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Dark devils in the saddle : a discursive analysis of tourist and entertainment formations constituting Western Canadian regional identity

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Dark devils in the saddle : a discursive analysis of tourist and entertainment formations constituting Western Canadian regional identity

Burgess, Marilyn (1992) Dark devils in the saddle : a discursive analysis of tourist and entertainment formations constituting Western Canadian regional identity. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

We know that the discursive production of 'unitary' subjectivities depends on the simultaneous inscription of "difference" and "otherness" which mark the boundaries of subjective categories. This process makes undifferentiated identity categories available for social and political discourses and practices of exclusion. Furthermore, the production of national identities has recently been shown to be articulated by a complex form of address which engages both discursive and performative aspects of subjective processes. This thesis examines a number of interlocking "narrations" of the Canadian nation at certain key sites of its regional articulation in western Canada, by analyzing a select number of discursive formations organized around western Canadian tourist and entertainment practices. Using the concept of "narrations" of nation, the thesis analyzes the discursive and performative elements of the formations in question, which, when articulated together, narratively inscribe western regional and national identities. By analyzing how the Canadian west imagines itself at these sites, this analysis makes evident the uneasy production of sexual and racial difference, inscribing an 'outside' with respect to the national 'inside', in the constitution of a regional/national unitary identity. This study innovates in its use of an expanded definition of the performative aspects of subjective processes. The previously demonstrated applications of the term include the notion of the embodiment of social discourses by individuals, where social identity categories are incarnated by becoming-subjects, and the broader social application of the term, where the historical actions of social groups may be measured against historicist discourses of national pasts. This analysis expands on these notions to consider the public, properly dramatic, and deliberately staged type of performance as equally complicit in the process of constituting social identity categories. Examples are given to substantiate this argument. Furthermore, as the performative has also been theorized as a potential space of the disruption of narratives of identity, this thesis examines a number of performative sites where marginal identities, both contemporary and historical, are articulated to the dominant narratives discussed throughout

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Burgess, Marilyn
Pagination:viii, 258 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Communication Studies
Date:1992
Thesis Supervisor(s):Allor, M
ID Code:2899
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 15:22
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:29
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