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“Do you believe in climate change?” Swedish farmers’ joint construction of climate perceptions
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)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change has shifted from being regarded as an exclusively physical phenomenon to being a social phenomenon as well, entailing many interpretations and multidimensional frames. This shift calls for an understanding of how various audiences and segments of the public understand climate change. This paper analyses how Swedish farmers perceive climate change and how they jointly shape and construct their understandings. The agricultural sector is of special interest because it both contributes to and is directly affected by climate change impact. Through focus group discussions with Swedish farmers, this study finds that: 1) farmers relate to and understand climate change through their own experience, and 2) climate change is understood either as a natural process subject to little or no human influence or as anthropogenic. The article ends by discussing frame resonance and frame clash in public understandings of climate change, and by comparing potential similarities and differences in how various segments of the public make sense of climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Agriculture, climate change communication, climate perceptions, focus groups, frame analysis
National Category
Media Studies Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105995OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-105995DiVA: diva2:712689
Available from: 2014-04-16 Created: 2014-04-16 Last updated: 2014-04-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Climate change frames and frame formation: An analysis of climate change communication in the Swedish agricultural sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate change frames and frame formation: An analysis of climate change communication in the Swedish agricultural sector
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

While previous research into understandings of climate change has usually examined general public perceptions and mainstream media representations, this thesis offers an audience-specific departure point by analysing climate change frames and frame formation in Swedish agriculture. The empirical material consists of Swedish farm magazines’ reporting on climate change, as well as eight focus group discussions among Swedish farmers on the topic of climate change and climate change information. The analysis demonstrates that while Swedish farm magazines frame climate change in terms of conflict, scientific uncertainty, and economic burden, farmers in the focus groups tended to concentrate on whether climate change was a natural or human-induced phenomenon, and viewed climate change communication as an issue of credibility. It was found that farm magazines use metaphorical representations of war and games to form the overall frames of climate change. In contrast, the farmers’  frames of natural versus human-induced climate change were formed primarily using experience-based and non-experience-based arguments, both supported with analogies, distinctions, keywords, metaphors, and prototypical examples. Furthermore, discussions of what constitutes credible climate information centred on conflict-versus consensus-oriented frames of climate change communication along with different views of the extent to which knowledge of climate change is and should be practically or analytically based. This analysis of climate change communication in the Swedish agricultural sector proposes that the sense-making processes of climate change are complex, involving associative thinking and experience-based knowledge that form interpretations of climate change and climate change information.

Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen studerar uppfattningar om klimatförändringar och bidrar med sin målgruppsorienterade utgångspunkt till tidigare forskning kring hur klimatförändringar kan förstås och uppfattas. Avhandlingen studerar klimatkommunikation inom den svenska lantbrukssektorn genom analyser av 10 års klimatrapportering i tidningarna ATL samt Land Lantbruk, samt åtta fokusgruppsdiskussioner med svenska lantbrukare. Analysen visar att medan svensk lantbruksmedia ramade in klimatförändringar som en fråga om konflikter, vetenskaplig osäkerhet och ekonomisk börda, rörde lantbrukarnas diskussioner om klimatförändringar (i) dess orsaker; naturliga eller antropogena, (ii) olika faktorer som påverkar huruvida klimatinformation anses trovärdig. Därtill visar avhandlingen att lantbrukstidningar använde krigs- och spelmetaforer för att gestalta klimatförändringar medan lantbrukarna formade klimatinramningar genom analogier, distinktioner, nyckelord, metaforer och prototypiska exempel. Tillsammans med lantbrukarnas upplevda erfarenheter bildade dessa kommunikativa verktyg olika gestaltningar av klimatförändringar. Lantbrukarna visade på olika uppfattningar kring trovärdighet och klimatinformation. Vanligen efterfrågades ett informationslandskap karaktäriserat av en mångfald av perspektiv. Återkommande i materialet var också uppfattningen att kunskap om klimatförändringar borde vara praktiskt baserad snarare än teoretisk hållen för att öka i trovärdighet. Denna avhandling kring klimatkommunikation inom den svenska lantbrukssektorn pekar på komplexiteten i tolkningsprocesser och visar att associativt tänkande och erfarenhetsbaserad kunskap tillsammans utgör grunden för hur klimatförändringar och klimatinformation uppfattas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 84 + Appendicies A and B p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 619
Keyword
Climate change communication, frame analysis, Swedish agriculture, farm magazines, focus groups, Klimatförändringar, kommunikation, frame analys, Svenskt lantbruk, lantbrukstidningar, fokusgrupper
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105997 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-105997 (DOI)978-91-7519-320-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-23, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-04-16 Created: 2014-04-16 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved

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Asplund, Therese

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