The unsaid : when climate change hits home
Rutledge, Amber Dawn
MetadataShow full item record
Subjectclimate change communication; climate change engagement; disavowal; discursive psychology; ecopsychology; psychoanalysis
This study uses an in-depth Dialogic Relational Interview method to explore how six residents who experienced flooding in their homes engaged with the 2013 Calgary flood as a climate-change event. Drawing on the theory and methods of psychoanalysis and discursive psychology, transcript analysis revealed an underlying pattern of inconsistent and unstable engagement. Participants held split narratives of climate change (weather weirding and apocalyptic loss); employed defensive interpretative strategies that disavowed the reality of the flood as a climate-change event; and invested in identity narratives that functioned to keep climate change unspoken. These findings suggest that participants may be living in a culture of disavowal, wherein certain aspects of reality are acknowledged, while other aspects are disowned. Based on this and other recent research, a framework for climate-change engagement is presented. It emphasizes supporting audiences to face the realities of climate change by focusing on authentic engagement and expanding climate-change identities.
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