Environmental communications: The reader’s perspective

Haigh, Matthew (2015). Environmental communications: The reader’s perspective. Semiotica, 207 pp. 233–250.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2015-0046


Connecting reception theory and social semiotics, this article offers a framework for the analysis of hortatory texts. An illustrative case uses the pronouncements of environmental regulators, with the reader group represented by a sample of executives in financial institutions. Although the participants thought the texts important, none had found any use for them. It is unlikely that financial institutions en masse will address environmental issues before and until communicators frame their material in terms of customary financial discourse and investors’ dominant cognitive rationalities. The depth of insights gained suggests wider application of the framework to a range of hortatory texts and authoritative reader groups.

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