Discourses for all


I really liked Hulme’s article because it highlights the importance of discourse and the potential effect it can have on decision making.

Hulme (2011) highlights how by framing the issue of climate change differently, i.e. promoting different discourses. “[Discourses] set the boundaries around how we speak about a given phenomena”(Nielsen, 2014). In each discourse, not to dissimilar from a picture, some components of the image are focused upon, whilst others are ‘fuzzed’ out. Dryzek (1997) characterises discourses as “a shared way of viewing the world”. Continuing with this analogy, Hulme’s contention is that by choosing what fits in our picture frame, and which components are in focus or ‘fuzzed’ one can affect a desired outcome in regards to decision making. For example by framing climate change as a market failure, this discourse may promote economic sanctions such as increased taxation on heavily GHG-emitting industries.

I think that its imperative for the broader scientific community to understand the concept of discourses. There a lot of bright people who want people to recognize their scientific knowledge, and their discoveries, but do not understand the concept of discourses. Understanding how other people frame environmental issues may help scientists better communicate with the wider public

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEB4rAZanpM < – Check this out. A great video about discourses if you didn’t like my picture analogy

Talia =]

DRYZEK, J. 1997. Making sense of Earth’s politics : a discourse approach. Extracts. Cambridge: Cambridge : Oxford University Press.

HULME, M. 2011. You’ve been framed: six new ways to understand climate change. The Conversation, 4.

NIELSEN, T. 2014. The role of discourses in governing forests to combat climate change. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 14, 265-280.

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