Reading The National: shifting subjectivities in a Stateless Nation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Abstract

This chapter analyses the ways in which Scottish, British and European subjectivities are reproduced in The National, an openly pro-Scottish-independence newspaper launched shortly after the unsuccessful independence referendum of September 2014. The term “subjectivities” refers here to the range of “subject positions” (left-wing/right-wing, social-democratic/neoliberal etc.) which the paper makes available to its readers. While the chapter pays due attention to captions and other textual elements – analysed using
tools borrowed from semiotics – its main focus is on the graphic design of the paper’s front covers, most frequently dominated by a single image occupying around three quarters of the available space. These images are subdivided into various categories. The argest group, accounting for around 45% of the total number of covers, features actors mostly from the world of politics. Individual exposure here is intense, with seventeen of the actors accounting for 60% of the images in this group. The second largest group of front-cover images, accounting for around 40% of the overall total, are metaphorical in
nature and work to provide the larger ideological frame of The National’s journalistic output. Foucauldian discourse analysis is used here to map the discursive universe created in relation to such questions as Scottish independence and the recent UK vote to leave the EU. The clearest finding is that the plasticity of subjectivities – as opposed to the relative fixity of identities – has allowed a debate on nationhood to be simultaneously a debate on political ideologies: social democracy as an alternative to neoliberalism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPutting a Face on It
Subtitle of host publicationIndividual Exposure and Subjectivity in Journalism
EditorsBirgitte Kjos Fonn, Harald Hornmoen, Nathalie Hyde-Clarke, Yngve Benestad Hågvar
Place of PublicationOslo
PublisherCappelen Damm Akademisk
Pages121-156
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)978-82-02-52214-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Fingerprint

subjectivity
social democracy
Group
political ideology
referendum
neoliberalism
semiotics
discourse analysis
voter
newspaper
EU
politics

Keywords

  • Scotland
  • Independence
  • press
  • subjectivity
  • identity

Cite this

O'Donnell, H. (2017). Reading The National: shifting subjectivities in a Stateless Nation. In B. Kjos Fonn, H. Hornmoen, N. Hyde-Clarke, & Y. Benestad Hågvar (Eds.), Putting a Face on It: Individual Exposure and Subjectivity in Journalism (pp. 121-156). [6] Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk. https://doi.org/10.23865/noasp.28
O'Donnell, Hugh. / Reading The National : shifting subjectivities in a Stateless Nation. Putting a Face on It: Individual Exposure and Subjectivity in Journalism. editor / Birgitte Kjos Fonn ; Harald Hornmoen ; Nathalie Hyde-Clarke ; Yngve Benestad Hågvar. Oslo : Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 2017. pp. 121-156
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title = "Reading The National: shifting subjectivities in a Stateless Nation",
abstract = "This chapter analyses the ways in which Scottish, British and European subjectivities are reproduced in The National, an openly pro-Scottish-independence newspaper launched shortly after the unsuccessful independence referendum of September 2014. The term “subjectivities” refers here to the range of “subject positions” (left-wing/right-wing, social-democratic/neoliberal etc.) which the paper makes available to its readers. While the chapter pays due attention to captions and other textual elements – analysed usingtools borrowed from semiotics – its main focus is on the graphic design of the paper’s front covers, most frequently dominated by a single image occupying around three quarters of the available space. These images are subdivided into various categories. The argest group, accounting for around 45{\%} of the total number of covers, features actors mostly from the world of politics. Individual exposure here is intense, with seventeen of the actors accounting for 60{\%} of the images in this group. The second largest group of front-cover images, accounting for around 40{\%} of the overall total, are metaphorical innature and work to provide the larger ideological frame of The National’s journalistic output. Foucauldian discourse analysis is used here to map the discursive universe created in relation to such questions as Scottish independence and the recent UK vote to leave the EU. The clearest finding is that the plasticity of subjectivities – as opposed to the relative fixity of identities – has allowed a debate on nationhood to be simultaneously a debate on political ideologies: social democracy as an alternative to neoliberalism.",
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author = "Hugh O'Donnell",
note = "Hugh O’Donnell, hod@gcu.ac.uk, is Professor of Language and Popular Culture at Glasgow Caledonian University. He has published widely on national and international news, sports and national identity, television drama, and more recently the cultural aspects of tourism. He is currently co-editing a book on Brexit and the media for Palgrave Macmillan. Library note: book is OA, file made open",
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O'Donnell, H 2017, Reading The National: shifting subjectivities in a Stateless Nation. in B Kjos Fonn, H Hornmoen, N Hyde-Clarke & Y Benestad Hågvar (eds), Putting a Face on It: Individual Exposure and Subjectivity in Journalism., 6, Cappelen Damm Akademisk, Oslo, pp. 121-156. https://doi.org/10.23865/noasp.28

Reading The National : shifting subjectivities in a Stateless Nation. / O'Donnell, Hugh.

