Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mediating Authenticity: French Prestige Press Coverage of Shang Xia
by Lefkowitz, Julia, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2013, 93; 10305753
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis applies a critical discourse analysis methodology to examine French prestige press coverage of the brand Shang Xia, evaluating the salience of “authenticity” as a French journalistic norm that is a function of the contemporary context. Amidst accelerated globalization and technological advancements, news publications can interpolate readers through mediation of “authenticity,” which is frequently constructed through evocation of nationalism and othering of foreign parties, a concept I have evinced through previous analysis of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal. CDA of French press coverage of a brand that is ostensibly of French and Chinese nationalities constitutes a lens that is of particular critical value, enabling identification of imperialist and othering sub-texts through which authenticity can be mediated. In order to more broadly map and contextualize potential salience of “authenticity,” this thesis also examines academic literature on brands, material culture, and the contemporary luxury fashion industry.

CDA results indicate dominant mediation of French nationalism, if anything revealing an increase of national framing between the first and second set of articles. Conclusions posit “authenticity” as a prevailing journalistic value that should be researched across national cultures and addressed explicitly in order to ensure meaningful engagement of citizens in democratic societies, particularly as media’s presence continues to increase. While advances in technology have contributed to a contemporary landscape in which both brands and news publications circuit nationalist and capitalist hegemonies, journalists in particular need to act as “gate-openers” rather than “gate-keepers” (Carpenter, 974).

Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis, French Journalism, Nationalism, Brands, Authenticity

Indexing (document details)
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: Global Communications
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Journalism, European Studies
Keywords: Authenticity, Brands, Critical discourse analysis, Fashion industry, France, Prestige press, Shang Xia
Publication Number: 10305753
ISBN: 978-1-369-49317-7
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