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UBC Theses and Dissertations

South Asian women in Canada and media discourse : a feminist collaborative analysis Dubois, Marie-France


This paper is a critical reflection upon commonly found distortions in the representations of the lives of Canadian women of South Asian origin in the Vancouver Sun. The strategy adopted consists in presenting first, the views of three South Asian women activists who acted as collaborators and analyzed the constituted sample of articles; second, feminist anthropological readings are used to draw upon a theory of discourse which looks at news-products as active elements in the construction of reality. It is then argued that by focusing on a narrow range of topics, the prevalent media discourse encourages news readers to develop a homogenous perspective on Canadian women of South Asian origin. The depictions in the press suggest that not only are these women oppressed, but this oppression originates in elements of their own culture and assimilation is only possible by relinquishing these "oppressive" cultural traits. It is argued that the media reinforces the dominant patriarchal, racist and classist discourses prevailing in Canadian society.

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