University of Twente Student Theses


Constructions of agency in online discourse about climate change

Franke, T. (2022) Constructions of agency in online discourse about climate change.

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Abstract:This Bachelor thesis analyses how people discursively construct agencies in relation to the issue of climate change. More specifically, this thesis analyses the ways in which individuals present themselves as able or unable when discussing climate change in an online environment. To this end, a social media post from Reddit and its related comments were analysed using discourse analysis. Overall, six types of agencies were identified amongst the data, with „Empty Motivational Talk Agency“ appearing most frequently. Five agencies portrayed people as being in charge, while the sixth constructed people as having „Anxious Diminished Agency“. Despite some limitations, the findings of this study might provide ground for new ideas on the themes, feelings and agencies people express in conversations about climate change. As the results implied that online exchange about climate change can be quite individualistic and superficial, more attention could be given to changing this way of discussing climate change. For example, climate change discussions of less studied cultures could be assessed to better understand the varied ways in which climate change is discussed. By gaining this deeper understanding, it might be possible to create climate discourse in which everyone is included and addressed in their current state.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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