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Symbolic communication in public protest over genetic modification: visual rhetoric, symbolic excess and social mores

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date08/2013
JournalScience Communication
Journal number4
Volume35
Number of pages26
Pages502-527
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article considers the protests through which a group of New Zealand women—MAdGE (Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment)—enacted a campaign against genetic modification in food. Referring to the predominant visual/symbolic makeup of its efforts to communicate an alternative perspective on the research involved, the article examines the theatrics, posters, and disruptive protest of MAdGE’s campaign. A major feature of the analysis concerns a billboard that provoked outrage in some quarters and led to official deliberations concerning the advertising code of practice in which public morality and the epistemic authority of science were intertwined.