Risk perceptions and public debates on climate change: a conceptualisation based on the theory of a functionally-differentiated society
AbstractMass media and its mechanisms of production and selection play a crucial role in the definition of climate change risks. Different form of logic in the political, scientific and media systems are vital aspects in the public debate on this issue. A theoretical analysis of these aspects needs a framework in terms of social theory: Luhmann’s concept of a functionally-differentiated society and the mechanisms of structural couplings could help to understand the relations and interplay of these systems in the climate-debate. Based on this framework and various empirical studies, this paper suggests: different logics lead to different climate-definitions in science, politics and mass media. Climate change became interesting, but not until it was located in the political decision-making process. Climate issues become publicly interesting, when they are clear, contentious and can be linked to Elite-Persons. In contrast to scientific communication, news media make great efforts to be clear and definite in their communications.
Articles submitted to MedieKultur should not be submitted to or published in other journals. Articles published in MedieKultur may be used (downloaded) and reused (distributed, copied, cited) for non-commercial purposes with reference to the authors and publication host.
The authors and MedieKultur own the copyright to the published articles and reviews.