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Classic and cute: Framing biodiversity in Japan through rural landscapes and mascot characters
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5709-0217
2019 (English)In: Popular Communication, ISSN 1540-5702, E-ISSN 1540-5710Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Japan is an active player in international biodiversity politics and has ambitious domestic biodiversity targets. The government considers environmental communication crucial for reaching these. This article analyzes two major frames that state institutions employ for communicating biodiversity: traditional agricultural landscapes called satoyama and embodied mascot characters called yurukyara. Both frames attempt to reach the public by transcending the discursive reality. Employing well-established stylistic devices (court culture, Japanese cute), prestigious metanarratives (Japanese as nature people), and established institutional systems of tourism and governance, the frames have reached huge popularity. Yet awareness surveys indicate that people continue to consider biodiversity a matter of governmental policy rather than individual lifestyle. There has been a clear positive effect on the localities singled out for satoyama campaigns. However, it can be argued that the overall effect of celebratory framing coupled with pleasing aesthetics favors complacency and does not invite new forms of civic mobilization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019.
National Category
Cultural Studies Communication Studies History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-245879DOI: 10.1080/15405702.2019.1567735ISI: 000474733400004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85060590336OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-245879DiVA, id: diva2:1294798
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2017-01293Wenner-Gren Foundations
Note

QC 20190318

Available from: 2019-03-08 Created: 2019-03-08 Last updated: 2019-07-29Bibliographically approved

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