Cultivation of sustainability in a discourse of change: Perspectives on communication for sustainability as new “norm” and principle of action in socio-ecological transformation processes

Franzisca Weder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Sustainability has been well used (and abused) as “buzz-word”, label or language token for certain behavior and action in political, organizational and increasingly in individual communication. Based on critical approaches in language, discourse and communication studies, the paper explores potential processes of normalization of sustainability as a new norm, discusses new theories and methodological variations that can be applied to better understand sustainable development, and offers a theoretical concept for cultivation of sustainability as a dialectic process of questioning and stabilization in transformation and change processes. Complemented by a communication for development and social change perspective, the paper lays the theoretical foundation for an understanding of sustainability as organizing principle in socio-ecological change processes, which is further elaborated in the contributions of this Special Issue, which are introduced at the end.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-600
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Language and Politics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 508007 Communication science


  • cultivation
  • cultural change
  • dialectic
  • moralization
  • norm
  • organization
  • problematization
  • sustainability
  • sustainable communication
  • transformation

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