White Gold or Fool's Gold? An analysis of the textual representation of GM cotton production in Burkina Faso
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This study uses Foucauldian Discourse Analysis to examine textual representations of genetically modified cotton production in Burkina Faso. Media, organizational, and academic sources are included in the analysis. Three main discourses are identified from the chosen texts: “Poor, Smallholder Farmers as Justification” explores the power corporate actors exercise in the creation of promotional narratives; “The Textual Silencing of Poor Producers” describes the way in which the use of language can make certain stakeholders invisible; and “Cotton Production as Incontestable” reveals the power that the cotton sector itself holds in the discourses. These discourses provide a basic understanding of power relations surrounding GM cotton production in Burkina Faso, an important aspect to consider when regarding the Burkinabe GMO experience as a model for other African nations. This study can be used as an overview of textual representations of GM cotton in Burkina Faso, as well as an introduction to the power structures existing within the discourse.
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