The Online Genetically Modified Food Debate: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and Genetically Modified Animals
The aim of this article is to investigate the sociotechnical imaginaries present in UK online news articles and below the line comments in connection with genetically modified animals. This article attempts to provide an answer through a qualitative study using discourse analysis. The findings reveal how sociotechnical imaginaries present in news articles depict genetically modified animals as ‘other’ in comparison to those bred through selective breeding. In the below the line comments, a key feature is of monstrosity. Here, the sociotechnical imaginaries draw on the concept of ‘other’ along with the imagery of Frankenstein. Nature also features in the sociotechnical imaginaries in the news articles. Journalists present genetic modification as overcoming nature, as well as scientists designing nature. The article concludes by discussing how sociotechnical imaginaries can bring invisible nonhuman animals to the fore. Here, difference makes genetically modified animals newsworthy.
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