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Framing Climate Change on the Websites of Consequential Organisations: A Comparative Perspective amongst China, South Africa, and the US
van Jaarsveldt, Leon
van Jaarsveldt, Leon
sociological theory of fields
|Issue Date: ||2019-09-05 17:24:54 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract: ||This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge by examining how the websites of consequential corporations, eNGOs and political parties across the socio-politically distinct nations of China, South Africa and the US frame their positions to climate change. The study uses a mixed-method approach that drew from van Gorp’s (2010) inductive-deductive approach to framing theory, the sociological theory of fields and supplementary archival analysis. The study asks three research questions.|
The first question asks what the reasoning devices and framing devices are like in the consequential actors’ framing of climate change. The findings show four dominant frames. The public accountability and governance frame identified the problem of climate change as being due to corporate-produced GHG emissions, pollutants or carbon footprints that caused ecological or environmental damage. Perceiving the need for better legal compliance, applicants of this frame offered policy solutions. Data, hedging devices, scientific evidence and metaphors often accompanied the statements. The economic development and competitiveness frame defined the problem as due to the increasing costs from environmental legislation. Evaluating the need for more sustainable profitability, solutions included cost-cutting, efficiency investments, and exploring new markets. The social progress frame defined the problem as negative social impacts. Seeing the need to build social resilience in harmony with nature, applicants proposed solutions for social development and technological innovation. The environmental ethics and morality frame defined the problem as environmental damage and biodiversity losses from ignored environmental limits, mining, fracking and industrial activities. To institute an environmental ethic, applicants of the frame proposed conservation, environmental protection, rehabilitation and environmental education as solutions.
The second question asks how the framing of climate change by consequential actors reflect the socio-political context. In China, actors preferred an assertive application of public accountability and governance and social progress frames. This finding was reflected in the national legislative and governance documents which called for social modernisation under the law. In South Africa, actors overwhelmingly preferred the social progress frame with an emphasis on building social resilience. Archival data from both political and civic actors reflected these findings. In the US, the broader distribution of frames reflected a national political split. Actors applying the public accountability and governance frame as well as the economic development and competitiveness frames tended to hedge their statements often. In all national cases, eNGOs preferred the environmental morality and ethics frame and often used emotional appeals.
The third research question asks how consequential actors’ framing of climate change is similar or different across and within nations. Four hypotheses were evaluated. First, the findings suggested that China and the US have a similar preference for public accountability and governance frame. This finding could be due to their similar environmental histories. Second, South African consequential actors overwhelming preferred the social progress frame. This finding was in line with the national emphasis on social development. Third, the study found that the US made the most applications of the economic development and competitiveness frame, with mostly corporate actors and the Republican party applying it. Finally, the US also made most applications of the environmental morality and ethics frame, while China made the least. These findings have implications for the successful adoption of climate change solutions.
|Reference: ||1991 Beijing ministerial declaration on environment and development. (1991). Paper presented at the Beijing, Peoples Republic of China, Ministerial Conference of (41 Ministers of) Developing Countries on Environment and Development.|
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|Source URI: ||http://thesis.lib.nccu.edu.tw/record/#G1012655122|
|Data Type: ||thesis|
|Appears in Collections:||[亞太研究英語博/碩士學位學程(IDAS/IMAS) ] 學位論文|
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