Food and Morality: Deconstruction of Value Judgments in Sustainability Documentary Films

Franzisca Weder, Franz-Theo Gottwald

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


The following chapter explores implicitly and explicitly communicated value judgments in documentaries on environmental and sustainability issues. The insights exemplified within films on food production, processing and sustainable (and unsustainable) patterns of consumption will be used in a theoretical deconstruction of value judgments in relation to sustainability. They simultaneously show the potential of using documentaries to construct sustainability as moral framework. In this chapter, environmental and explicitly sustainability-focused documentaries are identified as mostly reflexive and performative and thus are conceptualized as having moral agency. To this purpose the chapter ends with a discussion of three regulative ideas which, firstly, might be used as guidelines in creating critical media productions in the field of environmental documentaries in the future, and secondly, show the potential for empirical follow-up research from the perspective of sustainability as moral framework in visual communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sustainability Communication Reader
Subtitle of host publicationA Reflective Compendium
EditorsFranzisca Weder, Matthias Karmasin, Larissa Krainer
Place of PublicationWiesdbaden
PublisherSpringer VS
Pages177 -196
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-658-31883-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-658-31882-6
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Cite this