What Do Workers’ Deserve? Depictions of Wages in Canadian Newspaper Editorials

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 15:15
Oral Presentation
Ellen RUSSELL, wilfrid laurier university, Canada
Brittainy BONNIS, Queen's, Canada
Media coverage concerning wages, strikes and other labour issues helps to shape public debate about what constitutes fair and feasible wages. Our research follows the editorial coverage of wages in the Globe and Mail between 1970 and 2015 to ascertain how the depiction of wage entitlements evolved over this historical period in which real wages stagnated and economic inequality increased markedly. Using critical discourse analysis and framing theory our team has analyzed over 300 editorials over the 45-year time-period to ascertain trends in the editorial assessment of what constitutes appropriate and feasible wages in Canada. Our research suggests that editorial opinion has changed substantially over this time-period, reflecting a shifting perception of workers’ entitlements.