The culture and discourse of climate skepticism

By November 1, 2010Library

Erb Faculty Member, Andy Hoffman was published in Strategic Organization

Abstract:  Working paper abstract (100-250 words): While the scientific, technical and policy components of the climate change issue are of critical importance, climate change is also a cultural issue. More importantly, it is a highly contested cultural issue in which competing movements engage in discursive debates – or framing battles – over the interpretation of the problem and the necessity of solutions. This dimension of the issue is overlooked because social scientists who can identify and analyze it have been notably absent from the public debate. Even more surprising, they have largely neglected to attend to the issue even within their own academic realms. In fact, our social science discipline either takes a relatively dismissive attitude toward those who challenge the scientific view that climate change is real – dubbed “climate skeptics” – or subscribes to them sinister motives and neglects their beliefs altogether. In this essay, I argue that this neglect is a problem and highlight how researchers can advance their scholarship and social relevance by studying the ongoing debate over climate change.

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