Greenpeace Greenspeak: A Transcultural Discourse Analysis

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Taylor & Francis


This cross-cultural discourse analysis examines the construction of environmental issues on Greenpeace web pages in China, Japan and Germany. To uncover the semantic representation of environmental activism on these sites, the authors sought to identify discursive homogeneity and divergence and to bring to light embedded cultural assumptions. The sites were examined between January and July 2003 to the fifth level. Multiple readings considered figures of style, lexical choices and lexical style, visual aspects, and topic and themes. The conclusion discusses the adeptness of localising and regionalising Greenpeace discourses but also points to a visible fragmentisation of environmental discourses as well as inherent inabilities to transcend highly localised understandings of the role of humans in nature. Most significantly, the study illustrates the discursive weight of implicit social and natural hierarchies.