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Tag Archives: Environmental movement

ch.2, ec-p.29 – a summary paragraph closing the discussion of research on the role of religion, specifically christianity and protestantism, in environmental concern before moving to a discussion of the analytic framework for the study on evangelical christians’ perceptions of climate change…

“The general social bases of environmentalism among the US public are clearer and more stable than the view on its religious base. Evidence shows it exists and work continues identifying which expressions of environmental concern typically are associated with religious people. Demographics describe, however, but don’t explain why believers care about environmental problems or participate in the environmental movement. These structural characteristics give little insight for how religious knowledge, mental schema, and cultural tools shape peoples’ perceptions of ecological conditions as problematic or inform their personal judgments about environmental policy. Further exploration into these forms of environmental concern across and within religious sub-groups in relation to social institutions and social structures is needed (Freudenburg 1991). These include factors social constructionist perspectives emphasize like different socialization experiences such as religious upbringing and inter-generational mass media effects (Kanagy, Humphrey, and Firebaugh 1994).”

 

 

ch.2, ec-p.7 – life beyond this writing kept me busy yesterday, so two posts today to keep the pace. here’s a transition paragraph moving from discussing sociological interest in the general social bases of environmentalism to work focusing the relationship of religion with environmental concern in the next section of the chapter…

“Although most contour lines of environmental concern remained relatively well mapped, some received less attention than others. One area of primary research neglect included exploring the association of religion with expressions of environmental concern. Hints of its role appeared in early investigations (REFS), and some briefly mentioned it (Kanagy, Humphrey and Firebaugh 1994). Recently, analyst’s attention has turned more toward better understanding aspects of environmentalism’s religious social base, especially with increasing faith-based activism among believers on environmental issues and climate change (REFS).”

 

 

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)

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)

ch.2, ec-p.3 – segments of us society who consistently express greatest concern for environment still today…

“After nearly four decades, the most likely faces of environmental concern reflect the same segments of the population, though their numbers vary over the years. “Although the degree of concern Americans show for environmental issues has fluctuated significantly over the past three to four decades, generally majorities of the public have expressed concern about the quality of the environment and support for environmental protection efforts. What has varied is the size of the ‘pro-environment’ majority” (Gallup 2003). Cornerstones of environmental concern remain younger people, females, and the more educated and politically liberal (Nooney, Woodrum, Hoban, and Clifford 2003).”

 

The EPA was directed to set standards for radi...

The EPA was directed to set standards for radioactive materials under Reorganization Plan No. 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ch2., ec-p.2 –  who was most likely to care most about environmental quality and greater protection of ecosystems through the 1970s and 1980s…

“Analysts described the social bases of US environmentalism by identifying social and demographic characteristics associated with various expressions of environmental concern about myriad environmental issues and ecological conditions (Dunlap and Jones 2002). As sociologists began exploring them systematically (Van Liere and Dunlap 1980), they found the social bases of environmental concern relatively stable (Klineberg, McKeever, and Rothenbach 1998). For almost two decades, “younger adults, the well-educated, political liberals, Democrats, those raised and currently living in urban areas…were found consistently more supportive of environmental protection than were their respective counterparts” (Jones and Dunlap 1992). Women were more concerned about risks associated with technology (Davidson and Freudenburg 1996), local pollution and toxic waste problems (Brown and Ferguson 1995, Krauss 1989), and “when significant gender differences emerge, women are found to be more environmentally concerned” (Jones and Dunlap 1992).”

 

English: 1908 US editorial cartoon on Theodore...

English: 1908 US editorial cartoon on Theodore Roosevelt and conservation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ch.2, ec-p.1 – opening introductory paragraph for environmental concern section describing the beginning of sociological attention to public concern about ecosystems and support for greater protection of the environment…

“After the first Earth Day in 1970, US sociologists began intensively exploring which constituencies of the population were amenable to and supportive of the environmental movement’s goals (Buttel 1977, Heberlein and Black 1978, Van Liere and Dunlap 1981). This exploration included describing the strength of public concern about ecological conditions (Dunlap 1992), gauging support for environmental policies (Buttel and Flinn 1976), and associating support with social and demographic characteristics (Dunlap and Van Liere 1984). Analysts explored individuals’ perceptions about ecological conditions through original research surveys (Dunlap, Van Liere, Mertig and Jones 2000) and by using secondary data from opinion polling (Dunlap and Scarce 1991). Professional acceptance of environmental sociology as a sub-discipline accelerated studies of environmental concern (Catton and Dunlap 1980). More than a thousand assessments have been conducted since then, most relying on quantitative methodologies (Dunlap and Jones, 2002). Analysts take these views about environmental problems and the variability of expressed environmental concern to reflect the environmental movement’s “social bases” of public support (Dietz, Stern, and Guagnano 1998, Dunlap and Mertig 1992, Jones and Dunlap 1992, Van Liere and Dunlap 1980). These social bases reveal who is concerned about the biophysical world or practices pro-environmental behaviors.”

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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