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Working Paper #1
Brian Drayton, TERC, Cambridge, MA, 8/13/14

I. Introduction.

This working paper is motivated by the view that it is in conversation that community norms are negotiated and their transformations become visible. Indeed, it may often be the case that conversations can be the medium by which transformations are begun, elaborated, or established.

My particular interest is in conversations about climate change,  and in preparation for a series of public conversations involving people of diverse perspectives, I am analyzing some samples of on-line discourse to explore key themes and discourse features that may arise in debate about this topic, and to evaluate various theoretical and methodological approaches which might be used. These papers therefore represent exploratory work as part of the design of a research project.

This paper is the first of a series which will analyze successive comment threads responding to one article on climate change. Each thread will be analyzed separately, though the analysis of each thread will build on prior work, and an overview essay will complete the series.

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