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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

When hope messages become the discursive norm: how repertoires of hope shape communicative capacity in conversations on the circular economy

Åhlvik, Therese; Bergeå, Hanna; Rödl, Malte; Hallgren, Lars


Environmental communication research often conceptualises hope as an internal state of mind, suggesting that messages focused on hope can be used in strategic communication to foster environmental engagement. In this paper, we critique this individualising approach and instead explore hope discourse as an emergent social phenomenon, focusing on how it is constructed and managed in inspirational meetings about the circular economy. Using critical discursive psychology as a methodology, we identify three interpretative repertoires through which hope is constructed: stronger together, change for real, silver lining. We explore what is accomplished by their use, and discuss the social implications within the meetings and beyond. The repertoires facilitate a positive meeting experience and solidarity amongst participants. However, hope discourse also relies on abstraction which prohibits disagreement, critique, and talk about concrete actions.


critical discursive psychology; circular economy; environmental communication; hope discourse; inspirational meetings

Published in

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
2024, Volume: 67, number: 9, pages: 2017-2034