Diffracting Through Media: An exploration of the performative and a diffractive reading of media texts
Robertson, C. (2015). Diffracting Through Media: An exploration of the performative and a diffractive reading of media texts (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9524
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9524
This thesis explores the development of the notion of performativity. This exploration is used to develop and apply a diffractive methodology to media texts in order to assess the usefulness of the diffractive method in its application to Media Studies. In the first part of this thesis, a review of literature on various interpretations of the performative notion is conducted. In the second part of this thesis, elements of these interpretations are brought together to construct a diffractive methdological framework. This diffractive methodology is then tested on the work of two authors of media texts, the magazine Adbusters and the street artist Banksy, in order to guage its effectiveness when applied to texts which incorporate elements of diffraction. In the third part of this thesis, the dffractive methodology is applied to news media outlets’ interpretations of the media event The Moment of Truth, a press conference aimed at revealing the truth to the public about government mass surveillance in New Zealand. The fourth part of this thesis assesses how effective the diffractive methodology was in this application, and the questions that arise from the use of this method. Whilst there are some concerns about the responsible use of the method by researchers, the application of a diffractive methodology to these media texts was successful in creating new readings and insights, and provides an alternative to traditional methods within media studies.
University of Waikato
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