in the Art of Early Medieval Europe Pamela Hunt Art History

You are the devil’s gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom that devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert – that is, death – even the Son of God had to die. – Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women, Book 1, Chapter 1 Representations of the human body have long been a part of the artistic traditions of Western Europe. Bodies have the capacity to convey notions of masculinity and femininity, establish social hierarchies, and either support or challenge conventional beliefs regarding gender roles.1 In artistic representation, the human body has often been used as “a visual metaphor for virtue or vice, sanctity or evil.”2 Nude bodies, in particular, were “associated with extreme states and emotions [such as] purity, innocence, sacrifice, shame, humiliation, [and] sexual desire….”3 It was the female body, however, that became equated with weakness, temptation, and sexual evils. This was due to the widespread belief that women lacked the ability to control their sexual desires and the medieval interpretation of the biblical character of Eve as a sexual temptress. Thus, visual representations of the female body became the primary means by which to characterize the nature of sin and its consequences, thereby visually prescribing the nature and identity of medieval women themselves. The book of Genesis recounts the creation of Adam and Eve and the original sin of disobedi-

ence that corrupted human nature, subjecting it to “ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin.”4 Christian tradition maintains that after Adam and Eve were created, God strictly forbade them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Deceived by the devil disguised as a serpent, Eve picked an apple from the tree and tasted it. She then offered it to Adam, who also ate. Suddenly aware of their nakedness, they hid from God in shame. They were subsequently cursed and expelled from the Garden of Eden. It is interesting to note that the biblical account gives no indication that Adam was in any way coerced, or even persuaded, to eat the forbidden fruit. The book of Genesis states that “[Eve] also gave [the apple] to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Gen. 3:6 [New International Version]). This indicates that not only did Adam partake of the apple willingly, he was also present when the serpent carried out his deception and thus should be held equally responsible. However, Christian tradition regards Eve as the primary culprit and thus holds her responsible for original sin and the subsequent fall of the human race. The belief in Eve’s guilt is derived, in part, from early Christian scripture.5 In a letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul identifies Eve as the reason for sin. He states that “Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (1 Tim. 2:14). Early Christian writers such as Tertullianm, St. Ambrose, and St. Augustine of Hippo contributed to the demonization of Eve that dictated female identity throughout the Middle Ages. Tertullian believed that Eve was a prototype for all women and that all women carried within them the impurity of the first sin; he asked of Christian women in the second cen-

tury, “…do you not know that you are (each) an Eve?”6 The twelfth-century abbot St. Bernard of Clairvaux preached that Eve was “the original cause of all evil, whose disgrace has come down to all other women.”7 Furthermore, Eve’s wickedness was thought to be directly connected to her physical body. Gregory the Great wrote that it was Eve’s body that pursued the pleasure of sin, while Adam’s consent was a spiritual matter, thus relating female sexuality to sin and temptation.8 This theory was “verified” with the rediscovery of Aristotle’s work in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which espoused a biological explanation for Eve’s inferiority.9 Thus, Eve “emerged as the symbol of all who allow themselves to be deceived by evil…” and the archetype for women whose very nature made them vulnerable to temptation and likely to persuade others to sin.10

108 of disgrace creates a powerful image that emphasizes her deliberate deception and “the action of continuing sin.”14 This imagery clearly reveals the medieval belief that not only was Eve the primary cause of original sin and thus responsible for the fall of humankind, she was also a willing participant.

This early perception of the first woman as both a carnal and moral temptress was fundamental in shaping Western attitudes towards all women.11 In her book on religious meanings of female nakedness, Margaret Miles, Professor Emerita of historical theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, states that “Eve, more than any other scriptural character, was the basis for a fictional figure of ‘woman’ that allowed men to feel that they understood both the ‘nature’ of actual women and appropriate male roles and responsibilities in relation to women.”12 In an attempt to understand the misogynistic foundations of medieval attitudes towards women, this collection of images will explore the relationship between female sexuality, medieval depictions of the female body, and the biblical figure of Eve.

Eve’s horizontal posture in this fragment alludes to her corrupted nature. While it can be argued that the image was composed in this way in order to comply with the required space of the lintel, the stark divergence from conventional depictions of an upright Adam and Eve suggests a symbolic sense of shame and association with the serpent. In his discussion of the fragment, German art historian O. K. Werckmeister argues that Eve’s “physical inability to stand” metaphorically expresses her depravity.15 Her position along the ground suggests that God’s curse upon the serpent – that he be condemned to forever crawl on his belly – has been extended to her, thus relegating her to the realm of the beasts who exhibit no rational control. It also evokes the deceitful and wicked qualities of the devil, who originally appeared immediately behind Eve, bending the tree towards her, thus emphasizing the satanic aspect of her sin. Furthermore, Eve’s loss of her upright stance reflects her separation from God. Werckmeister states that “man’s likeness to God was reflected in the upright stance of his body which distinguished him from all the animals… he alone, by his erect stance, is capable of contemplating heaven and recognizing God.”16 As a result of her fatal transgression, Eve not only loses her humanity, she also forfeits her divine communion with God.

A lintel fragment from the twelfth-century cathedral of Saint-Lazare in Autun, France, presents a rendering of Eve that condenses the narrative of humanity’s fall from grace into a single image (Figure 1). Positioned horizontally along the ground, Eve rests upon her knees and an elbow as she reaches back to pluck an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. The slight bend in her outstretched arm suggests an impending forward motion as she offers the forbidden fruit to Adam.13 Her free hand rests on her cheek – a conventional sign of grief – as she turns her face away from her crime and hides behind a shrub. Eve’s persistence in committing the sinful act despite these subtle gestures

Multiple sources have observed a heightened sense of sexuality and eroticism in the Eve of Saint-Lazare. In their discussion of women in medieval visual culture, Marian Bleekemedi, a medieval art specialist at Chicago State University, and her colleagues liken the rounded forms of the fruit to the shape of Eve’s breasts, suggesting that what she offers to Adam is her body. Moreover, the tree behind which Eve attempts to conceal herself obscures her genitalia and alludes to the shame of sexual transgression.17 Werckmeister highlights the contrast between the carefully “modelled, protruding breasts” and the ambiguous and somewhat abstract form of her hidden midsection;

109 this discrepancy, he argues, serves to enhance the visual impact of Eve’s sexuality.18 This image clearly reflects the medieval interpretation of Eve’s disobedience as a sexual sin.19 The sexual nature of Eve’s transgression is also demonstrated on the eleventh-century bronze doors at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Hildesheim, Germany (Figure 2). The panels on the left relate the Genesis account of the Fall in contrast with images of redemption on the right. This artistic program clearly juxtaposes Eve with the Virgin Mary, “two virgins who occupy opposite ends of the spectrum extending from sin to redemption.”20 These parallel scenes create a visual masterpiece that not only marries the respective Old and New Testament themes of sin and salvation, but also serves to emphasize Eve’s sinful nature by setting her in opposition to her sacred counterpart. The sexualisation of Eve’s sin is discussed by Adam S. Cohen, professor of medieval art at the University of Toronto, and Anne Derbes, author and Professor Emerita of art history at Hood College in Maryland, in their article “Bernward and Eve at Hildesheim.” Through comparisons with a number of contemporary manuscripts, Cohen and Derbes successfully demonstrate that “the Genesis narratives [at Hildesheim] seem intended to define the first woman and, by extension, all women as temptresses….”21 In particular, comparisons with the Genesis frontispiece from the ninth-century Moutier-Grandval Bible (Figure 3) reveal a distinct difference in the way that Eve is rendered in relation to Adam. Most importantly, the manuscript does not make significant distinctions between the man and the women; they both display similar height, dress and facial features and their actions generally mirror each other.22 On the other hand, the scenes on the Hildesheim doors increasingly focus on Eve and her initiative in the original sin, using her body as a means to visually characterize her nature.23 Three sequential panels on the left side of the Hildesheim doors are of particular significance to the discussion of Eve’s sexuality and the nature of her sin: the Temptation and Fall, the Denial of Blame, and the Expulsion. In the Temptation and Fall (Figure 4), Eve has plucked the forbidden fruit from the tree and turns to offer it to Adam. Cohen and Derbes characterize her in this instance as

“an aggressive and sexually provocative figure.”24 She walks towards the serpent while beckoning for Adam to follow; her very movement in contrast to Adam’s stillness conveys manipulation and control. Her outstretched arm that offers the forbidden apple to Adam reflects the position of the snake, thus suggesting that she is the agent of evil. Similar to the Eve fragment from Saint-Lazare, the rounded fruit Eve holds at her breast and offers to Adam, together with the leafy branch that bows towards her genitals, serve to highlight the sexual nature of the scene.25 Eve’s guilt is reinforced in the following panel, the Denial of Blame (Figure 5). This scene presents Adam and Eve in judgement before God; each one deflects blame on another, consistent with the biblical narrative. The image has been composed in both a vertical and horizontal hierarchy. Rather than standing erect, Eve crouches, implying a state of disgrace that corresponds to the low domain of the serpent. She is also positioned on the periphery of the scene. Unlike in the Moutier-Grandval Bible where Adam and Eve are paired together and admonished equally, Eve is separated from both God and Adam by being placed on the opposite side of the tree and in the realm of the serpent. This positioning reflects both a physical and spiritual separation. St. Augustine of Hippo proclaimed that a woman alone did not reflect the image of God; only together with her husband could her humanity be considered complete.26 Thus, Eve’s physical separation from Adam and God together with her association with the serpent reflects a perversion of both her human and divine nature. Here again she is sexualized, this time by the serpent that coils between her legs, alluding to the source of the sin. In spite of her presumed humiliation, Eve looks defiantly at God while Adam averts his eyes in shame.27 Her insolence and incredulity at the accusation reflects the medieval belief in the disobedient and insubordinate nature of all women. Eve’s proud defiance is further demonstrated in the next panel, which depicts the Expulsion (Figure 6). Whereas Adam silently and obediently exits the Garden, Eve twists her body and appears emotional and aggressive towards the angel. She places her hand on her cheek in a gesture of grief and guilt. This simultaneous display of grief and

insolence demonstrates the act of perpetual and unrepentant sin. Furthermore, Eve’s dominance in the scene emphasizes her disobedience and primary responsibility for the Fall by not only depicting her initiative in the sin, but also by subverting traditional gender roles. 28 The visual characterization of Eve as a sexual temptress on the Hildesheim doors clearly demonstrates “the medieval church’s association of the female body with sexuality, sin, and death” and lends credence to the interpretation of the Eve fragment at Saint-Lazare.29 The demonization of female sexuality is further manifest in a curious figure on the left tympanum of the Puerta de las Platerias on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain (Figure 7 and Figure 8). The tympanum features Christ resisting the temptations of a group of demons, while on the far right is a seated woman holding a skull in her lap. She is enthroned in a manner that simultaneously mirrors and counters the iconic Virgin Mary, once again alluding to the juxtaposition of sin and salvation. The skull replaces the Christ child, creating a direct parallel between eternal life and death. The placement of the skull in her lap also references the evils of female sexuality. Furthermore, her tousled hair reflects contemporary images of dishonourable women while her form-fitting clothing reveals rather than conceals her feminine form, giving increased attention to the erotic body.30 Given these characteristics, and when viewed in the context of the temptation of Christ, this woman can be understood as an expression of the temptation and seduction ascribed to the medieval female body. Indeed, the woman on the Puerto de las Platerias has been identified by scholars as both an adulteress and as a personification of the sin of lust, known as luxuria.31 Throughout the eleventh and twelfth centuries, condemnation of Eve and female sexuality intensified, particularly for reformers who were concerned with clerical morality.32 Women were associated with sexual evils and were thus believed to pose a threat to the purity and devotion of the monks. As a result, images of sexual sin personified by the female body in the form of luxuria developed into a common visual language. This imagery served to admonish both male and female audiences about the dangers of sexual vices. A relief from an entrance to the twelfth-century mo-

