Framing sustainability

a case study analysis of the environment and sustainability discourse in the Indian English language press

Prithi Nambiar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The definition and local cultural adoption of globally generated terms such as environment and sustainable development happen largely through an imbricated process of meaning negotiation within democratic public discourse. Framing behaviour by media and influential opinion makers shapes and moulds local and national discourse about environment and sustainability, particularly in developing countries where pro-development forces face off against pro-conservation groups over resource use choices. Using elements of framing and grounded theory, a qualitative interpretive case study analysis of environment and sustainability related articles from a leading English language fortnightly magazine in India reveals that highly emotive frames are being used in media construction of the environment and sustainability discourse in India. While the research findings suggest that stock themes from the international framing repertoire are in use, they also indicate that distinctive new frames are being employed that could assist in instigating social change and refashioning public attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-110
Number of pages18
JournalGlobal Media and Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • environment
  • framing
  • media activism
  • sustainability
  • sustainability discourse
  • sustainable development

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