Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica del Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad del Gobierno de España. Proyectos de Investigación Fundamental no Orientada del VI Programa nacional de I+D+i 2008-2011, convocatoria de 2012.

Completion time-frame
From 01/02/2013 to 31/01/2016

RESCLIMA addresses the need to explore how people internalize and express the social representation of climate change in different societies and human groups. Special attention is given to processes that configure representation: scientific transposition, interpretation and the negotiation of meaning. Another area of interest focuses on the exploration and discovery of ‘epidemiologic’ mechanisms responsible for the expansion of layman´s theories that come to be shared by different societies and population groups, regardless of their correspondence with scientific knowledge.  

The relationship between scientific and popular knowledge is complex and should not be understood as a mere transposition of science to society. Today’s societies use concepts, theories and images from the scientific sphere to represent climate change. These become part of the social representations that constitute the basis of the current environmental culture. The logic involved in constructing a popular culture around the ‘object’ of climate change is not identical to its construction as a scientific object. Understanding the epistemology of the popular culture surrounding climate change can improve education and communication regarding the threat it presents.

A) Identify structural elements in the social representation of climate change and evaluate their universal or idiosyncratic nature.
B) Develop a trans-cultural profile of the social representations of climate change in the Ibero-American sphere (Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Brazil).
C) Analyse the influence of different variables on the social representation of climate change.
D) Clarify the relationship between social representations of climate change and social behaviour.
E) Study how media and mediators affect the construction of social representations of climate change.
F) Identify the communication and education patterns that are most cognisant of climate change threats, in order to favour significant changes in citizen lifestyles.

Empirical material will be collected through survey research, discussion groups, questionnaires and analysis of curricular material and the media, following the principle of methodological (qualitative-quantitative) and procedural triangulation.