Healthy Communities Research Network

Advancing Community Livability AND Quality of Life

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Online Social Networking Study profiled in Today’s Parent

Today’s Parent, a popular parenting magazine in Canada, published an article in its most recent issue on Momstown.ca, a social networking site for mothers and the focus of a SSHRC-funded project currently underway by a group of HCRN scholars. Diana Parry, the principal investigator on the project, was profiled in the article.

Parry commented, “[Momstown users] developed deep friendships — ‘momances’ — in a safe, comfortable, child-friendly environment”. Moreover, she noted, for the 20 percent of momstown members who’d been diagnosed with postpartum depression, joining the group lessened their symptoms. “It helped them move from surviving as a mom, to thriving as a mom”.

You can see the full article by clicking on the following link:

http://www.todaysparent.com/parenting/momstown-connecting-canadian-parents

Filed under social capital motherhood online social networking

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National Recreation Summit Proceedings Report Now Available to the Public

The National Recreation Summit Proceedings Report is now available to the public (see link below). The report was presented to federal, provincial and territorial Ministers Responsible for sport, physical activity and recreation at their recent meetings held in Inuvik on June 26 and 27, 2012. Ministers recognized the value of recreation to healthy communities and quality of life and agreed, except Quebec, to support a Recreation Roundtable to be hosted in New Brunswick May 29 and 30, 2013. To build on the success of the October 2011 National Recreation Summit – a joint initiative of F-P/T governments and the Canadian Recreation and Parks Association – Ministers also directed officials to plan the next National Recreation Summit in 2014. The Proceedings Report will serve as the basis for these future conversation and events. HCRN Director Troy Glover served as a speaker at the National Recreation Summit. A synopsis of his presentation can be found in the report.

See: http://lin.ca/national-recreation-summit

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Ideological Camps: Politcial Indoctrination or Connecting Youth to their Parents’ Views?

HCRN Director Troy Glover was quoted in an article on ideological camps in the National Post. Dr. Glover, the lead investigator on the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project, commented on the proliferation of partisan camps aimed at teaching youth a particular political ideology. “To some extent this is how you indoctrinate youth — you get them involved in fun activities and you teach them a message on the side,” Dr. Glover is quoted as saying. The article can be found by clicking on the following link:   

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/29/fun-with-a-message-at-these-summer-camps-ideology-doesnt-take-a-holiday/

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HCRN at the Leisure Studies Association (LSA) Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland in July

HCRN members Taryn Graham, Caitlin Mulcahy, Diana Parry, and Troy Glover are scheduled to present their work at the annual Leisure Studies Association Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland from July 17-19, 2012. Take a look below at the abstracts for their presentatons:

It takes a(n online) village of mothers: An exploration of a social networking site, sociability, and the development of social capital

Authors: Troy D. Glover, Diana C. Parry, & Caitlin M. Mulcahy

Abstract: Demographic data reveal more women return to paid employment after the arrival of children. Correspondingly, fewer women are staying at home full-time to raise their kids (Arendell, 2000). The loss of time spent with other mothers raising young children results in reduced informal support networks and advice that women have traditionally shared (Litt, 2000). Without a community of mothers with which to interact, women struggle to establish a maternal identity and feel isolated socially (Nelson, 2009).

Given these issues, our research focuses on a social networking site (SNS) for mothers and its roles in the development of social capital through the facilitation of online and offline sociability. Results reveal online interactivity and constant connectivity enabled study participants to “get together” during nap times, in bad weather, with sick kids, and at night - that is, the times most mums feel vulnerable and alone. Moreover, membership in a mother-oriented SNS facilitated opportunities to connect in-person with other mothers through a calendar of events and activities that made getting together easy, convenient, and fun. Whether online or offline, these experiences led participants to “get by” emotionally, “get ahead” purposively, and even “get left behind” (Glover & Parry, 2008).

