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Words Apart: A Reading of Canadian Labor Conflict

  • Author / Creator
    Keim, Charles A
  • This thesis examines the role that language plays in labor conflict. Nelson (2003: 449) argues that words are necessary for conflict: words initiate, maintain, elevate, defuse, and can resolve human conflict. My study follows Nelson in an exploration of how language was mobilized during the Alberta Teachers’ strike (2001—2002). Both the Klein-led conservative government and the Booi-led Alberta Teachers’ Association used language to present images, stories, and explanations that cast themselves and the conflict in very different ways. Speakers used language to create groups and engineer the conflict: they were “words” as well as “worlds” apart. To facilitate an examination of how speakers used language to construct and polarize these worlds a framework of four discursive strategies is applied.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3P26Q955
  • 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.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Faculty of Business
  • Specialization
    • Strategic Management and Organization
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Reshef, Yonatan (Strategic Management and Organization)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Inness, Michelle (Strategic Management and Organization)
    • Suddaby, Roy (Strategic Management and Organization)
    • Luchak, Andrew (Strategic Management and Organization)
    • Deephouse, David (Strategic Management and Organization)
    • Gould, Anthony (Industrial Relations; Laval University)