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A Methodology for Mapping Meanings in Text-Based Sustainability Communication
BI Norwegian Business School, Nydalsveien 37, 0484 Oslo, Norway
Received: 29 March 2013; in revised form: 3 May 2013 / Accepted: 21 May 2013 / Published: 4 June 2013
Abstract: In moving society towards more sustainable forms of consumption and production, social learning must play an important role. Making the assumption that it occurs as a consequence of changes in understanding, this article presents a methodology for mapping meanings in sustainability communication texts. The methodology uses techniques from corpus linguistics and framing theory. Two large databases of text were constructed by copying material down from the websites of two different groups of social actors: (i) environmental NGOs and (ii) British green business, and saving it as .txt files. The findings on individual words show that the NGOs and business use them very differently. Focusing on words expressing concern for the natural environment, it is proposed that the two actors also conceptualize their concern differently. Green business’s cognitive system of concern has two well-developed frames; good intentions and risk management. However, three frames—concern for the natural environment, perception of the damage, and responsibility, are light on detail. In contrast, within the NGOs’ system of concern, the frames of concern for the natural environment, perception of the damage and responsibility, contain words making detailed representations.
Keywords: social learning; meaning; sustainability communication; text; corpus linguistics; framing; sustainable business; NGOs; stakeholder dialogue
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MDPI and ACS Style
Brown, M. A Methodology for Mapping Meanings in Text-Based Sustainability Communication. Sustainability 2013, 5, 2457-2479.
Brown M. A Methodology for Mapping Meanings in Text-Based Sustainability Communication. Sustainability. 2013; 5(6):2457-2479.
Brown, Mark. 2013. "A Methodology for Mapping Meanings in Text-Based Sustainability Communication." Sustainability 5, no. 6: 2457-2479.