A Cabinet That Looks Like Canada: A Critical Evaluation of Media Responses to Trudeau's Representative Cabinet
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the prevailing assumptions underlying how journalists have discussed Trudeau’s gender-balanced cabinet and their relationship to hegemonic power relations in Canada. Utilizing critical feminist and intersectional lenses, these inquiries will be examined through feminist critical discourse analysis of newspaper coverage of Trudeau’s gender-balanced cabinet and related issues raised by a wide range of journalism covering the story, from mainstream to student, ethnic, and Indigenous newspapers. How journalists talk about diverse political representation can reinforce common-knowledge understandings of politics and representation. Overall, I found that hegemonic power structures were reinforced by news media in terms of how journalists constructed political appointments, ethnic minorities, women in politics, Indigenous representation, and scandal. Journalists from alternative newspapers were able to be more critical toward the status quo and hegemonic structures compared with journalists from mainstream newspapers, which are more subject to neoliberal pressures. When mainstream newspapers did amplify marginalized voices, more critical perspectives were added to the discussion at higher circulation rates. News media representations impact the symbolic representation and, in turn, the sociological legitimacy of government institutions. Journalists have the discursive power to support, challenge, construct, and deconstruct political practices, government institutional norms, and public perceptions of individual politicians and their messages.
Representation, Feminist critical discourse analysis
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity
Women's and Gender Studies