The politics of representation

Bowden, Gregory (2005) The politics of representation. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (2MB)


This thesis studies contemporary posters that are purportedly antiwar to demonstrate that they constitute a heterogeneous group of signifiers. There is therefore tension between the individuality of each poster and the unity that results from the rubric of opposition to war. In general terms, this disparate group is unified in spite of internal differences. Thus a more general political concern is exposed, the ability of a particular representation to take on a universal function, speaking for differential elements as though they were equivalent. To explore difference and equivalence as structuring forces, Ernesto Laclau's concept of empty signifiers is recruited, not merely to understand these posters, but to unpack the broader political and social concerns that result. People too are represented as different or equivalent in ways which they do not control. The consequences of empty signifiers for the agency of the political subject are thus also discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10185
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 100-106.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 2005
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Symbolic interactionism; War on Terrorism, 2001-2009--Protest movements; War on Terrorism, 2001-2009--Posters; Political posters; Group identity.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics