Identity and Sustainability: Localized Sense of Community Increases Environmental Engagement

D.R. Forsyth, M. van Vugt, G. Schlein, P.A. Story

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Drawing on social, community, and place identity theories, we predicted that individuals whose identities are based, at least in part, on the place where they reside would be more likely to engage in environmentally responsible behaviors, or ERBs. Study 1 tested this hypothesis by assessing residents' localized community identification and their willingness to take steps to protect and enhance local streams and waterways. Study 2 experimentally manipulated residents' sense of community. Both studies confirmed that (a) increases in one's sense of community were associated with increases in willingness to protect water resources and (b) pro-environment behavioral intentions were stronger when identity was more localized (neighborhood-based rather than regionally based). These findings support a nested conception of placed-based community identity, which could inform strategies to encourage pro-environmental water conservation and resource management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-252
    JournalAnalyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    PT: J; NR: 47; TC: 0; J9: ANAL SOC ISS PUB POL; PG: 20; GA: CZ3AC; UT: WOS:000366975400013


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