alexa ‘The rhetoric of culture: Some notes on magazines, Canadian culture and globalization
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Imre Szeman

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Through an examination of the government's most recent attempt to defend the Canadian magazine industry (Bill C-55), this essay considers the politics of defending Canadian cul-ture in the era of globalization. It argues that the defence of Canadian culture cannot be taken as synonymous with the defence of ways of life that are opposed to the profit-driven logic of global capitalism. Rather, struggles over Canadian culture can impede our understanding of Canada's place in globalization by distracting us from the real issues. This is shown in the defence of the Canadian magazine industry on the grounds of its importance to national cul-ture. Magazines are exemplary mass cultural commodities whose form and content both express the consumerist values of contemporary capitalism. This paper argues that worries about Canadian content are often articulated at the expense of a more general examination of the function of culture within capitalism and of the implicit politics of the forms of mass culture. Examinant la derniere tentative du gouvernement de defendre l'industrie des periodiques canadiens par l'entremise du Projet de loi C-55, cet article soupese les politiques visant defendre la culture canadienne en cette epoque de mondialisation. II argumente que la defense de la culture canadienne ne peut etre consideree comme synonyme de defense des mceurs, lesquelles s'opposent a une logique du profit motivant le capitalisme mondial. Les luttes relatives a la preservation de la culture canadienne peuvent au contraire empecher notre comprehension de la place du Canada au sein de la mondialisation et nous eloigner des vrais problemes en presence. Fondee sur son importance pour la culture nationale, la defense de l'industrie canadienne des periodiques demontre cette erreur. L'article argumente que les craintes relatives au contenu canadien sont souvent articulees au detriment d'un examen plus general des fonctions de la culture a Finterieur du capitalisme ainsi qu'a celui des politiques implicites quant aux formes elles-memes de la culture de masse.

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This article was published in Journal of Canadian studies and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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