Animals in Norwegian Political Party Programs: A Critical Reading

in Framing the Environmental Humanities
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Abstract

Inspired by Arran Stibbe and drawing on ecolinguistics, corpus linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis, this chapter presents a simple linguistic study of mentions of animals in Norwegian political party programs for the parliamentary term 2013–2017. The study is likely symptomatic of quite common attitudes to animals not only in Norway but also in a range of other countries. It documents a near-universal anthropocentric bias in Norwegian political party programs, with the Green Party as the only possible exception. This bias is particularly visible in the vocabulary constituted by occurrences of the morphemes “fisk” [fish] and “rein” [reindeer]. Rather than being framed as sentient beings, these animals are almost exclusively referred to in terms of economic resources that are to be managed by the authorities.

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