Understanding the social dynamics of climate change through analyses of discourse

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Analyses of discourse surrounding climate change is a vital, but understudied, area of environmental and social psychology. Discursive and narrative approaches, with roots in other social sciences but increasingly attracting the attention of psychologists, explore how social actions are justified, legitimised and normalised through talk and text. Such approaches explore language produced by actors at a variety of levels, from the individual (micro) level, to the societal and political (macro) level. In this review, we aim to draw psychologists’ attention to recent discursive and narrative work on the topic of climate change. We summarise the importance of discursive methodologies for understanding and problematising the social dynamics of climate change at macro and micro levels and highlight their implications for intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Early online date31 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021


  • Climate change
  • Discourse
  • Discourse analysis
  • Discursive psychology.
  • Narrative
  • Social construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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