environmental concern’s color & class

ch.2, ec-p.4 – how researcher’s assumptions and biases tinted and tilted description of US environmentalism’s social biases…

“This research was critiqued on conceptual, theoretical, and methodological grounds (Dunlap 2006; Dunlap and Jones 2002; Klineberg, McKeever, and Rothenbach 1998; Van Liere and Dunlap 1981). Occasionally analysts corrected and clarified the boundaries of public environmental concern, based on emerging research. For example, presumptions about the color (“race”) of environmentalism combined with biased survey measures yielded results suggesting that blacks were less concerned about environmental quality and protection than were whites (Taylor, 1989). Subsequent research contradicted those results, and demonstrated that, even during periods of economic downturn, blacks’ environmental concern weakened less than whites’ (Jones, 1998, 2002; Jones and Carter, 1994). A similar reversal occurred when some early studies suggested greater wealth corresponded with stronger concern for the environment, despite only “very weak support for the assertion that social class is positively associated with environmental concern”  (Catton and Dunlap 1980). Others countered that poorer people cared as, or even more, strongly about environmental problems,  but the problems that concerned blacks were not the problems examined by researchers (Buttel and Flinn 1978).”

 

English: Sustainable South Bronx, Environmenta...

English: Sustainable South Bronx, Environmental Justice Organization in the South Bronx, cleaned up pixel distortion from previous version . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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