Climate Change in Visual Communication: From 'This is Not a Pipe' to 'This is Not Fukushima'

Working paper de Kiyomitsu Yui

How can we mediate the global risks such as climate change? The aim of the paper is to explore the problematique through sociological inquiry into the capacity of visual communication. In the first half of the paper, main discussion lies in the direction from the visual to the social in mutual construction process of the two (F. Kurasawa). In the section the power of the visual per se is emphasized as it is thought that in the tradition of sociological theory the power has been relatively neglected (W.J.T. Mitchell). The argument is related to the process of cosmopolitization in the consideration that the visual as the easiest 'world traveler' becomes more and more relevant in contemporary society. In the second half of the paper, the opposite direction from the social towards the visual is focused. To the direction, the contextualization in mediating climate change in the region of East Asia becomes most relevant. In the contextualization the paper suggests the need for serious consideration on historical occurrences and their social impact in the region; warfare in the area. Facing the warfare in the region we can explore and analyze the mediating process of the global risks (nuclear energy plant explosion in Fukushima, climate change / climate destruction) in visual communication in both directions between the social and the visual.

The author

Kiyomitsu YUI is Professor of sociology at the Graduate School of Humanities, Kobe University, Japan and a Director, Japan Sociological Society. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Asian Chair at Sciences Politiques Paris. His main research subject is about sociological theory from G.H.Mead via Talcott Parsons to J. Alexander, N. Luhmann, and Ulrich Beck. His publications include « heories on Modernization of Japan Today » (English Version), in International Journal of Japanese Sociology, vol.3,1994, « Multiple Second Modernities under Glocalization; Individual, Intermediate Group, and the State », in Japanese Sociological Review, 2009.


Kiyomitsu Yui. Climate Change in Visual Communication: From 'This is Not a Pipe' to 'This is Not Fukushima'. FMSH-WP-2013-35. 2013.<halshs-00840834>