This dissertation examines representations of Aboriginal people and issues in the news media in historical times (1862-7) as well as in the modern era (1991-2003). Previous studies – most notably the review of Aboriginal people and the media conducted by the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) – have found evidence of persistent patterns of racism and ethnocentrism in all forms of public discourse. Techniques of content analysis and critical discourse analysis are applied to news stories about treaty negotiations and Aboriginal child welfare issues appearing in national newspapers, major daily newspapers, community newspapers as well as Aboriginal publications. The findings of this research indicate that news reports about Aboriginal issues display ethnocentrism and stereotyping and utilize dominant news frames that contain and limit Aboriginal voices. Furthermore, the press covers critical issues, which have long historical antecedents that are little understood or known by the public, in a thoroughly de-contextualized fashion. While Aboriginal issues tend to be reported in ways that support the status quo, this reportage is not monolithic. Due to a variety of factors that influence the production of the news, including journalistic imperatives emphasizing "balance" and "objectivity," even news coverage of Aboriginal issues that is steeped in dominance must reiterate contradictions inherent in relations between mainstream Canadian society and Aboriginal people. This affords opportunities for Aboriginal people and others to foster new public discourses that challenge hegemonic values. As well, the public has demonstrated an ability, under certain conditions, to resist racist and stereotypical interpretations of events. Finally, voices of Aboriginal people are increasingly included in public discourse and most Aboriginal organizations have communications or media relations branches which systematically attempt to influence reporting on Aboriginal issues and counteract "bias" in the press. This research furnishes a media resource not only for Aboriginal people, but for anyone concerned with social justice, in analyzing the news and challenging dominant representations of Aboriginal people and issues.
intellectual Identity and the Culture Industry: Critical Thought about Inte11'ectuals and Mass Culture discusses the life of the intellect and the intellectual as they relate, or fail to relate to, the problems of mass culture. In Chapter One, I evaluate the work of Theodor W. Adorno. I consider Adorno's critique of jazz as the prototype for his formidable assault on the culture industry at large and its role in the downfall of intellectual discourse. I identify comedy as a potentially subversive strain within mass culture. I advance what is not so much a methodological or historical approach to intellectuals and mass culture, but an attitude toward the phenomena under investigation, one that is, following Adorno, both uncompromising and intellectually rigorous. Chapter Two charts the fate of the intellectual both in and outside of ac:ademia, particularly as addressed by critiques of The Last Intellectuals. Russell Jacoby, Andrew Ross, Richard A. Posner and Noam Chomsky are discussed in terms of intellectual life in our time. Chapter Three surveys the mass cultural landscape, singling out the television comedy Seinfeld as exemplary of the best of what mass culture is capable of, demonstrating my own ability to 'do' Critical Theory, and to forward a cultural critique reflecting moral, ethical and spiritual criteria of judgment. The partial absence of a completely unified resolution between these two chapters resonates with an apprehension of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School as breaking with the intellectual tradition of foundationalism that emphasizes unity. As such what is presented is a critical alternative to the dominance of the intellectual tradition running from Descartes through positivism. I contend that the problem of intellectual life in relation to mass culture resists harmonious integration into a singular conceptual totality, because I maintain hope that the individual intellect can retain a degree of integrity and efficacy in spite of a monolithic cultural apparatus bent on deluding us at the junciture where culture comes to function as social control.
The practice of medicine is the latter-day solution to that intensely human and social predicament we call illness. Medical discourse, however, increasingly tends towards guidelines, protocols, cost considerations and other institutionally-derived issues. This dissertation examines a single concept, therapeutic equivalence, and utilizes it as a metaphor for this focal shift, arguing that this reduced perspective not only ignores the considerable socio-cultural context in which illness takes place, but adversely affects the paradigms and practice of medicine - as well as research, policy and clinical care. Therapeutic equivalence is the basis for a health (pharmaceutical) policy usually called reference-based pricing, used in many jurisdictions and institutions around the world (such as New Zealand's Pharmac, the BC Reference Drug Program and the majority of American HMO's), in which pharmacoeconomic analyses determine the most costeffective drug(s) within a certain class of drugs in order to restrict general access. Using the well-studied BC reference drug program (RDP) as its primary example, this work examines the regulatory and evidentiary framework of the term 'equivalence', analyzes the medical research on therapeutic equivalence and delves into the deeper socio-cultural and epistemological questions the term raises to demonstrate how institutional and statistical interpretations of pathology now dominate medical discourse. The many uncertainties, ambiguities and variations inherent to physiology, pharmacodynamics and pharn~acokinetics are thus ignored; risk is minimized and subjective states and individual narratives of illness, largely disregarded. Moving from drug classificationsldefinitions and the conceptual underpinnings of medical research to the increased convergence of corporate and research interests, this work examines the limitations of ontological disease classifications which assume knowledge is static and questions the current emphasis on biomarkers and numeric results (e.g., blood pressure or cholesterol readings). This work argues that such classification systems are limiting and frame illness in reductionist ways - and have ethical, iatrogenic, medical, social and personal consequences. Broader and more nuanced communications, with greater patient input, are called for. Keywords: equivalence, therapeutic equivalence, reference based pricing, reference drug program, health economics, ethics of pharmaceutical policy, health policy criticism, epistemology of health, sociology of pharmaceutical policy, patient involvement, participatory action research and empowering patients