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Green Discourse

  • By: Emily Plec
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

“Of our environment, what we say is what we see,” argue communication scholars James Cantrill and Christine Oravec in the introduction to their landmark volume The Symbolic Earth: Discourse and our Creation of the Environment. This statement captures the fundamental principle underlying the concept of green discourse: Language shapes the human experience of, and effect on, the environment. Although ideas about the environment are based in part on material experiences, language and other forms of symbolic expression become the primary means through which experience is interpreted and meaning conveyed to others. When individuals and groups use language and other symbols to influence public thinking and behavior regarding environmental issues, they are producing green discourse. Green discourse refers to the ways in which symbols are mobilized ...

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