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The Monarch Butterfly through Time and Space: The Social Construction of an Icon
Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1495-8346
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
2015 (English)In: BioScience, ISSN 0006-3568, E-ISSN 1525-3244, Vol. 65, no 6, 612-622 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, we explore the social construction of the monarch butterfly as a conservation icon in order to understand how the butterfly has come to be endowed with the power to shape public conversations and potentially alter policy and practice. Our analysis is guided by the sociological concepts of coproduction and boundary objects, which reveal how this butterfly has animated and sustained conversations across diverse organizational boundaries. We find that engagement with narratives of beauty, natural wonder, scientific discovery, conservation imperatives, and civic duty has allowed the monarch to enroll actors in a broad network that gives rise to surprising, emergent properties. These properties make the monarch a powerful communication vehicle and a potent ally in environmental politics. Our analysis of the historical and contemporary construction of the monarch as an icon contributes to ongoing efforts to bring resources from critical social science to bear on the strengthening of science-policy–practice interfaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2015. Vol. 65, no 6, 612-622 p.
Keyword [en]
the monarch butterfly, boundary object, coproduction, conservation, biodiversity
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44559DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biv045ISI: 000355779400010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84930412206OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-44559DiVA: diva2:810631
Note

Sponsor:

Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Academic Venture Fund

Available from: 2015-05-07 Created: 2015-05-07 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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