Putting a Face on It: Individual Exposure and Subjectivity in Journalism. ed. / Birgitte Kjos Fonn; Harald Hornmoen; Nathalie Hyde-Clarke; Yngve Benestad Hågvar. Oslo : Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 2017. p. 121-156 6.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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N1 - Hugh O’Donnell, hod@gcu.ac.uk, is Professor of Language and Popular Culture at Glasgow Caledonian University. He has published widely on national and international news, sports and national identity, television drama, and more recently the cultural aspects of tourism. He is currently co-editing a book on Brexit and the media for Palgrave Macmillan. Library note: book is OA, file made open

PY - 2017/12

Y1 - 2017/12

N2 - This chapter analyses the ways in which Scottish, British and European subjectivities are reproduced in The National, an openly pro-Scottish-independence newspaper launched shortly after the unsuccessful independence referendum of September 2014. The term “subjectivities” refers here to the range of “subject positions” (left-wing/right-wing, social-democratic/neoliberal etc.) which the paper makes available to its readers. While the chapter pays due attention to captions and other textual elements – analysed usingtools borrowed from semiotics – its main focus is on the graphic design of the paper’s front covers, most frequently dominated by a single image occupying around three quarters of the available space. These images are subdivided into various categories. The argest group, accounting for around 45% of the total number of covers, features actors mostly from the world of politics. Individual exposure here is intense, with seventeen of the actors accounting for 60% of the images in this group. The second largest group of front-cover images, accounting for around 40% of the overall total, are metaphorical innature and work to provide the larger ideological frame of The National’s journalistic output. Foucauldian discourse analysis is used here to map the discursive universe created in relation to such questions as Scottish independence and the recent UK vote to leave the EU. The clearest finding is that the plasticity of subjectivities – as opposed to the relative fixity of identities – has allowed a debate on nationhood to be simultaneously a debate on political ideologies: social democracy as an alternative to neoliberalism.

AB - This chapter analyses the ways in which Scottish, British and European subjectivities are reproduced in The National, an openly pro-Scottish-independence newspaper launched shortly after the unsuccessful independence referendum of September 2014. The term “subjectivities” refers here to the range of “subject positions” (left-wing/right-wing, social-democratic/neoliberal etc.) which the paper makes available to its readers. While the chapter pays due attention to captions and other textual elements – analysed usingtools borrowed from semiotics – its main focus is on the graphic design of the paper’s front covers, most frequently dominated by a single image occupying around three quarters of the available space. These images are subdivided into various categories. The argest group, accounting for around 45% of the total number of covers, features actors mostly from the world of politics. Individual exposure here is intense, with seventeen of the actors accounting for 60% of the images in this group. The second largest group of front-cover images, accounting for around 40% of the overall total, are metaphorical innature and work to provide the larger ideological frame of The National’s journalistic output. Foucauldian discourse analysis is used here to map the discursive universe created in relation to such questions as Scottish independence and the recent UK vote to leave the EU. The clearest finding is that the plasticity of subjectivities – as opposed to the relative fixity of identities – has allowed a debate on nationhood to be simultaneously a debate on political ideologies: social democracy as an alternative to neoliberalism.

KW - Scotland

KW - Independence

KW - press

KW - subjectivity

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DO - 10.23865/noasp.28

M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

SN - 978-82-02-52214-8

SP - 121

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BT - Putting a Face on It

A2 - Kjos Fonn, Birgitte

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PB - Cappelen Damm Akademisk

CY - Oslo

ER -

O'Donnell H. Reading The National: shifting subjectivities in a Stateless Nation. In Kjos Fonn B, Hornmoen H, Hyde-Clarke N, Benestad Hågvar Y, editors, Putting a Face on It: Individual Exposure and Subjectivity in Journalism. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk. 2017. p. 121-156. 6 https://doi.org/10.23865/noasp.28