Having a laugh? the role of humour in adolescents’ climate change communication
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This mixed methods study was guided by the research question: How does the use of humour in secondary students’ communications about climate change relate to their feelings and actions towards climate change? It used an experimental approach to compare the experiences of two groups of Grade 11 students in creating a video concept about climate change targeted to their peers. Ten themes emerged from the qualitative data, with Humour and Burden both providing links between Engagement-related feelings and actions and Dissociation/Distancing-related feelings and actions. Relevant literature generally cautions against using humour in science communications as it may undermine the seriousness of the message, but this study has revealed that humour can play an important role in coping and maintaining engagement with climate change, and strengthening group cohesion. Recommendations for future research are provided, as well as suggestions for bringing the results into Environmental Education and Communications practice.
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