Rhetorics of Uncertainty: Networked Deliberations in Climate Risk
AuthorWalker, Kenneth C.
AdvisorKimme Hea, Amy C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation applies a mixed-methods model across three cases of climate risk in order to examine the rhetorical dynamics of uncertainties. I argue that a rhetorical approach to uncertainties can effectively scaffold civic agency in risk communication by translating conflicting interests and creating sites of public participation. By tracing the networks of scientists and their artifacts through cases of climate risk, I demonstrate how the performances of scientific ethos and their material-discursive technologies facilitate the personalization of risk as a form of scientific prudence, and thus a channel to feasible political action. I support these claims through a rhetorical model of translation, which hybridizes methods from discourse analysis and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) in order assemble a data-driven and corpus-based approach to rhetorical analysis. From this rhetorical perspective uncertainties expand on our notions of risk because they reveal associations between scientific inquiries, probability assessments, and the facilitation of political dialogues. In each case, the particular insight of the model reveals a range of rhetorical potentials in climate risk that can be confronted through uncertainties.
Degree ProgramGraduate College