Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Television and the Public Sphere: Relationships of Power and Resistance in Contemporary New Zealand Television

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posted on 2023-03-14, 23:28 authored by Cook, Frances

This thesis considers New Zealand television’s public sphere role, by analysing three television programmes in terms of how they enable the exercise of power or resistance. The programmes 7 Days, Campbell Live, and Shortland Street were used as case studies of typical public sphere spaces that are available to the New Zealand public. These programmes were analysed in terms of Foucault’s concepts of power and resistance as active exercises that are present in all interrelations. The research found that the programmes were sites of both the exercising of power and the possibility of resistance, as they each worked to circulate competing discourses that subjects could take up to reinforce existing power structures or to resist the exercise of power upon them. Despite this conflicted nature, each programme was found to circulate these competing discourses in a manner that accommodated critical positions and discourses, as well as reinscribing normative power relations.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Media Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Schirato, Tony