ABOUT THIS BOOK
A broader and more comprehensive understanding of how we communicate with each other about the natural world and our relationship to it is essential to solving environmental problems. How do individuals develop beliefs and ideologies about the environment? How do we express those beliefs through communication? How are we influenced by the messages of pop culture and social institutions? And how does all this communication become part of the larger social fabric of what we know as "the environment"?
Communicating Nature explores and explains the multiple levels of everyday communication that come together to form our perceptions of the natural world. Author Julia Corbett considers all levels of communication, from communication at the individual level, to environmental messages transmitted by popular culture, to communication generated by social institutions including political and regulatory agencies, business and corporations, media outlets, and educational organizations.
The book offers a fresh and engaging introductory look at a topic of broad interest, and is an important work for students of the environment, activists and environmental professionals interested in understanding the cultural context of human-nature interactions.
"Traditionally, Nature's beauty has been in the eye of the beholder, when not in the wayof the bulldozer. Now, Julia Corbett turns a scientist's eye to how we communicate with each other about the natural world. Her astute and deep analysis is greatly needed. …."
— Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods
"Corbett gives practical advice in this text for her students in environmental studies ... The author explores attitudes toward the environment from lawn care at home to ecotourism. Valuable for graduate and undergraduate students as well as the lay public and organizations concerned with the environment. Summing Up: Recommended."
"Corbett's book is carefully researched and thoughtfully presented...her overall tone is unflinchingly objective...Communicating Nature is extremely successful at laying bare the messages that shape our attitudes."
— Quarterly Review of Biology
"For those involved with the communication of nature, this is an important book. No matter where your particular point of view fits into the spectrum of environmental ideology, understanding how your beliefs were formed and how they color your views of the natural world is important."
— Science Books & Films
"… theoretically sound and immediately practical. [Professor Corbett] has writtenan excellent textbook, filled with fun little gems of activities that will encourage studentsto complement the content knowledge [she] provides with their own personal experiences."
— Tarla Rai Peterson, Texas A&M University; editor of Green Talk in the White House
"This is a wonderful book for any student of the environment.... Julia Corbett provides a valuable text exploring issues ranging from the morality of zoos to our consumer society and the 'buyosphere.' Readers will come away with a new understanding of nature and culture."
— Susan K. Jacobson, University of Florida; author of Communication Skills for Conservation Professionals
"This focus on the role of communication—in its broadest sense—in the construction ofenvironmental beliefs and behaviors will be… a must-read for environmental communicationstudents and practitioners."
— Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Communicating Nature is a timely and important book on a subject that has received relatively little critical attention. This book… should be of great value to people interestedin promoting and marketing more responsible and effective resource management andenvironmental conservation."
— Stephen R. Kellert, Yale University; author of Building for Life
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: The Formation of Environmental Beliefs
Development of Environmental Belief Systems
Childhood and Nature
Sense of Place
Historical and Cultural Context
Chapter 2: A Spectrum of Environmental Ideologies
Ethics and Values-driven Ideologies
Native American Ideologies
Eastern Religious Traditions
Shared Concepts in Eastern Traditions
Chapter 3: The Links Between Environmental Attitude and Behavior
Environmental Attitudes and the People Who Hold Them
Opinions and the Environment
Environmental Concern Over Time
The Links Between Attitudes and Behaviors
Influences Upon Attitude
Types of Pro-Environmental Behavior
Habit and Routine
Approaches to Changing Behavior
Chapter 4: Work and Consumer Culture
Work vs. Leisure
This Thing Called Work
Consumption and Daily Life
Development of the "Buyosphere"
Why We Buy
Consumption as Process, Not Purchase
Working or Playing in Nature
Chapter 5: Leisure in Nature as Commodity and Entertainment
Leisure: Busy and Commodified
A Long Affair with Lawns and Landscapes
What Disney Has Given Us
Television and Films
Themes for Environmental Movies
Pilgrims and Pilgrimages
The Visual, Consumable Vacation
The Development of Tourism
The Management of Tourists and Their Experiences
Chapter 6: Faint Green: Advertising and the Natural World
Four Types of Ads Featuring the Environment
Nature as Backdrop
Green Product Attributes
Ads with Combined Appeals
How ¿Green¿ is the Appeal of Ads?
The Phenomenon ¿ and Oxymoron ¿ of Green Ads
The Business of Advertising
Advertising and Education
The Psychology of Advertising
Nature as a Selling Tool
Narcissism in Ads
Nature as Sublime
Disconnecting from Nature
Psychological Elements Working Together
Chapter 7: Communicating the Meaning of Animals
Animals as Symbols and Shorthand
Why Do Animals Matter to Us?
Attitudes Toward Animals
Perceptions of Animals
Good Animal, Bad Animal
Ethical Relations and Animal "Rights"
Media Messages and Animals
News and Animals
Animals and Advertising
The Historical Legs of Zoos
Chapter 8: News Media
News and Social Reality
How Environmental Stories Reach the Media
The Environment Beat
How the Media Choose News
Journalists as "Gatekeepers"
Journalistic Norms: Fairness and Objectivity
Economic Constraints and Advertising Influences
How the Media Report Environmental Stories
Community Structure and Self-interest
How the Media Frame Environmental Stories
Subjective Selection of "Objective" Facts
Internal and External Influences on News Frames
Types and Characteristics of News Frames
Frames Influence Audience Perceptions
¿Guard Dog¿ Media and Social Change
Chapter 9: Battle for Spin: The Public Relations Industry
The PR Goals of Government
The PR Goals of Business
Public Relations: Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics
Public Relations within Organizations
Persuasion and Propaganda
Perception Management and Scientific Uncertainty
Spin: Image vs. Performance
Strategy and Tactics: Getting the Green Word Out
Video News Releases
Trade Association Campaigns
Front Groups and Fake Grassroots
Chapter 10: Communication and Social Change
Changing the Dominant Social Paradigm to an Environmental One
A Taxonomy of Environmental Groups
Informal or Grassroots Groups
Formal or Institutional Groups
Lessons for Movement Communication
Within the Individual
Within the Message
Within the Message Environment
Appeals to Activists
Communication with News Media
Avenues for News
Partial Success for the Environmental Movement
A New Vision for the Communication of Environmental Change
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