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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Critical, Engaged and Change-oriented Scholarship in Environmental Communication. Six Methodological Dilemmas to Think with

Joosse, Sofie; Powell, Stina; Bergea, Hanna; Bohm, Steffen; Calderon, Camilo; Caselunghe, Elvira; Fischer, Anke; Grubbstrom, Ann; Hallgren, Lars; Holmgren, Sara; Lof, Annette; Kallstrom, Helena Nordstrom; Raitio, Kaisa; Senecah, Susan; Kanarp, Christoffer Soderlund; von Essen, Erica; Westberg, Lotten; Westin, Martin


While calls for critical, engaged and change-oriented scholarship in environmental communication (EC) abound, few articles discuss what this may practically entail. With this article, we aim to contribute to a discussion in EC about the methodological implications of such scholarship. Based on our combined experience in EC research and drawing from a variety of academic fields, we describe six methodological dilemmas that we encounter in our research practice and that we believe are inherent to such scholarship. These dilemmas are (1) grasping communication; (2) representing others; (3) involving people in research; (4) co-producing knowledge; (5) engaging critically; and (6) relating to conflict. This article does not offer solutions to these complex dilemmas. Rather, our dilemma descriptions are meant to help researchers think through methodological issues in critical, engaged and change-oriented EC research. The article also helps to translate the dilemmas to the reality of research projects through a set of questions, aimed to support a sensitivity to, and understanding of, the dilemmas in context.


Critical; engaged; change-oriented; methodology; dilemmas

Published in

Environmental Communication
2020, Volume: 14, number: 6, pages: 758-771