Television and the Public Sphere: Relationships of Power and Resistance in Contemporary New Zealand Television
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.