Dissertation > Culture, science,education, sports > Information and knowledge dissemination > Information and communication theory > Communication Theory

The Construction and Impact on China’s Green Public Sphere through Environmental Communication

Author XuYingChun
Tutor LiYan
School Zhejiang University
Course Communication
Keywords Environmental Communication China’s Green Public Sphere Traditional Mass Media New Media Environmental NGO Chinese Government Public Construction and Impact
CLC G206
Type PhD thesis
Year 2012
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Environmental Communication is an interdisciplinary new research field in Communication Studies. It explores the relationship between human beings and nature, and the field of social sustainability. Environmental communication studies was emergent in U.S.A in 1980s. Later, the programmes and courses on environmental communication in universities have been established in western countries like America. At the beginning of 21 century, academic conferences about "environment and communication" were held every year and journals on this field were published one by one. Up to now, the research field on environmental communication includes "environmental discourse and rhetoric", "media and environmental journalism", "public participation in environmental decision-making", "social marketing and environmental advocacy campaign", "environmental cooperation and conflict solution", "environmental risk communication" and "mass culture and nature representation in green marketing" etc.Nowadays, environmental communication in China has been started. However, the research field is limited in media and environmental journalism. With the development of China’s comprehensive national power, the government constructs China as an image of "responsible big country" in the whole world. Other than setting environmental protection into legislation, the discourse of economic sustainability has been adopted in all kinds of international conferences, top-class summits and environmental forums. The topic of environmental communication being developed and explored in China is not only necessary to improve environmental protection but also significant for improving national image internationally. Thus, extending present environmental journalism research of environmental communication to richer branch fields is particularly valuable for national development and theories’improvement.This thesis is based on three major dimensions:international literature review; analysis and interpretation; the credibility on the findings and research values. Based on the international literature review, the author analyzes some hot branch research fields on environmental communication, such as the conceptual development of environmental communication; the framework on social and cultural construction of environmental communication; the rhetoric strategy; environmental politics; environmental communication through traditional and new media; environmental risk communication and so on. After that, the author explores the field of environmental communication and China’s green public sphere, and establishes the interactive mechanism between them. More in details, the author discusses and examines the interactivity and impact on China’s green public sphere through environmental communication.The author applies case study method to the research, like the so-called "Public Walking" in Xiamen and Guangdong Fanyu from the perspective of environmental risk. At the same time, the author applies the method of critical discourse analysis into this research, like disclosing how the government’s green language---"energy saving" has been constructed.The author adopts qualitative and quantitative methods and analyzes the impact on China’s green public sphere through mass media, internet new media, Environmental NGOs and the government respectively. This paper reflects and analyzes the green publicity of mass media by examining its environmental communication mechanisms; the co-construction of the green discourse through the cooperation of the traditional and new media; the communication mechanism and media strategies of environmental NGOs; the impact on public green identities through different languages and ways by environmental NGOs, the characteristics and mechanism of governmental environmental communication, and so on.In order to prove the credibility of the research findings, the author did questionnaires and deep interviews for the commons, environmental journalistic reporters, environmental NGOs so as to collect rich first-hand data. As the author has working experience for mass media and environmental NGOs, there are positive interactivity when contacting national environmental reporters and NGOs, which guaretees credible origins of theories and practice.The author not only introduces the concept of environmental communication and methods in detail but also brings up quite a few theoretical innovations, and analyzes the branch fields and corresponding theoretical frameworks, which offers an example on how to do further research on different branch fields of environmental communication.

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