Unmilitary People? Or Militarily Banal?: An Analysis of Political and News Media Depictions of the Canadian Forces

Brush, Stephen
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the political and news media depictions of the Canadian Forces (CF) and their influence on the discursive construction of the Canadian nation. The Canadian nation and the CF are outlined as discursive constructions as represented in political and news media discourse. A critical discourse analysis is conducted on political discourse contained in House of Commons’ debates and news media discourse contained in The Globe and Mail and National Post from January 1999 to December 2002. It finds that banal reproductions of the CF as a peacekeeping force are present in national discourse and that they have negative implications for civil-military relations in Canada. It also suggest that a change in national discourse is required to more accurately reflect the values and interests of Canadians and the current state of civil-military relations by focusing on accurate depictions of the CF and not the banal reproduction of the CF as a peacekeeping force.

Canadian Forces, Canadian Nation Building, Critical Discourse Analysis, Banal Militarism, Banal Nationalism