A Natural History of an Environmentalist: Identifying Influences on Pro-sustainability Behavior Through Biography and Autoethnography

Article German OPEN
Evangelos Manolas ; John Hockey ; Michael Littledyke (2013)
  • Publisher: FQS
  • Journal: Forum: Qualitative Social Research (issn: 1438-5627)
  • Subject: Identitätsbildung | environmentalism | Lebenslauf | motivation | empirical | Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods | sustainability behavior | Identität | environmental behavior | identity formation | Nachhaltigkeit | Ethnologie, Kulturanthropologie, Ethnosoziologie | Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology | identity | life career | behavior | Ethnographie | GE | ethnography | Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie | empirisch-qualitativ | qualitative empirical | Biographie | Verhalten | biography | environmental protection | sustainability | Umwelt | environment | Social sciences (General) | H1-99 | Umweltschutz | autoethnography | Erhebungstechniken und Analysetechniken der Sozialwissenschaften | Social sciences, sociology, anthropology | Umweltverhalten | empirisch

"In diesem Beitrag wird ein autoethnografischer und biografischer Ansatz genutzt, um Faktoren zu identifizieren, die für nachhaltiges Verhalten, hier verstanden als Umweltaktivismus, relevant sind. In die Analyse wurden umweltbezogene, soziokulturelle, politische und ökonomische Kategorien, die jeweils Affekte und Kognitionen beeinflussen, einbezogen. Obwohl diese Kategorien aufs Engste verwoben sind, wurden sie für Analysezwecke sequenziell bearbeitet. Die verwandte Forschungsmethodologie eröffnete Strategien der Erforschung von Biografie, die die Entwicklung von Umweltaktivismus nachvollziehen erlaubten: Hierzu gehören insbesondere metakognitive und reflexive Prozesse, begleitet durch das kritische Engagement von Mitforschenden. Obwohl ausgehend von einer Einzelfallanalyse keine statistischen Generalisierungen möglich sind, haben sich die Autoren um begrenztere qualitative, d.h. moderate Generalisierungen bemüht. So wird die Erforschung der Lebensläufe anderer Umweltaktivist/ innen sicher keine Ähnlichkeiten in Bezug auf spezifische biografische Details erbringen. Dennoch scheinen die Kategorien, die zur Analyse hinzugezogen wurden, eine nützliche Schablone auch für künftige Untersuchungen zur Identitätsbildung von Aktivist/ innen zu sein, über die wir bisher nur sehr wenig wissen." (Autorenreferat) "This natural history of an environmentalist uses autoethnography through biographical interview to investigate the contextual analysis of influences affecting active pro-sustainability behavior, which is interpreted as environmentalism. Education for sustainability categories of environmental, socio-cultural, political and economic factors were used to identify factors that interact to influence affective and cognitive domains, which affect environmentalist behavior. These influences in reality operated symbiotically but for purposes of analysis they have been portrayed sequentially. The portrayal of the autoethnographer's vocabulary of motives and identity theory applied to group commitment were used as analytic tools. The research methodology employed provides a strategy for investigating biography, which gives access to lived experience as a basis for understanding factors influencing environmentalism. Processes of metacognition and reflexivity, supported by critical engagement with co-researchers, provide access to deep analysis of the biography. Whilst it was not possible to make statistical generalizations from a single case study it was possible to make limited qualitative generalizations, or in other words 'moderatum generalizations'. Subsequent examination of the natural histories of other life-long environmentalists would certainly not reveal detailed similarities in terms of specific biographical occurrences. However, the abstract categories of influence outlined provide a useful template for further investigating the process of activist identity development which we know little about at the present time." (author's abstract)
  • References (26)
    26 references, page 1 of 3

    Ackerman, Frank & Stanton, Elizabeth (2006). Climate change-The costs of inaction, http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/econ_costs_cc.pdf [Accessed: October 26, 2011].

    Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn & Hockey, John (2005). Autoethnography: Self-indulgence or rigorous methodology? In Mike McNamee (Ed), Philosophy and the sciences of exercise, health and sport: Critical perspectives on research methods (pp.187-202). London: Routledge.

    Archer, Margaret S. (2007). Making our way through the world: Human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2010).

    Sustainability curriculum framework: A guide for curriculum developers and policy makers, http://www.environment.gov.au/education/publications/pubs/curriculum-framework.pdf [Accessed: November 2, 2011].

    Bigger, Stephen & Webb, Jean (2010). Developing environmental agency and engagement through young people's fiction. Environmental Education Research, 16(3-4), 401-414.

    Brody, Michael (2005). Learning in nature. Environmental Education Research, 11(5), 603-621.

    Bulmer, Martin & Burgess, Robert G. (1986). Do concepts and indicators interrelate? In Robert G.

    Burgess (Ed.), Key variables in social investigation (pp.246-265). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    Butz, David & Besio, Kathryn (2004). The value of autoethnography for field research in transcultural settings. The Professional Geographer, 56(3), 350-360.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark