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Influence of labeling and incivility on climate change communication

Howarth, Candice and Sharman, Amelia (2017) Influence of labeling and incivility on climate change communication Oxford Encyclopedia of Climate Communication, 1.

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Labels play an important role in opinion formation, helping to actively construct perceptions and reality, and place individuals into context with others. As a highly complex issue, climate change invites a range of different opinions and dialogues about its causes, impacts and action required. Much work has been published in the academic literature aiming to categorise differences of opinion about climate change using labels. However, the debate about labels acts as a distraction to more fundamental and pressing issues of policy response (Howarth and Sharman, 2015). In addition, the undercurrent of incivility present in the climate change debate also contributes towards a hostile and unconstructive conflict. This is an evolving area of academic enquiry. Recent work has examined how the different labels of climate change opinions are constructed, used in practice and portrayed differently in the public and policy spheres. The growing number of categorisation systems used in the climate debate is also argued to have implications for the science-policy interface, creating a polarised debate involving many different actors and interfaces. Moving away from unhelpful use and construction of labels which lead to incivility would enable constructive and fruitful dialogue across this polarised debate. A way forward would be to explore further the role of underlying motivations and rationales as to why these different opinions about climate change come to exist in the first place. Focusing on potential overlaps in perceptions and rationales may encourage constructive discussion amongst actors previously engaged in purposefully antagonistic exchange on climate change.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Authors :
Sharman, Amelia
Date : February 2017
DOI : 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.382
Copyright Disclaimer : © Oxford University Press USA, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited. Please see applicable Privacy Policy and Legal Notice (for details see Privacy Policy).
Uncontrolled Keywords : Climate change debate; Labels; Opinion; Incivility; Communication
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 14 Jul 2017 09:23
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:54

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