Analyzing the Portrayal of Child Sexual Abuse in La Presse: The Shifting Dialectics of Silence and Denunciation

Analyzing the Portrayal of Child Sexual Abuse in La Presse: The Shifting Dialectics of Silence and Denunciation

Analyzing the Portrayal of Child Sexual Abuse in La Presse: The Shifting Dialectics of Silence and Denunciation

Analyzing the Portrayal of Child Sexual Abuse in La Presse: The Shifting Dialectics of Silence and Denunciations

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1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«This thesis explores the discursive entanglements and juxtapositions around child sexual abuse victims, perpetrators and disclosure observable in the past ten years in La Presse’s coverage in Québec.» (p. iii)

Questions/Hypothèses :
«[M]y questions concern whether the media portrayal of child sexual abuse might have helped, at a first level, to de-stigmatize the taboo surrounding this social phenomenon in the popular culture; and second, whether and how the press might be propagating false representations about the prevalence of child sexual abuse by dwelling on particular details and misrepresenting this issue.» (p. iii)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
L’auteur utilise le moteur de recherche Eureka pour recenser les écrits concernant les agressions sexuelles envers les enfants qui sont parus dans la presse entre 2000 et 2011.

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé


«In revisiting the Nathalie Simard ’effect’, other analytic avenues were explored to assert notions of media influence and impact, ones that do not remain static in linear causal relationships. The qualitative portion of my inquiry allows for a closer examination of specific semantic uses in the articulation of contending discursive trends, especially surrounding key CSA themes such as disclosure, victimization narratives and paedophile figures. Focusing on some of the most important misrepresentations emerging from my corpus of news stories, certain journalistic and institutional practices were subsequently questioned. These practices appear tainted by socio-cultural predispositions, which enable the articulation and maintenance of a misrepresentative portrayal of CSA.» (p.128-129) «Although several stories do mention incest, the issue itself is not as discursively developed and explored in as much depth as themes of disclosure and violence. Naming incest is one thing, and La Presse certainly is not guilty of hiding the facts [...] However, is naming powerful enough to de-stigmatize incest? [...] While it is certainly preferable to rendering incest entirely invisible, as it was prior to the 1980s, the identification needs to be followed by explanation and analysis, which were not consistently apparent in La Presse’s coverage.» (p. 115)