Natural versus anthropogenic climate change: Swedish farmers’ joint construction of climate perceptions

Therese Asplund

While previous research into understandings of climate change has usually examined general public perceptions, this study offers an audience-specific departure point. This article analyses how Swedish farmers perceive climate change and how they jointly shape their understandings. The agricultural sector is of special interest because it both contributes to and is directly affected by climate change. Through focus group discussions with Swedish farmers, this study finds that (1) farmers relate to and understand climate change through their own experiences, (2) climate change is understood either as a natural process subject to little or no human influence or as anthropogenic and (3) various communication tools contribute to the formation of natural and anthropogenic climate change frames. The article ends by discussing frame resonance and frame clash in public understanding of climate change and by comparing potential similarities and differences in how various segments of the public make sense of climate change.

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