Reporting or Reinforcing Rape Culture? A Discourse Analysis of Media Coverage of the Saint Mary’s Rape Chant
Mount Saint Vincent University
In September 2013, students at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia chanted about the rape of underage girls, an incident that garnered national and international media coverage. Utilizing feminist poststructuralist discourse analysis, this study examines a selection of media articles published in the weeks after the rape chant to identify the discursive context and the implications for students on campus. This study identifies a complex process where the media coverage that attempted to critique rape culture instead reiterated harmful discourses of youth, gender and sexuality. An alternative approach that offers a more nuanced analysis of these types of incidents is encouraged – one that considers the standpoints of the participants in addition to the context of university life, rape culture and postfeminism.
Rape culture, postfeminism, media coverage,