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“Students” as Nodal Point of Identity: Analyzing the Discourses of Quebec’s News Media and Students in the 2012 Printemps Érable

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“Students” as Nodal Point of Identity: Analyzing the Discourses of Quebec’s News Media and Students in the 2012 Printemps Érable

Turcotte-Summers, Jonathan (2015) “Students” as Nodal Point of Identity: Analyzing the Discourses of Quebec’s News Media and Students in the 2012 Printemps Érable. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis presents a comparative discourse analysis of Quebec’s news media and students in the context of the 2012 student strike and more broad-based uprising known as the Printemps érable (Maple Spring). More specifically, the analysis concerns how educational issues were represented in the discourse of the news media compared to that of students, as expressed in mainstream newspapers and student association press releases, respectively. It also addresses the role of these discourses in either reproducing or contesting hegemonic political and economic ideologies. The discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe (1985) is operationalized as the primary methodological framework for this study, focusing on the articulation of polysemic signifiers as moments and nodal points. Ten texts were selected from The Gazette and ten from La Presse, as well as ten press releases from the FECQ/FEUQ and ten from the CLASSE. Analysis reveals that the signifier “students” represents a nodal point of identity or master signifier central to each discourse, as they fail to conform to notions of a common media or student discourse. The discourse of The Gazette may be described as that of an illiberal or neoliberal democracy, while those of La Presse and the FECQ/FEUQ are more or less both liberal democratic and neoliberal capitalist. The discourse of the CLASSE is identified as postliberal, with features of direct and participatory democracy, and though it reproduces few neoliberal articulations it also contests few. In the end, challenging the political order appears more practicable than challenging the economic one.

Divisions:Concordia University
Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science
Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Turcotte-Summers, Jonathan
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Educational Studies
Date:14 September 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Naseem, Ayaz
Keywords:education, Quebec, protest, student strike, Maple Spring, Printemps érable, discourse analysis, Laclau, Mouffe, student, association, media, newspaper, The Gazette, Montreal Gazette, La Presse, FECQ, FEUQ, CLASSE, neoliberalism, democracy
ID Code:980478
Deposited By: JONATHAN SUMMERS
Deposited On:27 Oct 2015 15:17
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51
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