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dc.contributor.authorVolkening, Lisa Slawter
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation explores the possibility for green consumption to function as a rhetoric of environmental change. The major focus is the rhetorical significance of affective feeling in addition to ideological meaning. Rather than reject the environmentalist potential of green consumption due to its ideological and representational shortcomings, this project takes the popularity and attractiveness of the practice seriously and tries to understand why it resonates with so many consumers and why this resonance might matter for environmental change. Through a dual rhetorical analysis of the ideological and affective capacity of three case studies, this project reframes the polarized debate over green consumption into a question of how the potentials of the practice may be directed and amplified in support of a more sustainable future. In the case of Brita and Nalgene’s corporate FilterForGood campaign, much of the affective capacity of the rhetoric of green consumption is captured by an ideological perspective that is limited for systemic environmental change, but the feelings of connection and agency with respect to a specific environmental problem may also be significant for long-term environmental sustainability. In the case of the environmental advocacy campaign, GreenMyApple, Greenpeace appropriated the affective resources of the Apple brand to transform Apple consumers into e-waste activists. Although the GreenMyApple campaign did not push individual consumers or governments to change, it did successfully pressure a corporation to green its products. Finally, in the case of No Impact Man, Colin Beavan’s public performance and narrative of no impact consumption promotes both an ideological and affective awareness of the possibilities and limitations of green consumption as a form of environmental action and a way of life. These analyses rely on an examination of the discourse surrounding the practice of green consumption, as well as the practice itself, as rhetorical. In analyzing the multiple rhetorical dimensions of green consumption, this project is thus as much a study of rhetoric as it is of green consumption. It relies on and seeks to advance a materialist theory of rhetoric by analyzing the ideological and affective capacity of green consumption as a rhetoric of environmental change.
dc.subjectgreen consumption
dc.subjectenvironmental rhetoric
dc.subjectrhetoric of social change
dc.subjectBrita and Nalgene
dc.subjectNo Impact Man
dc.subjectColin Beavan
dc.titleGreen beyond reason
dc.title.alternativethe affective rhetoric of green consumption
dc.description.departmentSpeech Communication
dc.description.majorSpeech Communication
dc.description.advisorCeleste Condit
dc.description.committeeCeleste Condit
dc.description.committeeRoger Stahl
dc.description.committeeEdward Panetta
dc.description.committeeThomas Lessl
dc.description.committeeChristine Harold
dc.description.committeeJames F. Hamilton

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