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Seeing GreenThe Use and Abuse of American Environmental Images$
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Finis Dunaway

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226169903

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226169934.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 02 December 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Seeing Green
Author(s):

Finis Dunaway

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226169934.003.0017

The introduction begins with an overview of the book’s methods, sources, and argument. Rather than presenting pictures as mere illustrations, this book instead considers images as active rhetorical agents. Media images do not simply illustrate environmental politics, but also act as politics by naturalizing particular meanings of environmentalism. Following this discussion, the introduction outlines the book’s three major themes: the emotions and public life; the shifting meanings of environmental citizenship; and the limits of media representation. Often missing from other histories of environmentalism, these themes help illuminate the prospects and limits of mainstream images. The introduction also discusses some of the recurring motifs in popular environmental imagery: the focus on children as emblems of universal vulnerability; the emphasis on individual action and personal responsibility; and the neglect of power relations and structural inequities. Finally, the introduction explains the concept of slow violence and notes the representational challenges posed by the gradually-escalating problems of the environmental crisis.

Keywords:   media images, environmentalism, emotions, public life, environmental citizenship, children, universal vulnerability, individual responsibility, slow violence

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