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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3ZC7S644

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The Question Concerning Identification: A Tetradic Analysis of the Alberta Birth Certificate Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
images
media ecology
Alberta registries
dataveillance
official forms
tetradic analysis
McLuhan
forms
technological history
civil registrations
identification systems
Alberta
Service Alberta
government forms
identity management
identification documents
birth certificates
adult education
technological artefacts
Northwest Territories
NWT
government documents
legislative history
artefacts
administrative history
citizenship
birth registrations
vital statistics
identification
surveillance
official documents
tetrad of media effects
human rights
utterfacts
technology
laws of media
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Buterman, Jan L.
Supervisor and department
Adams, Catherine (Department of Secondary Education)
Examining committee member and department
Doherty, Maryanne (Department of Elementary Education)
Adams, Catherine (Department of Secondary Education)
Shultz, Lynette (Department of Educational Policy Studies)
Department
Department of Educational Policy Studies
Specialization
Adult Education
Date accepted
2017-03-29T10:32:48Z
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Degree
Master of Education
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
One little-noticed yet increasingly vital technology is the birth certificate. The existence of any technology transforms the environment, yet many technologies--just as the birth certificate--remain generally unnoticed or disregarded as neutral. Locating my research within a media ecology framework, I use McLuhan and McLuhan's Laws of Media to help us understand that instead of being neutral, technology is an active utterance of the human mind, transforming our entire environment. Following these Laws, I ask the fourfold question of what does the technology of the birth certificate enhance, obsolesce, retrieve and, when pushed to an extreme, reverse in to? To answer this question, I use the Tetrad of Media Effects to apply the Laws of Media to the technology of the birth certificate. In keeping with the complex nature of technologies and their environments, my research reveals that the technology of the birth certificate has a broad genealogy inclusive of documentation challenges for both transgender and cisgender individuals. Through exploring literature related these issues, as well as literature related to surveillance and documentation, records and archiving, and others, I begin to map some of this complexity to allow for closer examination. I uncover the history of birth registration and certification in Alberta, including an overview of the specifications and components used in this technology today, as well as the local, national, and international legal frameworks that comprise some of the literally-invisible aspects of this technology. Incorporating media reports also helps to flesh out the lived experiences of many different types of people and their interactions with birth certificates and related technologies. While my research was initially inspired by my experiences as a transgender person seeking to amend state-issued identification documents, my thesis uncovers the ongoing, universal effects of the technology of the birth certificate which applies to all. The birth certificate's active role in constructing modern citizenship means that identification technologies are a legitimate concern of adult education. Accordingly, my research demonstrates that identification technologies are an emerging site for adult education praxis.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3ZC7S644
Rights
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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