Tag Archives: method

ch.2, ec-p.7 – identifying the value and utility of the sociological social construction approach to social  problems for examining public opinion and concern about environmental problems…

“Among the many challenges faced by analysts of public environmental concern (Dunlap and Jones, 2002), the fact that an individual’s views vary over time makes the social constructionist view on social problems advantageous. The relevance of environmental problems to different kinds of people and social groups also varies (Freudenburg, 1991). Although explorations of environmentalism’s social bases offer cross-sectional and longitudinal snapshots, they cannot fully explore the social processes in which ecological conditions are defined as problematic. This failure includes revealing the cultural resources and social factors such as religious tenets that shape people’s perceptions of ecological conditions.”



ch.2, ec-p.6 – examples of recommendations for improving environmental concern research…

“Klineberg, McKeever, and Rothenbach offer a diagnosis of the paucity of research addressing the social process and contextual fabric underlying the formation of attitudes and beliefs toward the environment: when people respond to closed-ended questions on surveys, their “attitudes toward environmental issues are necessarily measured, explicitly or implicitly, in relation to other concerns” (Klineberg, McKeever, and Rothenbach 1998: page #?). The diagnosis particularly is true when people view government actions toward the environment as having personal and societal economic implications. In these instances, their attitudes are informed by the individual’s matrix of political, economic, and possibly religion-based concerns. Van Liere and Dunlap promoted an early, three-fold remedy that still applies: (1) focus investigations on specific environmental issues or policies, rather than people’s generalized concern for “the environment; (2) remain aware of and give attention to the interactive effects of individuals’ environmental and economic commitments; and (3) calibrate analytical frameworks or design research strategies for capturing the influence of multiple cultural influences on people’s willingness to support environmental protection (Van Liere and Dunlap 1980).”



Official seal of City of Dayton

Official seal of City of Dayton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a revision and re-do of yesterday, with more…


The central question I examine is how religion shapes public environmental concern about global environmental change. I focus on how highly religious people see large-scale ecological conditions and what they know about them. I present a case study of public perceptions, concerns, and understandings about global climate change held by citizens residing in the Midwestern United States. It describes how individuals’ religious views inform their opinions about it as an environmental problem and their judgments on the necessity to address it with environmental policy. I outline the major features of their collective views in subsequent chapters.

My larger purpose for exploring how members of the public like this see global climate change is clarifying further how people in modern industrial societies view ecological impacts associated with widespread fossil fuel use. The goal is better understanding religion’s role in this form of environmental concern by exploring more deeply its cultural foundations, and influences from individuals’ social context, using a qualitative approach. Following a modified constructionist perspective, I explore the extent U.S. conservative Protestants draw on their religious cultural notions in how perceive this example of a global environmental problem. I focus especially on their use of religion with regards to climate science, effects of climate change, and climate policy.

The case study presents the views of fifty-two (52) Evangelical Christians living in the Dayton, Ohio area expressed during unstructured face-to-face interviews with them. Major emergent themes are drawn from participants’ transcripts through qualitative data analysis using NVivo software. I explore their accounts with the conceptual lenses of “stocks of knowledge”, “mental schema”, and “cultural tool kits” (Schutz 1970, Sewell 1992, Swidler 1986). Using this analytical framework and research strategy, I describe the ways participants’ religious beliefs, attitudes, values, and other non-scientific cultural resources inform their perceptions of climate change or scientific information about it, evaluation and concern about its risks, and their opinions about addressing its effects using climate policy.”

“My general purpose for investigating how highly religious people perceive global climate change is examining more deeply the cultural foundations of environmental concern. My specific focus is public understanding and knowledge people in modern industrial societies use to comprehend large-scale environmental changes associated with widespread fossil fuel use. I pursue these research goals through a qualitative case study exploring the role of religion in public opinion about global climate change from a social constructionist perspective.”


Climate change opinion cause is human by count...

Climate change opinion cause is human by country 2008-2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mobilizing Ideas

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