Media representations of the New Zealand economy: an exercise in critical theory

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dc.contributor.author Hope, Wayne en
dc.date.accessioned 2007-07-28T09:00:36Z en
dc.date.available 2007-07-28T09:00:36Z en
dc.date.issued 1991 en
dc.identifier THESIS 92-231 en
dc.identifier.citation Thesis (PhD--Political studies)--University of Auckland, 1991 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/1127 en
dc.description.abstract Restricted Item. Print thesis available in the University of Auckland Library or may be available through Inter-Library Loan. This thesis examines how news media practices and discourses have depicted structural changes in the New Zealand political economy. For this purpose chapter one develops two critical perspectives. It is first explained how the capitalist political economy shapes the institutional and rhetorical character of the public sphere. Deploying the insights of Jürgen Habermas, claus offe and various media sociologists the public sphere is defined according to its constituent pans. These are the ownership and management of media institutions, newswork and news source relationships, mediated imagery and patterns of language. This chapter also constructs method for analyzing economic discourse in a capitalist society. The ideology of such discourse is codified in terms of technocratic rationality; a mode of reasoning which uses objective necessity to obscure the interests of classes which actually determine the function, direction and pace of capitalist development. This process is observed through Raymond Williams' keyword analysis anc1 Mike Emmison’s delineation of 'the economy' as a self description of modern capitalism. To examine the dynamics of economic discourse my approach draws upon Habermas' early attempt to reconstruct repressed social meanings. He sought to mediate the objectivity of historical processes wit the motives of those acting in it, through normative critique. In this regard the supposed neutrality of economic news journalism is tested against normatively grounded principles of rhetoric. It is argued that the public sphere and ideological discourse approaches can be brought together to explain how economic news is encoded and disseminated at given points in time. To this end subsequent chapters focus upon shifts and tensions in the keyword patterns which surround ‘the economy’. This is done by isolating the changing semantic features of means-end rationality, assessing gradations of rhetorical openness and logical closure and by highlighting unspoken rules of temporality. Chapter two refines this theoretical framework to explore the history of New Zealand capitalism. The origins of economic discourse are related to nascent capital formation and the early-modern public sphere. It is argued that ‘the economy’ as an abstract locution emerged as a self-description of Keynesian capitalism in the 1930s. chapter Three explains how news about ‘the economy’ in the 1960s became less imbued by traditional motifs and more technocratic in form. This ideological expression was communicated through a nationally constituted public sphere which was, in turn, shaped by prevailing structures of capital accumulation. Form this dual perspective the languages of indicative planning and Keynesian economic management are critically analysed. It is concluded tat planning and managing capitalism were irreconcilable and that media representations of ‘the economy’ became disunified as a result. Chapter four covers the period 1976-84 and details a fragmenting political economy, a commercialized, television dominated public sphere, and officially contested depictions of ‘the economy’. By late 1984 the constituent parts of the public sphere, and prevailing keyword patterns had objectified the transition from a Keynesian to a ‘free market’ economy. Chapter Five outlines the beginnings of a simultaneous transformation of capital accumulation, the political economy of the public sphere and economic discourse itself From 1984-86 the self-operating, ‘free market’ economy became a taken-for-granted conception of New Zealand capitalism. Finally the self undermining features of this new orthodoxy are briefly outlined. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA472722 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Media representations of the New Zealand economy: an exercise in critical theory en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en


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