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Research article2019Peer reviewed

The evolution of the super-whale. Complexity and simplicity in environmental communication

Singleton, Benedict E.


This article discusses the tendency within environmental communication to homogenise diverse situations. Utilising the case of whale conservation it describes how actors on both sides of the whaling debate utilise the 'super-whale' - a homogenised discursive construct. The article argues that there are pragmatic advantages to such framing of environmental situations but also costs. In the case of whale conservation, the super-whale maintains focus on whaling rather than other, arguably more pressing, threats to whale species. More generally, utilising such framing tactics arguably prevent the voicing of new narratives about the global social order.


Whaling; Whales; Framing; Supermantra; Environmental communication

Published in

Marine Policy
2019, Volume: 99, pages: 170-172

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Swedish Biodiversity Centre

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Media Studies
    Social Anthropology
    Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

    Publication identifier


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