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Communicating science policy controversies: How the fields of science journalism, science and politics interact through the lens of Bourdieu’s conceptual triad


Communicating science policy controversies: How the fields of science journalism, science and politics interact through the lens of Bourdieu’s conceptual triad

Joseph, Shereen (2016) Communicating science policy controversies: How the fields of science journalism, science and politics interact through the lens of Bourdieu’s conceptual triad. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Science controversies and how they play out in the media can affect national policy. Examining how these debates are communicated sheds light on the underlying motivations of certain players that have a stake in the outcome. Looking at the communication of science policy controversies gives us a glimpse into the alliances or oppositions between these players. This thesis examined how three key fields – politics, science and science journalism – interacted to shape how selected science policy controversies are communicated. This examination allows us to situate the stance of science journalists relative to the fields of science and politics, and gain better insight into their motivations when participating in the debate on science policy controversies. Three examples of science policy controversies are investigated. The first two examples (the implementation of a national science policy and the application of an environmental policy) are culled from the Science Forum, which is a journal published in the 1970s. This historical example of Canadian national science policy debates is employed to situate the third more contemporary example of science policy controversy – the ‘muzzling’ of government scientists. Pierre Bourdieu’s conceptual triad of practice, habitus and social fields is used as a historicized methodological tool to map the social interactions found in the science policy controversies examined. This theoretical approach also provides a deeper analysis of the patterns of interaction that emerged.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Journalism
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Joseph, Shereen
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Journalism Studies
Date:22 November 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Secko, David
Keywords:Science journalism, science policy, science controversy, Bourdieu, field theory, science policy history, muzzling scientists, environmental policy, national science policy, Science Forum
ID Code:982402
Deposited On:09 Jun 2017 13:38
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55


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