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Social representations of climate change in Swedish lay focus groups: Local or distant, gradual or catastrophic?
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research . Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Public Understanding of Science, ISSN 0963-6625, E-ISSN 1361-6609, Vol. 23, no 2, 204-219 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores social representations of climate change, investigating how climate change is discussed by Swedish laypeople interacting in focus group interviews. The analysis focuses on prototypical examples and metaphors, which were key devices for objectifying climate change representations. The paper analyzes how the interaction of focus group participants with other speakers, ideas, arguments, and broader social representations shaped their representations of climate change. Climate change was understood as a global but distant issue with severe consequences. There was a dynamic tension between representations of climate change as a gradual vs. unpredictable process. Implications for climate change communication are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2014. Vol. 23, no 2, 204-219 p.
Keyword [en]
climate change, focus groups, interaction, metaphor, objectification, social representations
National Category
Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85135DOI: 10.1177/0963662512462787ISI: 000330504500006OAI: diva2:565192
Making sense of climate change: a study of the formation and maintenance of social representations
Swedish Research Council, 2008-1723
Available from: 2012-11-06 Created: 2012-11-06 Last updated: 2014-10-27

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Wibeck, Victoria
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