Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


1.5 EARTH AND RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, Sociology, Media and socio-cultural communication, Linguistics, Studies on Film

Publication Details

European Conference on Research Methods, Dublin June 2017.


This paper explores multimodal discourse analysis (Kress and Van Leeuwen, 2001) as a methodology to address the research question: How are environmentally conscious entrepreneurial ventures constituted in online investment crowd-funding pitches and the communications that surround them? While discourse may be realised in many different ways (Kress and Van Leeuwen, 2001 p.5, Bezemer and Jewit, 2010), multimodal discourse analysis focuses on analysing and describing a repertoire of meaning making resources which individuals use in various contexts (visual, gestural, written, actional etc.). Broadband internet and associated technologies mean that these crowdfunding pitches and many other genres tend to be much richer in the modes of communication than was traditionally the case in business. This paper explores one environmentally conscious crowdfunding entrepreneurial pitch “Solar Roadways”. The focus of multimodality analysis will be on the process of meaning making to understand how this venture is constituted in an online crowdfunding pitch using a variety of modes such as images, clothing, bodily decoration, music and speech.

The aim of this paper is to argue for the usefulness of multimodal discourse analysis as a methodological tool with which to explore pitches designed for the crowdfunding audience. The findings suggest that visual and audible symbols within the video pitch create meaning making and can be linked to story- telling which can impact on the impressions made by the entrepreneur to potential funders. Employing a multimodal methodology demonstrates that language is not the only method of communication to potential contributors.