110 nastic church of Saint-Pierre in Moissac, France, is one of many images that demonstrates the use of such imagery (Figure 9). In Devil and Luxuria, the figure of a naked woman appears alongside a demon. Like the previous images of Eve and the adulteress, the woman’s body is sexualized by her long disheveled hair and her exposed breasts.33 Her sexuality is emphasized by the serpents and toads that bite at her nipples and genitalia, further associating Eve’s original sin with the evils of the female body. Although many of the details have been weathered over time, the expression of horror and agony is still palpable as the woman struggles with the demon. Given that this “sexually explicit representation of the female body” appears at the entrance to a monastic church, it “may have been intended to instill fear of women and horror of sex in the monks as a way of promoting their celibacy.”34 Indeed, its prominent placement on the lower half of the entrance to the abbey church serves as a constant reminder to those who enter of the dangers of female sexuality that threatened ones salvation. One final interpretation of Eve’s sin can be found on one of the historiated capitals at the Benedictine abbey of Saint Mary Magdalene in Vezelay, France (Figure 10). Lust and Despair is an animated relief that combines the visual aspects of both Eve and Luxuria, creating a remarkable and memorable illustration of carnal sin. Dating from the mid-twelfth century, the stone carving depicts the figures of Eve and a demon in the Garden of Eden. Eve gazes longingly at the forbidden tree, contemplating her impending sin, while the vivacious demon extends a branch in her direction as he approaches from behind. This arrangement is reminiscent of the fragment from Saint-Lazare that conveys the demonic influence on Eve’s act of sin (see Figure 1). Contrary to the previous images however, both Eve and the demon are sexualized; Eve tugs at her breast while the demon’s genitals are clearly visible and slightly erect. The serpent that crawls between Eve’s legs and towards her breasts alludes to the sexuality of Eve’s transgression and is akin to both the Denial of Blame panel on the Hildesheim doors (Figure 5) and the image of Luxuria (Figure 9). An interesting and distinct feature of the capital is the demon’s facial expression. At once hideous and humorous, it reveals the ultimate depravity and folly of his wickedness. As

111 such, the physical characteristics of the demon are analogous to the physical body of Eve in characterizing the nature of sin and its consequences.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. http:// ENG0015/__ P1C.HTM (accessed March 9, 2016).

The art of early medieval Europe reveals an overwhelming concern with sin and salvation. Early Christian theologians justified and reinforced the subordinate status of women through artistic and literary images of Eve as a sexual temptress, and her sexual desire was considered by St. Augustine to be “responsible for passing on the stain of original sin to future generations.”35 As a result, figures of naked women with noticeable breasts became readily associated with “original sin and with the fall of the human race.”36 This collection of images demonstrates how representations of Eve and the female body were exploited as a characterization of the nature of sin and thus prescribed what it meant to be female in the Middle Ages.

Cohen, Adam S. and Anne Derbes. “Bernward and Eve at Hildesheim.” Gesta 40, no. 1 (2001): 19-38. pdf/767193.pdf (accessed November 6, 2015).


Lindquist, Sherry C.M. “The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art: An Introduction.” In The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art, edited by Sherry C.M. Lindquist, 1-46. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2012.

Aristotle. Generation of Animals. Translated by A. L. Peck. London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1943; Internet Archive, 2014. https:// (accessed December 2, 2015). Augustine of Hippo. “De Trinitate.” Translated by Rev. Arthur West Haddan. In Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. Edited by Philip Schaff. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.; Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2015. schaff/ npnf103.iv.i.html (accessed December 2, 2015). Bernard of Clairvaux. Quoted in Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe. “Eve’s Identity.” Eve and the Identity of Women. 2000. html (accessed December 3, 2015). Bleeke, Marian, Jennifer Borland, Rachel Dressler, Martha Easton, and Elizabeth L’Estrange. “Artistic Representation: Women and/ in Medieval Visual Culture.” In A Cultural History of Women in the Middle Ages, edited by Kim M. Phillips, 179-271. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.

Gregory the Great. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England. Translated by A.M. Sellar. London: George Bell and Sons, 1907; Project Gutenberg, 2001. http://www.gutenberg. org/files/38326/38326-h/38326-h.html (accessed December 2, 2015). Kenaan-Kedar, Nurith. “The Margins of Society in Marginal Romanesque Sculpture.” Gesta 31, no. 1 (1992): 15-24. http://www.jstor. org/stable/pdf/767047.pdf (accessed November 4, 2015).

Miles, Margaret R. Carnal Knowing: Female Nakedness and Religious Meaning in the Christian West. New York: Vintage Books, 1989. Schaus, Margaret, ed. Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2006. Strickland, Debra Higgs. “Introduction: Bodies Modern and Medieval.” eSharp, no. 8 (Autumn 2006): 1-10. media/media_51350_en.pdf (accessed November 6, 2015). Tertullian. “On the Apparel of Women.” Translated by Rev. S. Thelwall. In The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Edited by Philip Schaff. Volume 4. Grand Rapids, MI: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, n.d.; Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2015. http://www. (accessed December 2, 2015). Werckmeister, O. K. “The Lintel Fragment Rep-

112 resenting Eve from Saint-Lazare, Autun.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 35 (1972): 1-30. stable/pdf/750920.pdf (accessed November 6, 2015). Witcombe, Christopher L. C. E. “Eve’s Identity.” Eve and the Identity of Women. 2000. http:// (accessed December 3, 2015).

Endnotes 1 Margaret Schaus, ed., Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia, (New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2006), 79. 2 Debra Higgs Strickland, “Introduction: Bodies Modern and Medieval,” eSharp, no. 8 (Autumn 2006): 2. (accessed November 6, 2015). 3 Sherry C.M. Lindquist, “The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art: An Introduction,” in The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art, ed. Sherry C.M. Lindquist (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2012), 2. 4 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 405, ENG0015/__ P1C.HTM (accessed March 9, 2016).

8 Gregory the Great, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England, trans. A.M. Sellar (London: George Bell and Sons, 1907; Project Gutenberg, 2001), par. 063, files/38326/38326-h/38326-h.html (accessed December 2, 2015). 9 Schaus, 267. Aristotle argues that “we should look upon the female state as being as it were a deformity, though one which occurs in the ordinary course of nature.” Aristotle, Generation of Animals, trans. A. L. Peck (London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1943; Internet Archive, 2014), 461, (accessed December 2, 2015). 10



Ibid., 266.


Miles, 119.

13 Now housed at the Musée Rolin, this image of Eve is removed from its original context and can only be viewed in isolation. However, previous studies of the remaining fragments confirm that a corresponding image of Adam was likely placed in a position symmetrical to that of Eve. O. K. Werckmeister, “The Lintel Fragment Representing Eve from Saint-Lazare, Autun,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 35 (1972): 2, (accessed November 6, 2015).

5 In addition to scripture, one might consider how the classical tradition also feeds into the misogynist view of malevolent women with origin stories such as Pandora’s Box.


Werckmeister, 19; 24.


Ibid., 25.


Ibid., 23.

6 Tertullian, “On the Apparel of Women”, trans. Rev. S. Thelwall, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, n.d.; Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2015), 14, http://www. (accessed December 2, 2015).

17 Marian Bleeke, Jennifer Borland, Rachel Dressler, Martha Easton, and Elizabeth L’Estrange, “Artistic Representation: Women and/ in Medieval Visual Culture,” in A Cultural History of Women in the Middle Ages, ed. Kim M. Phillips (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 182.

7 Bernard of Clairvaux, quoted in Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe, “Eve’s Identity,” Eve and the Identity of Women, (2000), http://witcombe. (accessed December 3, 2015).


Werckmeister, 29.


Marian Bleeke, et. al., 182.

20 Adam S. Cohen and Anne Derbes, “Bernward and Eve at Hildesheim,” Gesta 40, no. 1 (2001), 33.

113 pdf/767193.pdf (accessed November 6, 2015). 21

Ibid., 29.


Ibid., 24.


Miles, 121.


Cohen and Derbes, 24.



26 Augustine of Hippo, “On the Trinity”, trans. Rev. Arthur West Haddan, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, ed. Philip Schaff (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.; Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2015), 12.10.7, http:// (accessed December 2, 2015). 27

Cohen and Derbes, 24.




Bleeke, et. al., 192.


Lindquist, 24.

31 Lindquist, 24; Nurith, Kenaan-Kedar, “The Margins of Society in Marginal Romanesque Sculpture,” Gesta 31, no. 1 (1992): 20, http://www. (accessed November 4, 2015). 32 Cohen and Derbes, 26. 33

Bleeke, et. al., 193.


Ibid., 194.


Schaus, 267.


Miles, 121.

114 Figures

Figure 1. Gislebertus, Sculpture fragment of Eve. 1130, Limestone lintel, Saint-Lazare, Autun. Musée Rolin, Autun, France. Available from: ARTstor, (accessed November 3, 2015).

Figure 3. Genesis frontispiece. 830-840, Parchment, 510 x 375 mm. Moutier-Grandval Bible, Add MS 10546, f. 5v., The British Library, London. Available from: The British Library, (accessed November 8, 2015).

Figure 2. Bronze door of St. Mary’s Cathedral, upper half. 993-1022., Bronze sculpture, 4.72 x 1.15 m. St. Mary’s Cathedral, Hildesheim, Germany. Available from: ARTstor, (accessed November 8, 2015).

Figure 4. Bronze door of St. Mary’s Cathedral, detail, Temptation and Fall. 993-1022. Bronze sculpture. St. Mary’s Cathedral, Hildesheim, Germany. Available from: ARTstor, (accessed November 23, 2015).


