Narrating the Self and Painting an Image: Stephane Dion (2006--2008)---Not a Leader?

Title: Narrating the Self and Painting an Image: Stephane Dion (2006--2008)---Not a Leader?
Authors: Knoll, Darcy
Date: 2010
Abstract: This thesis examines how the personal narrative of former Liberal leader Stephane Dion was shaped in the mediated environment of a minority Parliament. It is based on William James' (1890) consciousness of self and George H. Mead's (1934) notions of the self and the communicative gesture, coupled with work on narratives and self-presentation. These were combined with political image and the role of opponents and journalists in creating a leader's personal narrative. The thesis employs a qualitative research design with a microscopic conceptual approach and inductive reasoning for a textual analysis utilizing a narrative criticism method of rhetorical criticism, followed by in-depth interviews with journalists and political strategists. The analysis digs into the depiction of Dion in the English print media from the period of December 3, 2006 to September 6, 2008. Although the individual had the personal narrative as a politician with honesty and integrity, the analysis identifies that the dominant narrative of Dion was that he was a weak leader. The research finds the Liberal leader's opponents help reshape his narrative, which is granted legitimacy by journalists covering the political scene, and reinforced through the actions of Dion himself. In addition, the thesis outlines the challenges an opposition leader faces under the scrutiny of a minority Parliament and raises questions of what this means for Canadian political culture.
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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