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Autumn of the maple leaf : a post-theoretical analysis of the Canadian sponsorship program

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Autumn of the maple leaf : a post-theoretical analysis of the Canadian sponsorship program

Boutin, Jennifer (2007) Autumn of the maple leaf : a post-theoretical analysis of the Canadian sponsorship program. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

As the Quebec referendum on separation approached during the autumn of 1995, the federal Liberal government engaged in several tactics in order to revive the federalist sentiment throughout all of Canada, but more specifically within Quebec. One of these tactics was the federal Sponsorship Program, which, scandal aside, was designed to increase the visibility of the federal government. The program operated under the implicit assumption that national unity could be promoted through the silent distribution of Canadian symbols, a presumption that forms the starting point of this analysis by evoking two questions. First, why did the federal government believe that symbols alone could silently unify the country? And secondly, can national symbols, when implanted silently, produce a predictably positive effect, specifically the effect of national unity promotion? Through an exploration of the evolution of Canadian visual identity policies beginning in the 1960s, it was determined that the Sponsorship Program is demonstrative of the federal government's reactive tendency to produce identity policies when faced with rises in Quebec separatism. Furthermore, by evaluating the Sponsorship Program through the understanding of the political imagination, semiotics, and rhetoric, it is argued that while the Canadian symbols utilized within the Sponsorship Program were aesthetically sound symbols of nationhood, the program itself was fatally flawed since symbols, when distributed silently, cannot consistently communicate a specific message because their interpretation rests on the uncontrollable contents of the political imagination

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Boutin, Jennifer
Pagination:v, 100 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Political Science
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):King, Ed
ID Code:975546
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:10
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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