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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Gender, language, and power : naming misogyny and framing understandings of Canada's mediascape in the wake of gendered violence Keber, Andrea M.


This research centres misogyny as a focal point for discourse analysis of everyday language used to describe, discuss, justify, and frame gender-based violence and harassment, using the Toronto Van attack in April 2018 as an entry point through which to examine how language functions socially, and to explore what misogyny does. I approach the Toronto Van Attack as a case study in order to analyze the event as an instance of misogynist violence, using an intersectional feminist lens and an interdisciplinary approach guided by an awareness of our increasingly connected and networked lives. My analysis is informed by a conception of media which positions legacy print media outlets on one end of the media spectrum, linked across the technological spectrum both to their own online versions as well as newer “born-digital” media and social media. I collected, read, and analyzed mainstream news coverage as well as a sample of tweets captured from Twitter, combining qualitative and quantitative methods which included both feminist critical discourse analysis and computer-aided textual analysis in a manner which can be best described as a cyborg reading practice. It is my contention that Canada must be named and recognized as a place where mass killings of women are perpetrated, and that we must continue to talk about the misogyny, racism, homophobia, and colonialism that continue to structure everyday life. This analysis has shown that misogyny and gendered violence were either at the margins of the story or absent from the frame altogether. Misogyny must not be lost from our conversations about this event, and must continue to be discussed in order to disrupt dominant narratives which frame Canada as a progressive post-patriarchy society.

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