social bases only describe

ch.2, ec-p.5 – they do well at showing who cares more about the environment, but not for explaining why…

“Despite considerable success in describing who is environmentally concerned, environmental concern research focused on identifying people’s social and demographic characteristics does not explain why people are concerned. The association of these factors with various measures of environmentalism among the general populace is usually weak (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnano, 1998) and “typically explain only 10 to 15 percent of the variance” (Van Liere and Dunlap 1980). Stronger critiques charged that, after thirty years of research, “little consensus has emerged on which demographic variables in particular are reliably associated” beyond the sparse trio of age, education, and political ideology (Klineberg, McKeever, and Rothenbach 1998). When analysts’ attention did focus on possible social-psychological influences, few included consideration of the contextual fabric from which these attitudinal, belief, or value factors arose. Nor did they examine the social process by which individuals form and adopt the views they express to others about environmental matters. This gap left opaque the dynamics of culture and human agency in environmentalism (Dietz and Burns 1992).”

 

Environmentalism Buttons

Environmentalism Buttons (Photo credit: Ryan Somma)

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Mobilizing Ideas

Activists and Scholars Debate Social Movements and Social Change

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