The meanings of values in a wet tropics world heritage context: social representations and rhetoric

Dillon, Denise, Reser, Joseph, and Cottrell, David (2005) The meanings of values in a wet tropics world heritage context: social representations and rhetoric. In: Proceedings of the Ecopolitics XVI Conference. - . From: Ecopolitics XVI: transforming environmental governance for the 21st century, 4-6 July 2005, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Greenspeak is a term coined to encompass all the ways in which environmental issues are presented. Much of the rhetoric used in the discourse of environmentalism has become commonplace and universalised. Wittgenstein’s famous declaration, that word meanings are defined by the situations in which they are used and by the effects that result from hearing them, has a modern echo. Those who consider that Greenspeak is becoming ersatz involvement have also voiced concerns that “buzzwords” or “catchwords” become part of everyday discourse with the inherent danger that such terms come to be thought of as poorly defined and inconsequential. The example of the use of the term values, in a World Heritage context, offers a window of insight into the processes by which inchoate meaning develops and transforms through the act of transference. Efforts are made to make such terminology transparent across disciplines and between those involved in science, management and policy making, by making language both descriptive and proscriptive. That is, research scientists, managers and policy-makers tell us what is and what ought to be. Scientists use specific terminology to describe environmental conditions, policy-makers target management goals, and managers target and evaluate outcomes. The public rely on such terminology to form and discuss expectations and evaluations of science as it is filtered down into social knowledge. Additionally, community beliefs and assumptions can also influence scientific reasoning and research programs, depending on social interaction dynamics. Two separate issues are addressed in this paper; the first issue is the diversity in the representation of the term values in the context of World Heritage Wet Tropics, the second issue is of the measurement and representation of values relating to the natural environment and World Heritage. Social representations theory offers a social-constructionist approach to meaning, and attends to the idea that meanings are constructed via the communicative process. Social representations consist of knowledge and beliefs that are central to a culture or community and are socially shared.

Item ID: 9678
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 190295239X
Keywords: environmental values; wet tropics; world heritage; meaning and representation
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2010 04:28
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2099 Other Language, Literature and Culture > 209999 Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 20%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 20%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 80%
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