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Researching visual representations of climate change

Culloty, Eileen orcid logoORCID: 0000-0001-7960-8462, Murphy, Padraig orcid logoORCID: 0000-0001-6268-6579, Brereton, Pat orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-1681-7202, Suiter, Jane orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-2747-8069, Smeaton, Alan F. orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-1028-8389 and Zhang, Dian orcid logoORCID: 0000-0001-5659-5865 (2018) Researching visual representations of climate change. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture . ISSN 1752-4032

This paper responds to calls for greater clarity about the application of theory and method in research on mediated communication about climate-change. Specifically, it identifies conceptual and methodological challenges for researching visual representations of climate change. We suggest current research is impeded by a lack of methodological explication and an unclear relationship between theories of visual meaning and the application of social science methods such as content analysis and frame analysis. As a first step towards addressing these issues, we review existing research to identify the methodological procedures that require explication in order to support the replication of studies and the comparison of findings. We then draw on the seminal work of Roland Barthes to examine how theories of visual meaning may be integrated into social-scientific research methods. Specifically, we demonstrate how Barthes’ concepts of denotation, connotation and mythology may be related to research concerns about the selection of visual content, the classification of image frames, audience responses, and analyses of ideological meaning. The conclusion highlights further possibilities for developing a robust form of visual analysis that meets the standards of social scientific research while addressing the fundamental insights about visual meaning derived from cultural theories of meaning.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Visual analysis; Climate Change; Environmental Communication; Semiotics
Subjects:Social Sciences > Communication
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Engineering and Computing > School of Computing
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Communications
Research Institutes and Centres > INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Official URL:https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2018.1533877
Copyright Information:©2018 Taylor & Francis
ID Code:22886
Deposited On:19 Dec 2018 11:56 by Doras Dcu . Last Modified 05 Oct 2022 14:04

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