The current study focuses on mainstream and alternative discourse surrounding the referendum on CAFTA-DR scheduled for October 2007. A frame analysis of government, mainstream news media, and alternative media sources was conducted, which illuminated several framing strategies that illustrate the interplay and rivalry between global and local discourses, and the competing interests between the elite capital class and the popular working class. Largely, the discourse focused on the legitimacy of not only the referendum itself, but also on what would serve as a legitimate resolution to the issue of CAFTA-DR. From the idea of legitimacy grew a sentiment of authenticity, which inspired both “pro” and “anti” CAFTA-DR actors to mobilize the discourse of “el pueblo” as a rationale for their respective positions. While constructed in different ways, the discourse of “el pueblo” is significant for it illuminates the ways in which global discourses (in this case neoliberalism) have increasingly come to challenge and, in the case of the mainstream Costa Rican newspaper La Nación, to dominate, local discourses.
|Keywords:||Neoliberalism, Globalization, Resistance, Social Movements, Discourse, Frame Analysis|
Professor, International Business, Berkeley College, New York, NY, USA
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