Social identity and environmental concern: the importance of contextual effects

Brieger, Steven A (2018) Social identity and environmental concern: the importance of contextual effects. Environment and Behavior. ISSN 0013-9165

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This study draws on social identity theory to explain differences in individual support for environmental protection, a conative component of environmental concern. It argues that an individual’s identification with higher social units—community, nation, and world—strengthens its in-group solidarity and empathy and, in consequence, its readiness to protect the environment benefitting the in-group’s welfare. The study hypothesizes that country-level manifestations of social identity (1) lift individuals’ support for environmental protection above the level that their own social identity suggests (elevator effect), and (2) reinforce the effect of individuals’ social identity on their support for environmental protection (amplifier effect). Using a sample of over 30,000 individuals located in 38 countries around the world, the study finds strong evidence for the two contextual effects. The findings indicate that social identity plays an important role not just as an individual attribute but also as a central component of culture in fostering environmental concern.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Strategy and Marketing
Depositing User: Steven Brieger
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2018 10:07
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2019 15:13

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