‘Doesn’t anyone want to pick a fight with me?’: masculinity in political humour about the 2008 Canadian federal election

  • Author / Creator
    Raphael, Daisy
  • This study explores the relationship between masculinity and political leadership as it was constructed in political humour about the 2008 Canadian federal election. I used content and discourse analysis methods to examine gendered depictions of the two frontrunners in that election – Stéphane Dion and Stephen Harper – in editorial cartoons and on the popular television programmes the Rick Mercer Report, 22 Minutes and the Royal Canadian Air Farce. Guiding this analysis is Connell’s ([1995] 2005) theory of masculinities. Ultimately, I argue that political satirists constructed a hierarchy of masculinities in their portrayals of Dion and Harper by depicting Dion as submissive, weak, effeminate and devoid of masculinity, while portraying Harper as hypermasculine, dominant, aggressive and violent. In doing so, I argue, Canadian political humourists contributed to the normalization of the purported connections between masculinity, power, and politics and to the social construction of politics as a ‘man’s world’.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.