Figure 5. Bronze door of St. Mary’s Cathedral, detail, Denial of Blame. 993-1022. Bronze sculpture. St. Mary’s Cathedral, Hildesheim, Germany. Available from: ARTstor, http:// (accessed November 23, 2015).

Figure 6. Bronze door of St. Mary’s Cathedral, detail, Expulsion. 993-1022. Bronze sculpture. St. Mary’s Cathedral, Hildesheim, Germany. Available from: ARTstor, http:// (accessed November 23, 2015).

Figure 8. Mateo, “Adulteress,” detail of left tympanum, Puerta de las Platerias. 12th century. Stone. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Photo by Nurith Kenan-Kedar in “The Margins of Society in Marginal Romanesque Sculpture.” Available from: Jstor, (accessed November 4, 2015).

Figure 7. Mateo, Puerta de las Platerias. 1078-1122. Sculpture. South transept facade, west portal, tympanum, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Available from: Artstor, (accessed November 8, 2015).

Figure 9. Devil and Luxuria. 1120-35, Stone. Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France. Available from: Web Gallery of Art, (accessed November 3, 2015).


Figure 10. Lust and Despair. Second half of the 12th century, Stone. Second south side battery, Saint Mary Magdalene, Vezelay, France. Available from: Wikimedia Commons, http:// (accessed December 2, 2015).


Where Do We Go from Here? Analyzing Political, Societal, and Technological Shifts in Canadian Society


A Major Shift or Minor Tremors? An Analysis of the 1984, 1988, and 1993 Canadian Federal Elections Dylan Thiessen Political Science

Generally speaking, the Canadian electorate is a relatively calm body. That may seem like an odd statement, given that there is not a terribly high degree of party loyalty, but it is not entirely inaccurate. Voters in Canada are very capable of allowing “minor” parties to play significant roles – indeed, a variety of parties have done just this (either as Official Opposition or as a necessary addition to form a coalition) – but the electorate nonetheless has only ever elected two parties as government. That is not to say, of course, that the Canadian political system is immune to voter volatility. When examining individual elections, however, it seems as though this volatility is more likely to manifest as a short-term, reflexive reaction to something (such as poor policy decisions/ directions, or a leader of whom the public has grown weary), rather than a dramatic realignment of party preference amongst the Canadian population. While the contributors to the 1984 election analysis in Canada at the Polls, 1984 are quick to realize this, Johnston, Blais, Brady, and Crete wade somewhere in the middle throughout their 1988 analysis, and Nevitte, Johnston, Blais, Brady, and Gidengil, in their article on the 1993 election, fail to recognize this. This paper will provide a brief summary of the three works in question before further exploring this issue of brokerage politics and party realignment, arguing that calls of party realignment or the end of brokerage politics, despite the evidence presented, is made prematurely. The paper will end with a discussion on the relevance of these works to Canada’s political environment in the 21st century – a strong point for the books and article.

respective elections because each election was the most recent at the time, the elections in question are actually very unique, producing results that merit examination in their own right (as opposed to a de facto analysis due to each election being the most recent) . First, the Progressive Conservatives won the second-largest majority in Canadian history in 1984, as well as a majority of seats in every province and territory – a feat that had never been accomplished before. Second, the 1988 election represented the first time a Conservative Party had won two consecutive majority governments since the 19th century. Third, the 1993 election represented the largest shift to have ever occurred between two consecutive elections. It was the first time (and may be the only time) a governing party failed to achieve official party status in Parliament, and the separatist Bloc Quebecois formed the Official Opposition.

Howard Penniman, editor of Canada at the Polls, 1984: A Study of the Federal General Elections, drew on a wealth of knowledge in analyzing the 1984 federal election. This election saw the second largest majority government ever formed, and the first Conservative majority in twenty six years. Such a drastic change of government prompted John Meisel to pose the question central to this paper: “would this election confirm a long-standing realignment in the Canadian party system . . . or would it continue the tendencies of one-party dominance?” (1988, p. 34). Meisel further stipulated that, unlike prior elections, there was a relatively high number of undecided voters, meaning the election would largely “depend on the character of the campaigns” (p. 34). The book, really, was as A Review (and Partial Critique) of the Literature much about the structure and importance of the campaign as it was about the election itself (a pheWhile these works were written on their

119 nomenon also noted in Carty and Eagles, 1999). Courtney, in the last chapter, argues that Canada went through an “electoral metamorphosis” (1988, p. 190). In Canadian campaigns, there are rarely significant shifts in voter intention or party support. In 1984, however, the Liberal Party saw their nine-point lead over the Progressive Conservatives dissipate within weeks of the launch of the campaign.

the French language in Canada (p. 4). In other words, political parties determine what voters have the ability to determine.

The variety of content throughout the book adds to the level of analysis as well, ranging from electoral history to party system history, from the role of the media to the role of the leaders, from the agenda-setting processes to the agenda-deciding process. Also a book primarily on campaigns, Other chapters in the book add to the perhaps one of the most telling chapters is the secelectoral and campaign analysis in meaningful ond, entitled “The Electoral Background: History ways. LeDuc’s chapter on the flexibility of the and Geography.” In addition to framing the camCanadian electorate and Fletcher’s chapter on the paign and election of 1988 within its proper hisrole of the media throughout the campaign take torical context, the authors clearly demonstrate the on new meanings in an election that featured a importance of the campaign in this election. By different-minded electorate and a different form of analyzing Gallup poll results, Johnston et al. show reporting. Over an eight week period, and through- that while the Liberal Party had a plurality of the out 127 CBC stories that featured Brian Mulroney vote in 26 of the past 29 monthly polls, these polls and John Turner, a mere 12% of time (42 minutes) turned sharply in favor of the Conservative Party was “direct coverage of what the two leaders were during the campaign (1992, p. 74). saying” (1988, p. 168). This was indicative of a One of the greatest strengths of this book is drastic journalistic transformation with a newthe authors’ multifaceted theoretical approach and found emphasis on commentary with an increasthe unique approach to conducting polls and gathingly antagonistic approach (p. 168). ering data. The authors weave together four sets of After the following election in 1988, Johnliterature, including work on party realignments, ston, Blais, Brady, and Crete (1992) published party alignments, spatial modelling, and campaign their analysis of that election, entitled Letting the dynamics. Further, to track even minute changes People Decide, taking the title directly from Liberal among voters, they performed a rolling cross-secleader John Turner. Despite not acting as govtion survey. As Johnston and Brady (2002) exernment in 1988, the Liberal Party had majority plain, both the respondent and the contact date are control over the Senate, and Turner instructed random, allowing the study to move “close to true his senators to hold up legislation regarding the causal inference,” which facilitates a “detailed exFree Trade Agreement with the US. In the face of ploration of campaign dynamics” (p. 283). Indeed, criticism over mandating that an unelected body the ability for the authors of a study in the social block legislation coming from an elected body, sciences to make a claim like this, especially within Turner maintained that in doing this, he is giving political science, is difficult to overstate. the choice to the people in the election and letting An election more dramatic than any other the people decide. Despite borrowing the title from in Canada’s electoral history has given the article Turner, however, Johnston et al. did not borrow by Nevitte, Johnston, Blais, Brady, and Gidengil his sentiment. Instead, the authors moved away (1995) a different tone. The authors argue that from this image of the people deciding, calling it Canada’s post-war electoral results fit comfortably “a recurring one in the classic studies of electoral with the results one would expect from a two-party behaviour” (p. 3), and focus on the roles of parplus system, and that the 1993 Canadian federal ties and campaigns in the determination of these issues. For example, the Canadian electorate voted election represents a sharp move away, even an end, from this. They define the two-party plus syson the issue of free trade with the United States tem as one that needs to meet two criteria. First, it in 1984, but it was because of the political parties must feature two main parties that vie for control that the electorate voted on this particular issue of the political centre, and either party could be and not others (such as the place of Quebec and

120 reasonably expected to win a majority government. Second, however, there must also be at least one smaller party present that has the capability of, if not forming government, at least having an impact on the election. Indeed, the NDP, Bloc Quebecois, and Reform Party have all done so, despite never forming the government (all three parties have formed Official Opposition once, in 2011, 1993, and 1997 respectively). This second criteria is what differentiates Canada’s party system from that present in the United States, which is a very clear example of a two-party system, featuring the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The article also dedicates a significant proportion of its effort to the fragmentation and regionalization of party support. The 1993 federal election featured a turn-around victory for the Liberal Party and a crushing defeat to the owners of two very recent majority governments. The Progressive Conservatives had won a mere two seats. The prime benefactor of this, however, was not necessarily the Liberal Party, but two brand new parties – the Bloc Quebecois and the Reform Party. Nevitte et al. (1995) argue that the emergence of these parties dramatically changed the rules of Canadian electoral politics because of how regional they were. Brokerage politics necessitates that parties converge towards the center of the ideological spectrum in order to gain mass appeal. In Canada, an essential part of doing this successfully requires the ability to bridge the cultural divide between English and French Canada. These two new parties, however, ignored this completely. The Bloc Quebecois ran candidates exclusively in Quebec, the Reform Party ran candidates exclusively outside Quebec, and both parties benefited from exploiting this divide. The introduction of these two parties and their new campaigning methods presented significant differences from elections prior, but – attempting to judge from the time of publication – could a claim that brokerage politics has ended be substantiated? A National Party Realignment, or an end to Brokerage Politics? Aside from the content itself, the greatest strength of Canada at the Polls, 1984 is the contributors’ willingness to recognize that, despite a drastically different result and the second largest

majority ever awarded to a party by Canadians, this election by itself is not enough evidence to suggest a major shift in party preference. It makes sense to ask the question, as Meisel does (1988, p. 34), but it only goes that far. “It should not be assumed that this election result, however dramatic, necessarily signals the beginning of a major political realignment,” argues LeDuc (1988, p. 37). Perlin (1988) further concedes that the “opportunity for electoral realignment that the Conservatives had hoped for . . . has been lost” (p. 95). Indeed, despite going through “electoral metamorphosis,” Courtney (1988) suggests that the new Progressive Conservatives may “reinvent the brokerage wheel” (p. 198). He never suggests that brokerage politics is over. Even within established patterns, there will be abnormalities and outliers. When that established pattern is a century old, it is possible for abnormal results to last for a decade, but in the larger scheme of electoral history, the results may not be considered a significant or lasting shift in the political landscape. It was mentioned in the introduction that the Canadian electorate is a relatively stable group. While individuals within the electorate move around with some relative frequency, the group as a bloc tend to produce similar results across many elections. Courtney (1988) shows how voter instability or volatility can actually be an indication of a high degree of brokerage politics, as voters do not see “fundamental differences among the parties, differences which might have encouraged them to develop long-term loyalties” (p. 199). A situation like this would, Courtney argues, only be possible in an electoral climate that has two (or more) main parties vying with one another to stake claim to similar ideological positions. What Courtney fails to take into account, and this is a shortcoming in the Penniman book, is what happened in 1988 and 1993. Voter volatility has never been higher in Canadian history than in 1993. As can be seen in Figure 1, a full 41% of Canadian voters would have had to change their party choice between the 1988 and 1993 election in order to allow for the results (Johnston, 2013, p. 299). In this instance, and in 2015 (as seen in Table 1), the two main parties were in stark opposition on at least one major issue. This high degree of voter volatility is indicative in these situations of exceptionally high levels of partisanship even if it lacks

