How does imagery matter for activists dissemination of their ideas and political mobilization? A case study of the exposure of the fur industry in Norway.
Imagery can be a powerful tool to raise awareness in a society, with research showing that imagery can realize both social and political change. Media plays an important role by setting the agenda of what is important, and the media can therefore have a significant role for activists when disseminating their images. This study aims to determine and analyse the effect imagery can have on a society by examining a case study of the exposure of the fur industry in Norway. Building on existing theories on the potential of images to impact society and policies, this study aims to answer the research question “What was the effect and outcome of publicizing images from fur farms in Norway?” To answer this question, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five informants, as well as a media research and a document analysis. The activists images of suffering animals on Norwegian fur farms led to a political and public debate about the fur industry. During the years in which the activists images were disseminated by the media, political parties and professional bodies to take a stand against the fur industry and worked towards a ban. In addition, the public's engagement against the fur industry increased. Eventually, the majority of the Norwegian public across the political spectrum favoured a ban. Based on the findings in this study, one can conclude that imagery and collaborating with the media to disseminate the images is effective for activists to use to elevate their cause to the agenda and to spur a social and political debate that potentially can lead to a policy change.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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Copyright 2020 The Author(s)
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