Irrespective of the outcome, though, our research demonstrates that SNS allows mothers to transcend the boundaries of home and the private sphere and maintain their maternal identity. In so doing, it reveals how SNS can be a site for community building between mothers by serving as a facilitator of crucial relationships.

Unleashing community? Place meanings found in dog parks

Authors: Taryn Graham & Troy D. Glover

Abstract: Although growing interest exists in the role(s) dogs play as social facilitators (Guéguen & Ciccotti, 2008; McNicholas & Collis, 2000; Messent, 1983; Wells, 2004; Wood 2011), a lack of research exploring the outdoor spaces which foster such interactions hinders municipal leaders in developing urban animal strategies that maximize public benefits and enhance community health. For those to whom dog parks matter, “for whatever reason and however subliminally felt, that space becomes a place in their lives and part of what it is for them to be fully human” (Thwaites & Simkins, 2007, p.40).

The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore how pet owners use dog parks to socially construct place meaning through lived experience. Findings reveal both dog and owner exist together in place and can only be correctly interpreted in terms of their holistic relationship (Relph, 1976; Seamon, 1980). Some users expressed the ability to form communities of interest wherein exclusive networks of affect-laden relationships were tied to the development of social capital, while others noted experiences with exclusion from such groups. In short, this paper underscores the processes of power and relationship building that ultimately reflect community identity within a leisure-oriented landscape.

Filed under online social networking motherhood qualitative research social capital Dog Parks

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Dog as Avatar: Findings from Dog Park Study shared in the National Post

The National Post wrote about Taryn Graham and Troy Glover’s study on the role of dog parks in community building in Montreal. The piece got the first part of project right: dog park users do tend to judge each other based on their dogs’ behaviour (i.e., love my dog, love me; hate my dog, hate me). The article, however, failed to offer our recommendation that steps should be put in place to make these spaces more inclusive (e.g., end breed discrimination). You can be the judge by reading the article at the following link:  

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/03/oh-the-humanities-the-dog-as-an-owners-avatar/

Filed under Dog Parks community

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Findings from Momstown Project Profiled in the National Post

HCRN affiliate scholar Diana Parry was quoted in a recent newspaper article featured in the National Post about motherhood and parenting young children. Drawing on her research with users of Momstown.ca, a social networking site for young mothers, Dr. Parry commented, “[An online mothers] group helps [young mothers] shift through the copious amounts of information and decide ‘what’s going to work for me?’” For more details about the article, please check the following link:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/31/what-to-ignore-when-youre-expecting-no-such-thing-as-a-perfect-baby-so-forget-advice-books-experts-say/

Filed under motherhood social capital online social networking

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HCRN at the Eighth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

HCRN Director Troy Glover and doctoral student Debjani Henderson will be presenting results from the African Canadian Youth Leadership Project at the Eighth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in Champaign, Illinois, on May 19th. You can view the program details at http://www.icqi.org/docs/QI2012%20Preliminary%20Program.pdf. Here is the abstract that was accepted for presentation at the Congress:

Critical Newcomer Pedagogy and the Performative Practice of Hope

Troy D. Glover & Debjani Henderson, University of Waterloo

Consistent with Denzin (2009), this presentation locates performance ethnography within a racialized pedagogy by exposing and critiquing the experiences of settlement that operate in the daily lives of ethno-cultural newcomers to “multicultural” Canada. The tableaux at the centre of this performance text moves from the global to the local to the personal interplay of culture, politics, and pedagogy. It seeks a form of polycultural performative praxis that inspires and empowers newly arrived immigrants and refugees to interrogate the cultural logics of the settlement experience through performance. The subsequent staging asks newcomers, ‘Where have I been?”, “where am I now?”, and “where do I go from here?” In so doing, their performance is treated as “a way of acting on the world in order to change it” (Denzin, 2009). It introduces a critical newcomer pedagogy that forwards a polycultural citizenship and acts as a vehicle for enacting a politics of hope.

Any questions about this presentation can be directed to Troy Glover, troy.glover@uwaterloo.ca

Filed under welcoming communities qualitative research