Climate education has grown exponentially in the last decade as the pressure to act on climate change increases. The complexities and scope of the climate crisis is significant, and therefore the importance of educating each other about it must expand and continue. An ethnographic research study of this media niche will align with Airoldi’s suggestion that a distinction between contextual fields of online communities and meta-fields stemming from scattered communicative content, is necessary to understanding users’ online social practices. A field map has been delineated to secure boundaries in understanding the following fields of inquiry:
- How can climate education content be engaging for a broad audience?
- How have other platforms succeeded?
- What engages the non-environmentalist?
- Is there a favour for historical/current events/theories/concepts
- How are they best communicated? Video/infographic/magazines
This research will be conducted through a participatory approach as I will build my online persona within the niche. I will engage with the niche through an Instagram platform called ‘The Hopeful Environmentalist’.
I aim to observe similar platforms and what techniques they use to engage large audiences. I will attempt to use a range of techniques myself including infographics, sharing current events, and relevant quotes from key personas in the niche to monitor the levels of engagement I have with my audience through Instagram analytics.
Through an autoethnographic approach, the climate education niche will be critically observed through a constructivist theoretical framework with a focus on qualitative data. By problematising the niche, I hope to build skills in:
The Digital Artefact will emphasise inclusivity and will be ethically aware of confidentiality, harm, and honesty. The final project will collate all methodological notes with additional research to better understand the ways in which climate education can reach a broader audience.
Airoldi, M., 2018. Ethnography and the digital fields of social media. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 21(6), pp.661-673.
Ellis, C., Adams, T.E. and Bochner, A.P., 2011. Autoethnography: an overview. Historical social research/Historische sozialforschung, pp.273-290.