firm party loyalties. As mentioned earlier, Johnston et al. (1992) refrain from wholeheartedly endorsing the idea of major party realignment, even after a second Conservative majority. Despite suggesting that it seemed as though a new alignment was being foreshadowed in 1987, they recognized the possibility of nearly anything happening. “There was evidence for a true realignment with the Conservatives as the dominant party,” they argue, but also “for a reassertion of the third-system pattern of Liberal dominance, [or] for a wholly new alignment in which the NDP was a key actor” (p. 73). They further acknowledge, indirectly, that the 1988 federal election did not represent a “campaign that alters permanently the basic alignment of political forces” (p. 253). The analysis of the third election in question is the strongest of the three in its affirmation of a significant shift in Canadian electoral politics, and is provided by Nevitte et al. in 1995.. There is, of course, good reason for this. One of just the two parties to ever form government in Canada’s history was pushed into obscurity, going from holding 169 of 295 Parliamentary seats to just two. By a very wide margin, it was the worst defeat of a governing party in Canadian history. While the Liberals benefited from this, they were not the sole benefactors. Two brand new, regionally based parties, the Reform Party in the West and the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec, won a significant proportion of seats due to their regionally concentrated support. As can be seen in Figure 2, this drastically changed the party dynamic. The Progressive Conservatives were vulnerable due to a split within voters on the right, which benefitted the Liberals who, because of the NDP, have at least grown accustomed to dealing with this issue. The Progressive Conservatives, on the other hand, were used to being able to broker the centrist vote without much worry about their further-right supporters because they had nowhere else to go. Further, adding a completely new and perhaps more serious dynamic to Canadian politics was the new Official Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons. The Bloc Quebecois exist because of their desire for a sovereign, independent Quebec state. There were, undoubtedly, a variety of unpredictable re-

121 sults from this election that demand questions, but this critique of Nevitte et al. is not based on the grounds on which these questions stand. Instead, it is based on the strength and certainty of the authors’ conclusion. It is certainly tempting to make claims such as these, and it can be said that an end to brokerage politics may be the ultimate result of the 1993 election. However, it would take the analysis of numerous elections afterward to conclude that that is in fact the case. In other words, Nevitte et al. should have continued to use a phrase they had used throughout the article – that the 1993 election represents a departure from brokerage politics. It is interesting to note that in their conclusion, Nevitte et al. acknowledge that “whether [the 1993 election] signifies the beginning of a permanent shift to a new electoral order” can only be judged against future election outcomes (p. 594). Despite this, they still use language that at least suggests the opposite throughout the article. Similar language was also present in a 1994 presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association by Johnston, Blais, Gidengil, Nevitte, and Brady entitled “The Collapse of a Party System? The 1993 Canadian General Election.” One strength of Nevitte et al.’s analysis, however, is their recognition of the instability of the party model that seemed to have formed after the 1993 election, which they call a move from a “two party plus” system to a “single-party plus plus plus” system (1995, 594). With the benefit of hindsight, this was proven true by the merger of the Alliance Party (the successor of the Reform Party) and the Progressive Conservatives into the Conservative Party of Canada just a decade later, ushering in a clear sense brokerage politics once again. This goes to show the degree to which the claim that brokerage politics has ended is simply premature. Penniman echoes this sentiment throughout his book, which is important to bear in mind, despite the glaring contrast of the elections and their results. A second strength of the article is the authors’ emphasis on the importance of the campaign, an important and under-utilized focus. Nevitte et al. (1995) are not, the only academics in the field claiming an end to brokerage politics. They have some contemporary company in both

Carty (2013), and Koop and Bittner (2013). On the one hand, Nevitte et al. argue this because of the decimation of the Progressive Conservatives and NDP (who got just two seats and nine seats, respectively), and the rise of two new “minor” parties in the Bloc Quebecois (who received 13% of the vote but 54 seats) and the Reform Party (who received 19% of the vote but 52 seats). Conversely, both Carty (2013, p. 21) and Koop and Bittner (2013, p. 324) suggest that the 2011 federal election represented an end in brokerage politics because, for the first time in history, “Canada’s natural governing party” was banished to thirdplace, and the NDP rose to Official Opposition. Just four years later, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party winning a majority of seats in Parliament and the re-emergence of a Conservative Party as Official Opposition signifies the fact that brokerage politics has not yet ended in Canada. The Relevance to the 21st Century Despite the weaknesses of these works, or perhaps even because of them, there are many aspects relevant to Canada’s 21st century political environment. Given the time that has passed between the present and the publication of these works, we can judge the weaknesses and strengths as such because we know what has happened in the elections since. As such, the weaknesses represent learning points and the strengths further solidify the knowledge gained. The first point of major relevance is the importance of Quebec and Ontario to the election of a majority government. This is recognized throughout the three works analyzed in this paper. For example, John Courtney argues that the “future of the success of the Conservative party depends more on Quebec than anything else” (as quoted in Penniman, 1988, p. xii), and Nevitte et al. (1995) also emphasize the importance of these two provinces (1996, p. 584). As can be seen in Table 2, this has been the case over the past several Canadian elections with one exception. First, during their two minority governments, Harper’s Conservative Party did very poorly in Quebec and remained under the 40% threshold in Ontario. These negative outcomes prevented the party from achieving majority status. In 2011, the Conservative Party did even worse in Quebec (winning an

122 abysmal five of seventy-five seats), but their 44.4% vote share in Ontario gave them nearly 70% of the seats in that province which propelled them to a majority. Further showing the importance of these two provinces is the fact that Harper’s support from Western Canada did not increase significantly between his last minority government and his majority government. Trudeau’s Liberal Party, on the other hand, suffered losses in Western Canada (compared to the Conservative’s results in 2011) but more than made up for it with gains in Quebec. A second point of relevance is introduced in the prologue of Letting the People Decide, and is discussed throughout the book. Johnston et al. (1992) argue that how parties and leaders “shape alternatives” is just as important to study as the actions of the voters themselves (p. 3). –The parties themselves play an influential role, in what and how topics are discussed. The campaign leading up to the 2015 federal election can be a prime example of this. The longest campaign in Canada since 1872 provided an abundance of time for issues to manifest, though Stephen Harper affixed the public’s attention to one issue towards the end of the campaign while seeking re-election to a fourth term. Perhaps in an effort to distract Canadians from issues such as the economy, the environment, or the health of Canada’s democratic institutions, an issue was created around Muslims. Harper introduced a ban on wearing a niqab during the citizenship ceremony (despite women needing to identify themselves beforehand) and proposed a “cultural barbaric practices hotline.” Some have considered this to be implicitly anti-Muslim (Keenan, 2015) and these suggestions have been accused of heightening rhetoric over ‘Canadian values’ – something which “coincides with a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes” (Barber, 2015). While there were many other issues at hand, this one took centre stage as Election Day neared. Ultimately, it helped contribute to the Conservative Party’s defeat. There is perhaps no greater example of a party leader forcing the public’s attention to a single issue, and demonstrates the applicability and value of Johnston et al.’s research even today.

123 Concluding Remarks It may be a long time before a string of elections like those in 1984, 1988, and 1993 happen again. These elections saw the surprising domination of the Progressive Conservatives in 1984 and the first time the party had won two consecutive majority governments since the 19th century, before the party crashed in 1993. The 1993 election also saw the emergence of two parties, the Reform Party and Bloc Quebecois, whose success rested in their regionally concentrated support, and had the potential to permanently alter Canada’s electoral environment. Further, Canada’s Official Opposition after the 1993 election comprised of a party whose raison d’être was the breakup of the country and the political system it was elected to serve. These types of electoral results demand that we raise questions and study issues. Not investigating them would be political science malpractice. It is crucial to realize, however, that no matter how striking or glaring the results of an election may be or how different the results of two elections may be, they must be judged against elections that have not yet occurred in order for their full impact to be realized. As such, the argument that brokerage politics had come to an end in Canada is a premature assessment, which Nevitte et al. (1995) are guilty of, despite their concluding disclaimer. There certainly are strengths of these works as well, which can be divided into two categories. First, the newly placed emphasis on the impact of parties and campaigns, away from solely focusing on the voter, is a positive change that will be beneficial for election studies as a discipline. A significant section of analysis has been added through the study of campaigns, and this will only provide a greater degree of clarity when studying elections and their various aspects and components. Second, many of the issues examined in the three elections in question are still relevant in the 21st century and have a great deal of information which would help current students of election studies deconstruct more recent election results, despite being published two to three decades ago. By noticing particular patterns or similarities, both the methods of research and the research itself from the works on these prior elections can be applicable to a variety of new electoral situations.

124 Figures and Tables




























































Table 1 Elections Canada (2006, 2008, 2011, 2015).






The West2 Vote Share (%) 2006








Total Seats 70.65% 65/92 77.17% 71/92 78.26% 72/92 27.9% 29/104

Vote Share (%) 35.1 39.2 44.4 44.8

Total Seats 37.7% 40/106 48.7% 51/106 68.9% 73/106 66.1% 80/121

Table 2 Data gathered from Elections Canada’s official election results.

Quebec Vote Share (%) 24.6 21.7 16.5 35.7

Total Seats 13.3% 10/75 13.3% 10/75 6.7% 5/75 51.2% 40/78

Endnotes 1 The three figures in the column the furthest to the right is the total of the vote share difference amongst all parties, divided by two. The division by two is necessary because each person represents two actions. For example, moving Person A from the Liberal Party to the Conservative Party is removing one vote from the Liberals, and adding one to the Conservatives. Dividing the total by two avoids double-counting individuals. 2 “The West” includes the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Works Cited Barber, J. (2015, October 2). Canada’s Conservatives vow to create ‘barbaric cultural practices’ hotline. Toronto Star. Retrieved from world/2015/oct02 /canada-conservatives-barbaric-cultural-practices-hotline Carty, R.K, & Eagles, M. (1999). Do local campaigns matter? Campaign spending, the local canvass, and party support in Canada. Electoral Studies, 18: 69-87. Courtney, J.C.. (1988). Reinventing the Brokerage Wheel: The Tory Success in 1984.. In H. Penniman (Ed.), Canada at the Polls, 1984: A Study of the Federal General Elections (pp. 190-209). Durham, USA: Duke University Press. Johnston, R., Blais, A., Brady, H.E., & Crete, Jean. Letting the People Decide: Dynamics of a Canadian Election (1992). Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Johnston, R., Blais, A., Brady, H.E., Gidengil, E., & Nevitte, N. (1994). The collapse of a party system? The 1993 Canadian General Election. Paper presented to the 1994 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Johnston, R., & Brady, H.E. (2002). The rolling cross-section design. Electoral Studies, 21(2): 283-295.

