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Picturing two modernities

Ecological modernisation and the media imagery of climate change

Jarkko Kangas

Abstract

The article analyses the discursive roles of two prominent themes of the habitual media climate change imagery: “the smokestack” and “renewable energy”. Through semiotic analysis of connotation and thematic content analysis of images in The Guardian, the article argues that the constant reliance on these two themes and the particular ways of representing them sustain a definition of climate change as a technological dualism. The article argues further that this dualism of “dirty” and “clean” technologies, as the predominant way of visualising direct causes of and responses to climate change, articulates ecological modernisation discourse and its central storyline of progressing from “defiling growth” toward “sustainable development” (Hajer, 1995). The article suggests (1) further research on conventional thematic imageries as a meaningful approach to studying policy discourses and (2) the relevance of applying concepts of policy research to understanding and challenging the political bearings of prominent visualisations.

Open access

Zafiropoulou Maria and Papachristopoulos Konstantinos

Abstract

The use of new communications technologies and social media, in Greece, during the time of crisis, has led to the development of numerous online informal Civil Society Networks (CSNs) (i.e. networking-building platforms, self - organized groups in Facebook, forums, exchange platforms) proposing a rethinking of the status quo of formal civil organizations. This research, utilizing the methodology of discourse analysis, aims at summarizing the rise of these networks in Greece that incorporates both solidarity initiatives and autonomous political/economic spaces and identify the indicative predictive factors of their survival and growth. Some basic conclusions that have been drawn through this research is that alternative online networks can be proven as indicative sign of the social dynamism of a given period but in order to be resilient and sustainable they should develop focal points of physical reference, pursue national representation, focus mainly on monothematic goods/services and cultivate, in several cases, links with relevant social movements and local or national NGOs. A general induction through this research is that a CSN, during this current crisis, stands between two classical models of reference in a society seeking modernity and flexibility and can be considered as a proposed type of effective experimentation and mobilization that can pursue common social goals and serve needs of deprived people. Some issues that still remain underexplored and need further elaboration are social and political identity of participants, the potential links with local, national and international communities, the functional balance between structure and flexibility as well as the efficient distribution of energy between solidarity and protest.