Social Representations of Climate Change: A Cross-Cultural Investigation
Marshaley J. Baquiano; Ana Joy P. Mendez, PhD, RN

The study explored the social understanding of climate change among Filipinos and Americans, employing Social Representations Theory. Six hundred seventy three participants from the Philippines and Guam were asked to answer a free association questionnaire in which they were to write the first three ideas that came to their mind at the thought of climate change. Abric’s (2008) Hierarchical Evocation Method (HEM) was used in analyzing the data. Both groups have similar comprehension of climate change. Central to that understanding is the idea that this social phenomenon is very much related to global warming. Peripheral elements include climate change as associated with environmental destruction as well as calamities and disasters, its causes as well as impacts. Even though there are similarities in their representations, the two groups show differences in the way these are expressed. Results have implications on the construction and enactment of strategies and courses of action on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

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