126 Johnston, R. (2013). Situation the Canadian Case. In A. Bittner & R. Koop (Eds.), Parties, Elections, and the Future of Canadian Politics (284-308). Vancouver, BC: UBC Press. Keenan, E. (2015, October 5). When Stephen Harper refers to “barbaric culture,” he means Islam– an anti-Muslim alarm that’s ugly and effective because it gets votes. Toronto Star. Retrieved from http://www. when-stephen-harper-refers-to-barbaric-culture-he-means-islam-an-anti-muslim-alarmthats-ugly-and-effective-because-it-getsvotes-edward-keenan.html. Koop, R., & Bittner, A. (2013). Parties and Elections after 2011: The Fifth Canadian Party System? In A. Bittner & R. Koop (Eds.), Parties, Elections, and the Future of Canadian Politics (284-308). Vancouver, BC: UBC Press. LeDuc, L. (1988). The Flexible Canadian Electorate. In H. Penniman (Ed.), Canada at the Polls, 1984: A Study of the Federal General Elections (pp. 38-55). Durham, USA: Duke University Press. Meisel, J. (1988). Introduction. In H. Penniman (Ed.), Canada at the Polls, 1984: A Study of the Federal General Elections (pp. 1-37). Durham, USA: Duke University Press. Nevitte, N., Johnston, R., Blais, A., Brady, H.E., and Gidengil, E. (1995). Electoral Discontinuity: The 1993 Canadian Federal Election. International Social Science Journal, 47(146), 583-599. Penniman, H. (1988). Preface. In H. Penniman (Ed.), Canada at the Polls, 1984: A Study of the Federal General Elections (pp. ix-xiii). Durham, USA: Duke University Press. Perlin, G.C. (1988). Opportunity Regained: The Tory Victory in 1984. In H. Penniman (Ed.), Canada at the Polls, 1984: A Study of the Federal General Elections (pp. 1-37). Durham, USA: Duke University Press.


A Critical Analysis of Gratl’s Recommendations to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry Amanda Stewart Criminal Justice


identified in the report (Gratl, 2012).

In the aftermath of Robert Pickton’s arrest in 2002, the BC Provincial government and police agencies were forced to address their failure to protect vulnerable sex workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). In 2010, the Lieutenant Governor in Council ordered an inquiry, appointing Honourable Wally Oppal, QC as Commissioner (Oppal, 2012). In 2011, Oppal appointed Jason Gratl as Independent Counsel representing DTES residents and community organisations (Gratl, 2012). Jason Gratl has served as Vice President and later President of the BC Civil Liberties Association and as a board member for Pivot Legal Society (Gratl & Company, 2015). His interest in social justice and human rights is evident from these affiliations, as well as by the clients he represents. It is of some interest, however, that eleven months after submitting this report, Gratl commenced litigation on behalf of the families of the missing women. The case settled for $4.9 million (Gratl & Company, 2015), from which Mr. Gratl’s remuneration would presumably have been substantial. While not a conflict of interest by any means, and certainly justified, it does help shape the lens through which I read his report.

He clearly achieved his latter goal, in that the subsequent 92 pages of his report were spent identifying the specific individual and systemic failures of police officers, police agencies, Crown counsel, and other organisations. His first goal became the focus of 32 recommendations at the end of his report (Gratl, 2012). Gratl did exceptional work as Independent Counsel for the DTES community; however, his emphasis on specific faultfinding and responsibilities of identifiable litigation targets was salient throughout the report. Albeit a dually motivated report in that sense, it is thorough, specific, and persuasive. The objective of this paper is to compare Gratl’s recommendations with other sources related to this inquiry. I will show that Oppal’s final report on the Inquiry did incorporate Gratl’s recommendations extensively, and that those recommendations are empirically supported.

Gratl’s report addressed issues of police funding, discrimination toward victims, inappropriate police response to evidence of a serial killer, and Crown counsel’s management of Pickton’s earlier offense in 1997 (Gratl, 2012). Lastly, he submitted a series of recommendations for consideration by Oppal (Gratl, 2012). He sought to persuade Oppal to incorporate the interests of the DTES community into his findings, (Gratl, 2012). Furthermore, he hoped his report would provoke self-evaluation among individuals and agencies

The Recommendations The 32 recommendations in the report are organised into four categories (Gratl, 2012). With the first, he advocates for monetary compensation for victim’s families specific to the Pickton murders from 1997-2002. Oppal’s response was to recommend a compensation fund run by the Province; however as previously mentioned, Mr. Gratl sought direct compensation for a group of victim’s family members in 2013 (Gratl, 2012; Oppal, 2012). Neither report mentions any other compensation. The following three categories address policing practice reforms, Crown counsel reforms, and ancillary policy reforms (Gratl, 2012).

128 Police Practices and Policies The first item under this heading is a recommendation that senior management in police forces undergo training to improve their understanding of the social conditions to which they are allocating resources. He also recommends provincial regulations to prevent discrimination by police services, and calls for an audit of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Vancouver Police Department (VPD) policies to eliminate discrimination toward vulnerable populations (Gratl, 2012). Oppal asserts repeatedly that both VPD and the RCMP had taken steps over the ten years between Pickton’s arrest and the Inquiry to make improvements in this regard (Oppal, 2012, p. 113, 118),. He fails, however, to specify what those improvements entailed. Acknowledging his limited knowledge of those improvements, Oppal reiterates Gratl’s call for an audit of police policies and practices across the province (Oppal, 2012). Notably, Oppal refrains from singling out management in his recommendations, focusing on training as a precondition to promotion (Oppal, 2012, p. 123). Oppal extends his recommendations toward policy change in community police practices, and reinforces the need for better inter-agency cooperation and accountability (2012). He also includes a powerful recommendation not raised by Gratl, which is the need for indigenous cultural competency training for police agency staff (Oppal, 2012). It is possible Gratl did not view this recommendation as part of his specific mandate. Next, Gratl recommends civilian participation in police policy-making (Gratl, 2012). Furthermore, he identifies a need to reopen a VPD Native Liaison Office with renewed funding and an expanded mandate (Gratl, 2012). Oppal’s recommendations vary considerably from Gratl’s on this point. Instead, he recommends implementing systems of accountability between community police officers and civilians, as a method of informal discipline within the force (2012). Concerning the Native Liaison Office, Oppal stops short of recommending reinstatement. Instead, he calls for feasibility studies of this or some similar program (Oppal, 2012). Oppal also maintains a consistent tendency to place the onus of shortcomings in this area onto the RCMP, which he asserts are beyond his jurisdiction (Oppal, 2012, p. 118, 120).

Next, Gratl makes a powerful and fitting recommendation, which warrants direct quotation: “Recommend an end to the prioritization of public propriety and property values over human life” (Gratl, 2012). While no civilized society should require judicial inquiry to reach such a conclusion, it is evident from VPD’s “DEEP” program (Gratl, 2012, p. 45-46) and BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (DWS) v City of Abbotsford (2015), that such a policy must in fact be “introduced.” These examples offer some support for a Marxist Feminist perspective on how capitalist agendas harm women, particularly those living in poverty. While not a universally applicable theory, particularly in relation to sex work as an industry, it certainly applies in the narrow context of gentrification at the expense of survival sex workers’ lives. I was unable to locate specific reference to this recommendation or to the DEEP program in Oppal’s recommendations; however, he did strongly advocate greater community engagement with police programs and a harm reduction approach to policing in the DTES. He applauded VPD for their cooperation with advocacy groups to develop their “Sex Work Enforcement Guidelines” policy (Oppal, 2012, p. 130). The fact that he recommended working with sex worker advocacy groups (as opposed to business associations, for example) implies acceptance of Gratl’s recommendation. Gratl recommends completing Project Evenhanded, and implementing an investigation comparing historical DNA to known sex offender DNA (Gratl, 2012). Oppal expands on this recommendation considerably with a series of recommendations related to national DNA databanks, as well as regional, provincial, and national cooperation on Major Case Management systems and investigations (Oppal, 2012). The next four recommendations address the need for better collaboration between agencies and across jurisdictions. Specifically, he identifies the need to ensure cooperation in the handling of missing person reports (Gratl, 2012). An interesting opportunity for collaboration may arise here. In 2013, Maryanne Pearce completed a doctoral dissertation on this subject, in which she compiled a database of missing women across Canada. Her data includes aboriginal and non-aboriginal women, and uses a coding system to incorporate exten-

sive detail about each woman’s life at the time of disappearance (Pearce, 2013). This could provide a starting point for a national missing person database in Canada. In addition, Gratl identifies the need for a specific mechanism to cope with serial offenders across jurisdictions (Gratl, 2012). This has been a recurring theme in law enforcement for several decades now, most notably with the Bundy case in the USA in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s (Rule, 2000). Sadly, cross-jurisdictional breakdowns in communication are still enabling serial offenders to operate undetected. Oppal firmly asserts his opinion on the need for reform in this area of police work in Canada, devoting approximately 15 pages of his summary to this issue (Oppal, 2012, p. 141-155). Certainly, Gratl’s recommendations were well founded, and Oppal’s role as Commissioner necessitated significantly more detailed analysis of the topic. Gratl’s next several recommendations address violence reporting opportunities for sex workers, the impact of police discretionary powers, and sex workers’ need to access peers or liaison workers at a street level (Gratl, 2012). Gratl made multiple recommendations regarding specific resources for street-based sex workers and their access to reporting and peer support, most of which Oppal incorporated into his recommendations (Gratl, 2012; Oppal, 2012). Gratl also asserts that police discretionary tactics, which displace sex workers into industrial areas, are a violation of Human Rights Code s.8 (RSBC 1996, c.210 as cited in Gratl, 2012). In BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (DWS) v City of Abbotsford however, counsel for the DWS used Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms s.2 (c) and (d), s.7, and s.15 as the basis of their argument against very similar policies in Abbotsford (BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (DWS) v City of Abbotsford, 2015). Among his list of recommended reforms to police practices and policies, Gratl also advocates for decriminalisation of sex work. Research and advocacy groups support this recommendation extensively. Bruckert and Hannem (2013) discuss the different legislative approaches to sex work, and conclude that all regulatory models result in stigmatisation and increased risk for sex workers. Piv-

