Authenticity and ‘el pueblo’: The Veiling of Global Interests as Local Interests in the Discourse Surrounding the Referendum on CAFTA-DR in Costa Rica

By Kristin Comeforo.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 9, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 550.591KB).

Kristin Comeforo

Professor, International Business, Berkeley College, New York, NY, USA

Kristin Comeforo is a Professor of Marketing & International Business at Berkeley College, and an Adjunct Lecturer in Media Studies at the City College of New York. She is also finishing her doctoral studies in Communication at Rutgers University where her dissertation, entitled Negotiating the Middle: The Discourses of CAFTA-DR and ALBA in the Battle for Central America is scheduled for completion next spring. Research interests include the social construction of globalization and the political economy of the global media.

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