Consciousness Raising

Achieving_Sustainability_CoverMark S. Meisner “Consciousness Raising,” in Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices, Vol. 1, Ed. Debra Rowe, pp.155-158. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2014.

“As a strategy for social change, consciousness raising can be defined as a form of communication or any activity aimed at increasing people’s awareness of specific conditions and/or ways to address them. In the sustainability context, this means raising awareness about social and environmental issues and problems, as well as about sustainable alternatives. For example, consciousness raising can mean educating people about the risks of biocides and the industrial food system as well as promoting local organic agriculture as an alternative. Either way, the purpose is to get the broader public interested in the cause and then engaged in doing something about it. Consciousness raising is thus a crucial first step in solving social problems….”

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Special: Environmental Communication Research

Here is an interview I did with Florian Kaefer for his Sustainable Futures blog. Sorry, but with a reblog I can’t control how the images are displayed and we are stuck with a massive logo for The IECA and yet another profile picture of me. Your best bet is to head over to the original post as quickly as possible. Then go to The IECA site and join up!

Environmental Communication and Media: Centers, Programs and Resources

Communication@theCenterRonald E. Rice, Mark Meisner, Steve Depoe, Andy Opel, Connie Roser-Renouf, & Debika Shome “Environmental Communication and Media: Centers, Programs and Resources,” Chapter 11 in Communication @ the Center, ed. Steve Jones, pp.137-155. New York: Hampton Press, 2012.

Environmental issues are some of the most global, complex, and significant problems today. They threaten our quality of life, but they are politically polarized and characterized by hyperbole, disinformation, and public skepticism. The media can affect people’s perceptions of the environment (Ader, 1995; Besley & Shanahan, 2004; Corbett & Durfee, 2004; O’Donnell & Rice, 2008) given that many Americans live in urban settings with little direct experience of the outdoors. Media in the broadest sense of the term-including books, magazines, films, television, news, Internet websites, videogames, and podcasts-are for many people a major source of environmental information. Moreover, media appear to play an important role in winning public support for environmental movements (Brulle & Jenkins, 2008). The media’s role as attitude changer is particularly important within the context of contemporary environmental problems, which are perceived to be both abstract and distant (whether in place or time) by many Americans. Public reaction to environmental news also has the indirect effect of generating additional news, hus raising the agenda even more and therefore influencing politicians and policy makers (Dasgupta, Laplante, & Meisner, 2000)….

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Environmental Art Discussion

Gas station wrapped in fabric

The Syracuse, NY gas station that got wrapped.

Here is a video about environmental art and its role in questioning and shifting culture and values. It features Jennifer Marsh’s 2007-2009 Gas Station Project in Syracuse to wrap an abandoned gas station in my neighborhood with panels of various fabrics. In addition to an interview with Jennifer, you can watch me and my student Caroline Massa talk about the project and environmental art in general.


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Wild Words: Nature, Language, and Outdoor Education

Mark Meisner “Wild Words: Nature, Language, and Outdoor Education,” Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, Vol.5, No.5, pp.5-11, 1993.

Reprinted in Talking Leaves: A Seasonal Journal of the Institute for Earth Education, pp.14-21, Summer 1994. Continue reading