129 ot Legal Society has published more than one report related to this topic, but of particular interest here is their 2014 report in which the authors refer to World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN) guidelines calling for a decriminalisation approach to sex work (2014). Moreover, the Supreme Court of Canada found criminalisation to be inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and struck down Criminal Code ss.197(1), 210, 212(1)(j), 213(1)(c) in Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, (2013). Oppal stopped short of echoing this recommendation in his report, instead calling for a harm reduction approach to policing and minimal criminal enforcement of minor offences (Oppal, 2012). This may not be indicative of Oppal’s position on decriminalisation, but rather a reflection of his limited mandate in this inquiry. Lastly, Gratl called for delisting of heroin and cocaine from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, allowing for medical management of addiction (Gratl, 2012). This is a legitimate recommendation, well supported in the health sector, and worthy of an essay in itself (Maté, 2008; Husak, 2003). While not addressed by Oppal in his recommendations, this concept has since begun to make headlines in Vancouver, with Justice Hinkson’s decision allowing physicians to continue administering prescription heroin to addiction clients who had been part of a study, even after the study was concluded (Providence Health Care Society v. Canada [Attorney General], 2014). This is still a long way from delisting the substance, but demonstrates some acceptance within the justice system of a legalised and regulated approach to substance dependence. Crown Counsel Policies and Practices Gratl made four recommendations related to Crown Counsel policies and practices, each of which related to how the Crown Counsel service deals with vulnerable witnesses. He recommended additional training for Crown prosecutors, as well as administrative support to enable them to cope with the needs of vulnerable witnesses. Furthermore, he recommended giving Crown prosecutors access to funding for treatment and housing programs for those witnesses (Gratl, 2012). Oppal fully incorporated Gratl’s position on training and guidelines, elaborating on that considerably in his

130 report (Oppal, 2012). He did not adopt the other recommendations in full; rather, he recommended Provincial Government funding for research on the subject (Oppal, 2012). Oppal also cast a broader net in his recommendation, citing the need for improved service for sex workers, sexual assault victims, intimidated witnesses, and addicted witnesses (2012). By recommending research instead of the immediate implementation of programs, the resulting programs have potential to accommodate a broader definition of vulnerable witnesses than implied by Gratl; however, this approach will undoubtedly result in significant delays. Ancillary Recommendations The first of Gratl’s ancillary recommendations is a call for research into the factors that lead young women, particularly Aboriginal women, into survival sex work (Gratl, 2012). He refers to factors such as race and class, as well as transitions out of foster care. Gratl emphasises the need for research specifically on the proportion of foster children who become street-entrenched. Oppal reiterates these factors and more in his recommendations (2012). He writes at length about the vulnerability of young Aboriginal women in Northern communities, and those making transitions to urban centres. Additionally, he advocates for multiple topics of research, leading to program implementation in rural and urban communities (Oppal, 2012). Gratl’s next three recommendations relate specifically to addiction, poverty, and mental health (2012). The lack of detoxification and treatment centres in BC, particularly ones accessible to youth, is appalling. Furthermore, there is growing support globally for “housing first” initiatives, which not only enhance safety and treatment success for vulnerable populations, but also decrease government spending on crime enforcement, health care, and homelessness (Ecker, Aubry, Cherner, & Jetté, 2014). Gratl also identifies the need for trauma informed psychological support services, which echoes a rapidly growing trend in mental health and addiction treatment (Bennington-Davis, 2014; Bloom, Bennington-Davis, Farragher, McCorkle, Nice-Martini, & Wellbank, 2003). The final five recommendations in Gratl’s report do not appear in Oppal’s summary of

recommendations (Gratl, 2012; Oppal, 2012). Gratl suggests creating a tax credit, wage subsidy, or low threshold employment program for addicted individuals (Gratl, 2012). These programs do exist within the Tertiary Mental Health system; however, these services would be inaccessible to clients not enrolled in some form of mental health treatment. It is a worthwhile suggestion that Oppal overlooked. Gratl also suggested including sex workers in employment standards legislation, worker’s compensation legislation, and victim’s compensation programs (2012); however, this would require decriminalisation, and in the case of worker’s compensation initiatives, would not apply to independent workers. Furthermore, he suggests that municipalities create zoning and licensing schemes for brothels (Gratl, 2012). This would also require decriminalisation prior to implementation. He recommends amending the grounds for discrimination under the Human Rights Code to include the terms “sex worker”, “poverty”, “addiction”, and “social condition” (Gratl, 2012, p. 102). This is an important point, and Oppal should not have overlooked this item. Human rights legislation should not imply any exclusion, particularly not based on vulnerability or lack of opportunity. The final recommendation Gratl made was for the installation of pay phones in the DTES (Gratl, 2012). The merit of this recommendation is clear; however, I argue that this still facilitates containment. Furthermore, pay phones are not accessible to a sex worker who is in a client’s car, or who is transported out of the DTES. These are the instances when the worker is most vulnerable, and therefore a low-cost mobile phone program may be more effective at enhancing safety. A number of years ago, Telus marketed phones for children that could only dial four numbers, one of which was 911. If a similar model could be created, the program could be run through an agency like WISH (or similar) and the numbers in the phone could be pre-programmed to call specific support services within the community, including 911 if needed. If the third party organisation running the program received reports or became concerned that a worker may be missing, they could turn over that worker’s phone data to a police service to facilitate

131 locating the missing person. Conclusion Gratl’s report is thorough and insightful. His recommendations are consistent with emerging service delivery models in mental health and addictions, and well supported by research. His close ties to the DTES community through Pivot and the BCCLA made him an appropriate and important contributor to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. His criticisms of the policing agencies were broad and extensive, which should serve to shape training and service delivery in all Canadian police agencies. Police officers must recognise that the definition of “protection” within their jobs is not limited to heroic intervention on behalf of the privileged class; rather, it is one of professional, insightful, and sustained intervention on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society. They are uniquely positioned to ensure that vulnerable populations enjoy safety, security, and equal access to the law. If police agencies neglect this enormous and vital aspect of their role in society, they create conditions in which discrimination and victimisation thrive. Furthermore, public attitudes toward vulnerable populations must change. No business venture or property interest is more valuable than human life. No prospective businessperson should presume that their choice of employment entitles them to displace, discriminate against, or jeopardise the safety of any community. Beyond that, they certainly should not enjoy greater protection and consideration from police agencies than the individuals who reside within those communities. Vancouver’s treatment of the missing women from the DTES is not unique. There is considerable literature outlining the pervasive racial and class-based discrimination this country has shown to our Aboriginal women (UN, 2015; Pearce, 2013; Amnesty, 2004). The damage of colonial rule that began with the Davin Report in 1879 has continued to the present (Amnesty, 2004; Davin, 1879). The assertion made by the RCMP earlier this year that Aboriginal women are primarily victimised by family and loved ones is clearly indicative of ongoing systemic racism in Canada, particularly because the data interpretation appears flawed (Kurjata , 2015; RCMP, 2014).

This is exacerbated by the Harper government’s total disregard for this issue, as demonstrated by Prime Minister Harper in his 2014 year-end interview with Peter Mansbridge (Harper, 2014). As he stated, “It isn’t really high on our radar…” and this is appalling (Harper, 2014, 18:22). The past 13 years have seen tremendous increase in public discourse on the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. International attention to the status of women in Canada has increased. Police departments and community agencies have implemented changes; however, this is only the beginning. Until the federal government and the RCMP acknowledge the problem and accept their responsibilities to implement widespread change, we will not see full implementation of Gratl’s recommendations. There must be political will, legislative change, and dedicated funding in order for street-entrenched women to experience safety and equal access to the law in Canada.

References Canadian Legislation British Columbia Human Rights Code, [RSBC 1996], Chapter 210. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, [CA 1982], Part 1. Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, [SC 1996], c. 19 and Amendments. Criminal Code, [R.S.C. 1985], C-46 and Amendments. Jurisprudence British Columbia/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors v. Abbotsford (City), [2015] BCCA 142 Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2013 SCC 72, [2013] 3 S.C.R. 1101 Providence Health Care Society v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 BCSC 1160 Articles, Books, and Reports Amnesty International (2004). Stolen Sisters: A

132 Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence against Indigenous Women in Canada (AI Index: AMR 20/003/2004). Retrieved from: pdf Bennington-Davis, M. (2014, June 3). Neurobiology of Trauma [Webinar for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority]. Retrieved from and http://www. Bloom, S. L., Bennington-Davis, M. D., Farragher, B., McCorkle, D., Nice-Martini, K., and Wellbank, K. (2003). Multiple Opportunities for Creating Sanctuary. Psychiatric Quarterly, 74, 2, 173-190. Bruckert, C., & Hannem, S. (2013). Rethinking the Prostitution Debates: Transcending Structural Stigma in Systemic Responses to Sex Work. Canadian Journal of Law & Society/ Revue Canadienne Droit Et Societe (University Of Toronto Press), 28(1), 43-63. doi:10.1017/ cls.2012.2 Davin, N. F. (1879). Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-Breeds. Retrieved from: cihm_03651#page/n1/mode/2up Ecker, J., Aubry, T., Cherner, R., & Jetté, J. (2014). Implementation Evaluation of a Housing First Program in a Small Canadian City. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 33(4), 23-40. doi:10.7870/ cjcmh-2014-028 Gratl, J. (2012). “Wouldn’t Piss On Them If They Were On Fire”: How Discrimination Against Sex Workers, Drug Users and Aboriginal Women Enabled a Serial Killer. (Report of Independent Counsel to the Commissioner of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry). Retrieved from: http:// uploads/2012/08/Independent-Counsel-Report-to-Commissioner-of-Inquiry-August-16-2012.pdf

