In this lecture, Dr. Riley Dunlap presents a summary of the history and major approaches taken by environmental sociology in studying environmental concern, and the attitudes and beliefs on behaviors that reflect environmental concern. He discusses the historic use of survey research to measure and predict environmental concern through environmental attitudes and action. He then highlights a framework for understanding how to change environmental attitudes and behaviors, and notes that each identifies a different fix for environmental problems. He extends these frameworks to identify relationships between environmental attitudes, beliefs, and values, and notes that contemporary research separates the environmental and concern parts of environmental concern. He then presents several examples of statistical and conceptual models that depict causal pathways for how environmental concern is generated.
Dunlap, R.E. and Jones, R.E. (2002). Environmental concern: Conceptual and measurement issues. In R.E. Dunlap and W. Michelson (eds.), Handbook of Environmental Sociology (pp. 482–524). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Riley Dunlap is Regents Professor and Laurence L. and Georgia Ina Dresser Professor in the Department of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Association, Dunlap is also Past-President of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Environment and Society. He co-authored a series of early articles that helped codify environmental sociology as a distinct area, and continues to contribute to theoretical and conceptual debates in the area. Dunlap’s empirical work has long focused on environmental attitudes, beliefs and values—including cross-national comparisons—and he serves as Gallup Scholar for the Environment with the Gallup Organization. His most recent work has emphasized political polarization over climate change and organized climate change denial. He is Co-Investigator on an NSF EPSCoR Project entitled “Enhancing the Resilience of Socio-Ecological Systems to Climate Variability in Oklahoma.”