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The Din of Work: Broadcasting the labour movement at Price-Kénogami, 1977-1981


The Din of Work: Broadcasting the labour movement at Price-Kénogami, 1977-1981

Grosman, Jessica (2013) The Din of Work: Broadcasting the labour movement at Price-Kénogami, 1977-1981. Other. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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This study examines twenty radio programs created by the local CSN union at Price-Kénogami in the Saguenay, Quebec, on community radio station, CHOC FM. The program began during a period of profound change in the pulp and paper industry in Quebec that was marked by protracted labour conflict at this plant. The union envisaged a program that would inspire rank-and-file workers' labour activism and broadcast pro-labour news and information to the wider community. Yet if union executives hoped to insert working-class interests into the public sphere and carve out a space for class-based conversations about labour and social justice, their aspirations were never fully realized. Instead of broadening the circle of active union members and creating a class-based counter-public, the weekly CSN broadcasts became the exclusive reserve of union activists. Radio shows legitimized the actions of union executives and increased the latter’s sense of the union’s momentum. In mirroring Habermas’ conception of the public sphere, the CSN broadcasts privileged the voices of a selected few union executives. When the bitter strike of 1980-81 divided workers at Abitibi-Price (formerly Price-Kénogami), union radio hosts refused to even comment on the position of the dissidents. The CSN union broadcasts neither allowed for spirited internal debate nor did they help create effective channels through which to intervene in the public sphere. Rather, labour programming on CHOC remained an extension of the union, which seemed content with using the weekly broadcasts as an inward-looking space for self-reflection.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Monograph (Other)
Authors:Grosman, Jessica
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:20 December 2013
  • BAnQ bourse de maitrise
Keywords:community radio; pulp and paper; labour; union; labour conflict; strike; Habermas; public sphere; counter-public; Quebec;
ID Code:978713
Deposited On:25 Jun 2014 19:35
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47
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