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The role climate fiction can play in affecting readers climate change emotions : A qualitative study

Deetzen, Laura von (2023) The role climate fiction can play in affecting readers climate change emotions : A qualitative study.

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Abstract:Since anthropogenic climate change continues to pose a high risk for the earth and its inhabitants, it is not surprising that this evokes all kinds of emotions such as climate anxiety. It has often been claimed that climate fiction, which is a loose umbrella term for fictional literature that deals with climate change and its consequences, could be a great tool to deal with difficult climate change emotions. This is because it has been hypothesized that this kind of literature is uniquely suitable to help readers comprehend climate change and its vast consequences on a cognitive and emotional level. However, there seems to be a research gap concerning the individual experiences readers of climate fiction go through. Therefore, this study aimed to qualitatively investigate 30 interviews with climate fiction readers. A Thematic Analysis was conducted to investigate how climate fiction readers describe the influence these novels might have had on their climate change emotions. This analysis resulted in 14 codes that were organised into the following five themes: Heightened Awareness, Strengthened Negative Feelings, Limited Influence, Inspiration and/or Motivation to Act, and Intensified Connection. Eventually, this study gives more insight into the kind of different climate change emotions that might be evoked by climate fiction. This paper concludes with concrete practical implications for the realm of positive and clinical psychology. Further, suggestions for future research about climate fiction in connection with climate change emotions are given.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 17 linguistics and theory of literature, 18 languages and literature, 70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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