Environmental Destruction versus Responsible Trade versus Domestic Bliss: Assessing the Representation of Risk in Civil Society, Aboriginal, Industry and Government Bitumen Sands Advertising

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Title: Environmental Destruction versus Responsible Trade versus Domestic Bliss: Assessing the Representation of Risk in Civil Society, Aboriginal, Industry and Government Bitumen Sands Advertising
Authors: Nichol, Laura
Date: 2016-04-04
Abstract: Alberta’s bitumen sands have become a flash point for political action and campaigning in the debate around Canada’s energy future. The stakes are high and contested, yet the public has been witness to an increasing prevalence of promotional and marketing-oriented information on the issue. This study utilizes risk society theory, social constructionism and agnotology theory to explore the representation of risk in paid bitumen sands advertisements collected online between January 01, 2014 and August 31, 2015. Utilizing a mixed method approach of content and discourse analysis, the study assesses illustrative examples of the most frequently referenced risk topic in civil society, Aboriginal, industry and government ads. The results show that the top bitumen sand mythologies present a conflict over risks to the environment and local communities, versus risks to responsible trade and domestic bliss. These mythologies perpetuate opposing ideologies about the human-nature relationship – a view of nature as a resource for commodification; versus a view of nature as a divine resource requiring protection.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34907
CollectionCommunication - Mémoires // Communication - Research Papers
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