Gratl & Company (2015). Re: Missing Women Compensation [website post]. Retrieved from: cases/missing-women-inquiry/ Gratl & Company (2015). Re: Jason Gratl [website post]. Retrieved from: http://www. Harper, S. (2014, December 21). Interview by P. Mansbridge [online video]. Mansbridge One on One, Canadian Broadcast Corporation (Season 16, Episode 15). Retrieved from: Shows/ID/2643073786/ Husak, D. (2003). Four Points about Drug Decriminalization. Criminal Justice Ethics, 22(1), 21-29. Kurjata, A. (2015, July 9). Focus on ‘family violence’ in cases of missing, murdered aboriginal women misguided. CBC News Analysis [online]. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc. ca/m/news/topstories/focus-on-family-violence-in-cases-of-missing-murdered-aboriginal-women-misguided-1.3140580 Maté, G. (2008). In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. Toronto, Ontario: Vintage Canada. Oppal, W. (2012). Forsaken. (The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry Executive Summary). Retrieved from: pid-274920-dt-content-rid-1309401_1/ courses/50050.201505/Forsaken-ES-webRGB%281%29.pdf Pearce, M. (2013). An Awkward Silence: Missing and Murdered Vulnerable Women and the Canadian Justice System. (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation). University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario. Pivot Legal Society (2014). My Work Should Not Cost Me My Life. (The Case against Criminalizing the Purchase of Sex in Canada). Retrieved from: https://myclass.ufv. ca/bbcswebdav/pid-274890-dt-contentrid-1309454_1/courses/50050.201505/ My_Work_Should_Not_Cost_Me_My_ Life.pdf

133 Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (2014). Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview. (Cat. no.: PS64115/2014E-PDF). Retrieved from: http:// Rule, A. (2000). The Stranger Beside Me. New York, NY. W. W. Norton & Co. United Nations Human Rights Commission. (2015). Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of Canada. Retrieved from: treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2fCAN%2fCO%2f6&Lang=en


Rise of the Bitcoin: An Analysis of Future Cryptocurrency Risks Mohit Bassi Criminal Justice

Since the beginning of recorded history, people have created many forms of currency to trade goods and services with other members of society. Historically, this currency has ranged from tangible goods, to hunting supplies and raw materials. Anthropological research suggests some earlier societies even used currency that resembles the type used by our current economy, such as coins and paper notes (SilkRoad, 2000). In recent decades, there has been a growing shift towards electronic funds and money management, with a significant increase in use of electronic funds (such as debit and credit cards) for consumer goods and services (Beckner, 2011). While it is difficult to analyze accurate numbers of cash flow, some economists estimate that only around 8% of total currency is cash (Clark & Whitbourne, 2009). Following this technological trend of digitizing currency, a new type of currency called cryptocurrency has emerged. Essentially, cryptocurrency is defined as a digital alternative currency that heavily encrypts secure transactions, with a strong emphasis on decentralization of the currency. The Bitcoin was the first of its kind to stay true to this definition. This paper aims to analyze the history of the Bitcoin, current uses, pros and cons of the currency, as well as existing and potential future risks involved in the developing popularity of this purely electronic currency.

central authority whatsoever: there is no government, company, or bank in charge of Bitcoin. As such, it is more resistant to wild inflation and corrupt banks. With Bitcoin, you can be your own bank.” The project first began in 2007, allegedly founded by ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ (an unidentified individual or a collective pseudonym for a small group based in Japan) after a famous paper was published under this name outlined an explanation of how the currency operates (Nakamoto, 2008). The idea behind the Bitcoin sparked the interest of internet blogs and news websites as a better currency over traditional ones, which publicized a promising revolution in digital currency after the 2008 economic crash (BinaryResult, 2015). The Bitcoin gained such momentum because it offers anonymity, significantly low fees with instantaneous payout, no transaction limits, immunity to inflation, and it is nearly impossible to counterfeit or duplicate (Margaret, 2015).

The official Subreddit of the Bitcoin (r/Bitcoin, 2015) defines a Bitcoin as:

An individual is able to create as many Bitcoin wallets as possible. There are secure applications that manage your Bitcoins. Some of which are web-based while others can be downloaded and stored on your computer or USB. The wallet acts similar to how a financial institution manages your funds for you through your banking account. For downloaded versions of a wallet, the application will download a copy of every global transaction that has ever occurred onto an individual’s hard drive (Crypto Mining Blog, 2015).

“[Bitcoin is] the currency of the Internet: a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Unlike traditional currencies such as dollars, bitcoins are issued and managed without any

Bitcoin is simply an organized peer-to-peer digital file that lists accounts and money, similar to a ledger. A copy of this ledger is saved and updated on every computer in the Bitcoin network.


135 When a transaction takes place, a copy of transaction details are sent to all other Bitcoin ledgers for verification. A large number of transactions are grouped together to form a “block”. This block requires computational power by computers and other processors on the network, and its purpose is to confirm transactions as the blocks become ‘solved’ through a decrypting process (Nakamoto, 2008). The Bitcoin system then awards these ledgers a small amount of Bitcoin for helping solve the block in dividends based on the amount of work each processor did (r/Bitcoin, 2015). This is how new Bitcoins are added into the economy. The stock price of a Bitcoin is based off a combination of supply and demand, and the computational and electrical power required to solve these blocks. Complexity increases as blocks are solved faster, accounting for advances in quality and quantity of processing power. This process is referred to as Bitcoin mining. Mathematically, the formula prevents ways for the blocks to be solved any faster, and the encryption and decryption both have separate formulas that are highly encrypted to prevent tampering. Every transaction has a randomized anonymous identification code, and individuals can alter their sending/receiving wallet codes (‘account numbers’) after every transaction (Nakamoto, 2008). The Bitcoin program is hardwired to hit a maximum of 21 million Bitcoins which is estimated to occur in the year 2140 (CuriousInventor, 2014). However, ledgers will still be motivated to operate because they can earn Bitcoin on transaction fees. While it is possible for the limit to increase, the likelihood that this major change will be implemented into the Bitcoin network is solely speculation (Blitzboom, 2015; CuriousInventor, 2014).

a reputation for being the preferred choice of currency for many illegal operations run through the deep web of the internet. One example is Silk Road, a website that can only be accessed by using a private web brower called Tor (Anonymity, 2015). This site is infamous for selling drugs, weapons, hitman services, human trafficing, extremely rare objects, and much more, which can all be sold using Bitcoin as the only acceptable form of currency (Anonymity, 2015). Potential Threats Traditionally, large organized crime venues generally prefer to use cash for untraceable monetary transactions, but there is a risk of theft and violence during a face-to-face transaction of large quantities of cash. It can also be easily traced by law enforcement through hidden GPS devices or banknote serial tracking, raising issues of money laundering. All of these tracing methods become virtually nonexistent with the introduction of cryptocurrency. An individual can operate a mass drug trade from the comfort of their own home and trade Bitcoin for the services that they offer, and later cash in their Bitcoins for other currencies. This introduction of anonymous currency can become troublesome for law enforcement, because it is more difficult to track the transactions to any group or individual committing the crime. Three primary areas are at a special risk with the introduction of cryptocurrency: unlawful activity, economics, and human rights violations (Anonymity, 2015; Coin Desk, 2015; Zetter, 2012).

The risks of unlawful activity exist in the context of online activity due to the very nature of the Bitcoin’s operation. The internet is a great open resource accessed by most of the world’s When the Bitcoin first became public in population today. This also means that anyone July 2010, it was valued at $0.08 USD. It peaked in with internet access can easily set up their own January 2014 at approximately $1,000 USD when online market, and sell goods and services illegally the currency was gaining popularity in mainland through unregulated avenues. Recent trends show China (Bitcoin Charts, 2015). The Chinese govern- that greater proportions of illegal activity are takment has since banned the currency, causing the ing place online. This means there is the potential Bitcoin to gradually stabilize at its current rate of for greater amounts of Bitcoin currency being conabout $300 USD (Blitzboom, 2015). trolled by organized criminals, which theoretically creates a new monopoly over the cryptocurrency The acceptance of Bitcoin as payment has grown from small businesses to large corporations (Turpin, 2014; Zetter, 2012). (BinaryResult, 2015; Waves Coffee, 2015). Due to This leads us to the economics of the the Bitcoin’s anonimity and security, it has gained Bitcoin, where one of the major benefits is also

136 one of its major criticisms. The decentralization of the Bitcoin is perceived as a huge downfall to its potential. Without any international financial organization or country backing it, there is no central authority advocating for the cryptocurrency’s implementation into public policy. There are some corporations and geographical regions where it is becoming more widely accepted as official currency, but the general public still prefers traditional currency (Coin Desk, 2015). If the Bitcoin does become a mainstream form of payment, there is speculation that a decentralized currency unaffected by inflation may be invasively harmful to other native currencies, such as the Canadian dollar in Canada (Watts, 2014). If this occurs, it may lead to an economic revolution, where financial institutions may have to alter their policy to compete with this currency by reducing fees and providing Bitcoin ATMs. Although I do not see the Bitcoin leading into a capitalistic apocalypse, I do believe it has potential to cause a domino effect that will start with large financial institutions, corporations, international trade, and end with local business owners, causing a major shift in the way we process transactions. Legality issues and social policy would also require updated revisions to keep up with these changes, and to reduce setbacks during the transition. Lastly, human rights violations may occur and tie into the unlawful activity synonymous with the deep web. Underage mail-order brides, preserved human limbs, hit-men services, child pornography, and forced sexual acts are just some of the goods and services being bought and sold on the internet using the Bitcoin (Tapia & Shorter, 2015). Although these services existed before, the introduction of the Bitcoin allows anonymous entities to buy and sell illegal products. Issues around human rights must be considered to ensure there are no violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights. Although this cryptocurrency has many benefits for individuals worried about banking, transaction fees, and privacy issues, it is presently the most used currency for illicit online transactions. Additionally, the Bitcoin has increased sales and usage of websites related to human trafficking, explicit pornography, and other related crimes (Anonymity, 2015).

