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DRAWING THE ENVIRONMENT: Construction of Environmental Challenges by Greenpeace and WWF via Facebook
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Environmental challenges do not exist around by themselves. They are constructed andput in our mind by the key stakeholders, who draw public attention to certain issues. People experience the world through the words of others. Construction of environmental concerns is an ever ongoing process, and we need to be aware about things that can change. In the 60s the world was concerned about limited number of issues, whilst today the planet seems to shout from pain, though in fact amount of problems have hardly raised. It is environmental organizations’ desert that people managed to raise their awareness about the world. This study exposes social constructs of environmental challenges created and narrated through social media by two leading environmental organizations, Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature. For this purpose, theories of social constructionism and agenda setting serve as the main theoretical framework. Therefore, most actively social media used by ENGOs was identified to be Facebook. The insight to the topic was provided by the content analysis of status updates from both organizations’ fan pages for the period from September 2009 to May 2012. It showed that social constructs of environmental challenges are not equally distributed in the world and number of concerns is disregarded. ENGOs do hope that regular citizens can contribute to sustainability, by giving real support to the projects which aim to have impact on policy makers. Our awareness let changes on the governmental level happen, as ‘when ENGOs speak, people debate, and policy makershear’. Thereby, through media construction of challenges solutions to them are articulated as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Environmental Communication, Social construction, Agenda Setting, Social Media
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-185592OAI: diva2:572504
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-11-28 Created: 2012-11-26 Last updated: 2012-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Drawing the environment: construction of environmental challenges by Greenpeace and WWF via Facebook(1071 kB)555 downloads
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