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Stellenbosch University (2021)

Media(ted) climate change in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya : reimagining the public for engagement

Okoliko, Dominic Ayegba

Titre : Media(ted) climate change in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya : reimagining the public for engagement

Auteur : Okoliko, Dominic Ayegba

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Doctoral Degree (School of Public Leadership) 2021

Résumé partiel
Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. The rise in global temperature observed in recent decades poses high risks to social and natural systems. It also has exacerbating effects on existing social problems such as poverty, hunger, infrastructural deficit, and human security challenges. The situation is worse for poorer communities, the majority of whom live in the Global South, including Africa, where resilience levels are low. As the global community grapples with addressing the challenge through mitigation and adaptation measures, it is suggested that climate change is an all-encompassing and cross-sectional policy issue. A whole systems approach needed requires input from all relevant stakeholders and at multiple levels. Attention has generally turned to communicative actions as conduits of generating public perception, attitudes, and support for climate policy. Consequently, (mass) media representation of climate change – media(ted) climate change communication (CCC) – has gained attention in the policy corridors and among researchers as an important space where citizens make sense of climate issues. Scholarship in the subject area provides several contributions to our understanding of the role that media play regarding sense-making about climate change and the public. This study focuses on addressing two gaps in the media(ted) CCC literature. First, although, “the public” is featured in media(ted) CCC research as a significant audience, little attention has been given to problematising it as a category of actor constellations engaged in sense-making around climate change governance. Considering that sustainability transitions require an engaged public who are negotiating, endorsing, and legitimising policy options, this study (re)directs attention to how the processes of sense-making in media(ted) CCC reveal positionalities and material realities that condition the climate change discourse. Second, our understanding of how societies in the Global South engage in sense-making around climate change through the media is limited due to a paucity of research interest in the region. In this study, a case is made for media(ted) CCC in Africa whose climate vulnerability is well established and yet has received little scholarly attention.

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Page publiée le 10 avril 2022