Threat Analysis This threat analysis will follow up with propositions to prepare the mainstream economy, policing, social policy, and general consumer, aiming to minimize or eliminate the threat. A holistic perspective is utilized, as approaching the problem from multiple perspectives may provide greater insight on the underlying issues. The issues discussed are unlawful activity, economy, and human rights violations. Unlawful Activity: It is very difficult to estimate true numbers of unlawful activities over the internet; however, government agencies such as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been successful at shutting down a previous major version of the deep web’s Silk Road (2.0) (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2014). Despite this intervention, a new version of Silk Road (3.0) is currently an active replacement (Anonymity, 2015). This major bust suggests that government agencies are currently aware of illicit online trade, and there appears to be a general trend towards an increase in cyber policing (Broadhurst, 2006). One of the major challenges of tracking unlawful activity online is the lack of borders and rules governing online policing and suspect profiling without the need for warrants or issuing authority (Broadhurst, 2006). This can lead to ethical violations of privacy for internet users in general, which can become a slippery slope to determine how much online privacy we can expect people to give up to fight online organized crime. Attempting to form international treaties between countries in order to share intelligence and create cyber policing policies is nearly impossible, but would be a step in the right direction towards tackling global crime, a residual effect of globalization. Economics: On the note of globalization, it is now more difficult to implement policy related to national and international economy. This is due to an increased co-dependency between many micro and macro-economies. Analyzing market trends can be complicated, as there are several layers that factor into human behavior and decision-making. The Bitcoin is slightly simplified because it is resistant to inflation, and its value is not representative of any tangible good (such as how dollars traditionally represented [x] amount of

gold). The fact that there are only 21 million Bitcoins planned to circulate in the economy provides an interesting twist to this currency (Margaret, 2015). This is not to say, however, that the Bitcoin is not completely resistant to changes in social policy and law, as illustrated through the example of China’s ban on the Bitcoin which drastically reduced its stock value (Bitcoin Charts, 2015). If the Bitcoin is to make its way into the wallets of conventional populations, maintaining its value in the stock market becomes even more important. International law and social policy again become part of the conversation. To maximize stability, countries need to agree to accept and honor the value of the Bitcoin. National policy needs to be updated so that the Bitcoin adapts as legal tender, and thus becomes taxable (in attempts to reduce money laundering via Bitcoin). This goal requires overcoming the obstacle of anonymity to track and tax Bitcoin transactions. Financial institutions, corporations, and local businesses require adaptation to accept the currency as legal tender, and integrate it within their respective economies. Presently, the World Bank prefers electronic currency to cryptocurrency, stating “the current realities of Bitcoin mean it is still a long way off from reaching the unbanked. Only the financially included can access the Bitcoin system through the necessary digital connections to the Internet” (Parker, 2014, para. 2). However, I believe a switch will occur indefinitely and the World Bank will require adaptation to allow the inclusion of Bitcoin for investments, large purchases, and taxes. Lastly, although every transaction made by Bitcoin is public, analyzing the data by region can be extremely difficult due to the immense security measures in place to ensure anonymous transactions. This can create further barriers for economists and government organizations evaluating Bitcoin usage and trends. Human Rights Violations: In the end, a decision will have to be made about the ethicality and freedom of the Bitcoin. Criminal activity occurs with the trade of every currency in the world, but the Bitcoin is an exceptional case because of its high security, privacy, and decentralization. Public attitudes towards the currency will shape public policy and law around the currency as well. One of the issues with integrating the Bitcoin

137 into the Canadian economy is that doing so may infringe human rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This dilemma may be solved by the Supreme Court of Canada’s legal principle of the Oakes Test. The test is used to determine whether the law has a pressing and substantial objective and is proportional to the goal. If we were to apply the Oakes Test to the Bitcoin, the Supreme Court would have to determine the level of rights Canadians would forfeit to allow the Bitcoin into our economy. (University of Alberta, 2013). For instance, related to Charter violations of privacy, to what extent are Canadians willing to obstruct their privacy to provide government agencies power to track illegal Bitcoin transactions? According to the Oakes Test, the severity of the Charter violation must be equal to the amount of subjective good that can come out of it. Whether the pros outweigh the cons is an issue that Canadians will eventually have to ask themselves. Whether Canadians perceive anonymity in cryptocurrency as a “good” or “bad” trait is something we have yet to see, but other security measures can also take place to reduce the three major risk areas involved including unlawful activity, economics, and human rights violations. Mitigation When observing effective mitigation strategies, it is imperative that a holistic attitude towards the risk is undertaken. Again, this must include changes in social policy and law, policing, government, and economic and financial structure. Social Policy and Law: This factor is perhaps the most important, as it encompasses all other factors in ways of outlining process and integration of the Bitcoin. For example, the popularity of the Bitcoin may require social policy changes in the economics of the Bitcoin, and a Canadian individual may be sanctioned to hold a limit of [x] amount of Bitcoins. The currency must be safely introduced in a way that does not affect domestic currency. Policing: The role of cyber policing does not necessarily require online surveillance and tracking methods to trace and convict illegal operations. One method is to increase security in postal and shipping services. The shipment of hardcore drugs, preserved human body parts, and

physical copies/online access keys to child pornography are distributed through postal services (Silk Road Drugs, 2015). Although this method appears rather obvious, postal services are (mostly) unregulated (Silk Road Drugs, 2015). While this does not help to solve all problems, increasing security and screening of postal services is one way to intercept and trace the source of the illegal services vending over the internet. In a vacuum, the more rights, freedom, and discretion given to police, the more flexibility police officers have, and the greater their ability to use invasive measures to track and disrupt illegal transactions. However, Canada’s legal system is wary of giving police too much power, and there are many underlying factors to consider before granting investigative authority to police. This is a conflict between crime control and due process within our legal system, and it would be interesting to see what rights police are granted to control cryptocurrency in the future. Government: The colloquial saying “the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly” may be applicable in the case of government intervention and policy implementation for the Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has already been criticized to be cutting edge and our laws and social policy tend to lag behind new technology and research (Blitzboom, 2015; The Economist, 2011). This is a risk factor in itself. If the aim is to mitigate potential risks of the Bitcoin, an earlier implementation of social policy is preferred over late implementation. Economics: Also governed by social policy, this is the risk area that will affect the bulk of the population the most. Our current framework must be prepared to accept the Bitcoin as legal tender in everyday business and must be included in a way where it is somewhat regulated, and non-invasive to native currency. Whether economists decide to take a laissez faire approach to the introduction of the Bitcoin, or follow China and completely ban the currency, conflict may begin to arise within and between nations, which may affect the stock price of the Bitcoin itself (Tomaš & Švogor, 2015). Ideally, I believe Canada should accept the Bitcoin and begin the process of changing social policy and law that may better adapt to the introduction of the currency. The largest problem is the decen-

138 tralization, which leads to problems of individual accountability, mainly for taxing purposes. This is ironic because the Bitcoin is created as a public ledger, anonymously logging every transaction and allowing open access for the public. Further challenges may arise if it becomes known that the Bitcoin, a currency known for its anonymity, becomes regulated and tracked by national governing bodies. Achieving such control and security over an internet-based currency is an entirely different challenge on its own. Involved Parties Because the Bitcoin is a unique currency barred by no geographical limits, it has the potential to involve any member of a developing or developed nation. The sole barrier is internet access, which is increasingly becoming available for greater populations around the world with current estimates suggesting that 45% of the world’s population has internet access (Internet World Stats, 2015). There are six main parties involved in the growth and development of Bitcoins, including miners, investors, policy makers, organized crime, general population and media (Blitzboom, 2015; Motherboard, 2015). Miners are Bitcoin users who have massive processors and computers set up specifically for purposes of becoming ledgers for the Bitcoin community, and solve blocks to earn Bitcoins. One of the largest Bitcoin mining rigs exist in rural northeast China, where an entire three-story ventilated building of advanced mining processors generates over four thousand Bitcoins per month (valued at about $1.5 Million USD), with collective computing power accounting for 3% of the entire Bitcoin network (Motherboard, 2015). The bottom-tier mining hardware equipment can be bought by public users through online electronics stores such as Newegg or Amazon, selling for around $400 USD, with the capacity to earn about $20-40 USD per month in Bitcoin after costs of electricity (Blitzboom, 2015). Another way to obtain Bitcoin is more conventional through the trading of other currency for Bitcoin through online markets, which are always open, unlike traditional markets. This supply and demand factor influences Bitcoin price. The price is estimated to mature because of growing demand

139 and a ceiling limit on number of Bitcoins ever-released leads to greater demand, and scarcer supply. As discussed, criminal organizations have the potential to expand their business anonymously and safely due to the introduction of the Bitcoin. Although a minority in population, it is estimated that various criminal organizations make up a growing percentage of overall Bitcoin transactions (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2014). How the media reports this fact will greatly affect the Bitcoin’s reception and acceptance into conventional populations. The media and general population are closely linked at this stage in the development of cryptocurrency. This is because the general population receives information from the media and forms their impressions about the Bitcoin based on how it is reported. Media hype was part of the reason why the Bitcoin surged up to $1,000 USD in value, and may explain why the general population accepts or declines the integration of the currency into our economy. Objective news coverage is strongly encouraged, but it becomes impossible to exclude human bias and political influence from the message (Tomať & Švogor, 2015). Conclusion The Bitcoin is a fascinating invention, well suited to be part of the digital era of the 21st century where technological advances have been exponential over the past two hundred years. One of the biggest weaknesses of the Bitcoin is also its strongest: it is ahead of its time. Public policy, law, and present-day economic structures are not equipped to deal with an anonymous, decentralized, online currency powerful enough to surpass centralized currencies in the global economy (CuriousInventor, 2014). This paper discussed three primary areas at special risk with the introduction of cryptocurrency, including unlawful activity, economics, and human rights violations, but there are still many potential risks that have not yet been studied or considered (Anonymity, 2015; Coin Desk, 2015; Zetter, 2012;). In my opinion, I do see the Bitcoin (or some new cryptocurrency) eventually becoming popular enough to maintain itself as a mainstream decentralized currency. However, one of, or a combination of the following statements can be true for the future of cryptocurrency:

1. The cryptocurrency gains momentum and becomes a successful mainstream currency at a rate faster than (policy, law, economy, and police) adaptation. This is most likely to occur in my opinion, and many leading experts in the field of cryptocurrency and economics are leaning towards this fate (BinaryResult, 2015; Margaret, 2015; Motherboard, 2015; Turpin, 2014; Watts, 2014; Beckner, 2011; Broadhurst, 2006). 2. The cryptocurrency does not gain any real momentum and remains as an underground currency during the course of its lifetime, and is eventually used primarily for the sale of unlawful goods and services as the underground markets develop acceptance towards it. This is the potential worst-case scenario, as it represents a new top 1% monopoly over the cryptocurrency situation where the currency becomes popularized for use within organized crime. A war on cyber criminals could follow, ultimately leading to an international outlaw of the cryptocurrency and damaging its economy. 3. Key international economic players recognize the cryptocurrency, and there is a race to update the economic and social framework to prepare for the potential risks associated with the mainstreaming of the currency. This is the ideal situation. Top economists acknowledge the potential threats that inevitably will bind alongside the Bitcoin as it becomes common, forcing government to introduce policy to control and minimize potential risks. 4. The cryptocurrency goes extinct due to other causes. All of the hype associated with the cryptocurrency could just lead up to the beginning and end of another fad. Perhaps the future yields increased costs in electricity, making it near impossible to earn a profit through mining. Without miners, there are not enough sources to verify transactions, and the system implodes. Another possibility may be that our current forms of native currency evolve and adapt to certain traits of the Bitcoin, such as the Canadian dollar being purely electronic or decentralized. This could influence general populations to stick

with native currencies, instead of shifting over to cryptocurrency. Regardless of what the future holds for cryptocurrency, if the Bitcoin continues to grow at its current rate, it will eventually become popular enough to the point where current and potential risks associated with the currency cannot be ignored. Government bodies will be forced to either make a decision about accepting and adapting to the currency, or rejecting and outlawing it.

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