Bringing Identity Theory into Environmental Sociology*

  title={Bringing Identity Theory into Environmental Sociology*},
  author={Jan E. Stets and Chris F. Biga},
  journal={Sociological Theory},
  pages={398 - 423}
In an effort to explain pro-environmental behavior, environmental sociologists often study environmental attitudes. While much of this work is atheoretical, the focus on attitudes suggests that researchers are implicitly drawing upon attitude theory in psychology. The present research brings sociological theory to environmental sociology by drawing on identity theory to understand environmentally responsive behavior. We develop an environment identity model of environmental behavior that… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Understanding Pro-Environmental Behavior in the US: Insights from Grid-Group Cultural Theory and Cognitive Sociology

For almost fifty years researchers have endeavored to identify the factors that influence individuals’ performance of environmentally significant behavior, with inconsistent results. This quest has

Bringing environmental identity research into the classroom context: examining the theoretical foundations influencing its current use in the literature

ABSTRACT A theoretical review of the literature was conducted to understand how environmental identity is currently being interpreted and applied so the construct can be extended to the classroom

How do I see myself? A systematic review of identities in pro‐environmental behaviour research

Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) is an environmental and societal concern. Encouraging PEB focussing on how consumers see themselves (their identity) has blossomed. However, a

Shaping the Environmental Self: The Role of Childhood Experiences in Shaping Identity Standards of Environmental Behavior in Adulthood

Existing research shows that childhood processes affect identity formation. However, there is limited scholarly understanding about how these processes work as children age. The case of environmental

Cultivating Nature Identity and Ecological Worldviews: A Pathway to Alter the Prevailing Dominant Social Paradigm

The worsening environmental problems demand a shift from the prevailing Dominant Social Paradigm to the New Ecological Paradigm. Yet, little is known on the conditions necessary for societal adoption

"Yeah, I Drive an SUV, but I Recycle":The Cultural Foundations of Environmentally Significant Behavior

The majority of Americans profess to hold pro-environmental attitudes and intend to engage in environmentally friendly behavior. Yet their actions tell a different story. The goal of this study was

Environmental Behavior On and Off the Job: A Configurational Approach

The current literature on environmental sustainability acknowledges that habits are often shaped in private life and that experiences with environmental activities in a non-work setting positively

Environmental Behavior On and Off the Job: A Configurational Approach

The current literature on environmental sustainability acknowledges that habits are often shaped in private life and that experiences with environmental activities in a non-work setting positively

Explaining participation in Earth Hour: the identity perspective and the theory of planned behavior

Earth Hour is a globally celebrated environmental campaign that is aimed at converting bystanders into active participants in the combat against climate change. Although it has become a global



The Value Basis of Environmental Concern

This article describes and presents initial empirical tests of a theory that links values, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior within a preference construction framework that emphasizes the activation


Recent research in environmental sociology is reviewed. Following a brief overview of the development of environmental sociology over the past dec­ ade, five areas of environmental sociological

Value Orientations, Gender, and Environmental Concern

A social-psychological model is developed to examine the proposition that environmentalism represents a new way of thinking. It presumes that action in support of environmental quality may derive

Ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes toward the environment

New Environmental Theories: Toward a Coherent Theory of Environmentally Significant Behavior

This article develops a conceptual framework for advancing theories of environmentally significant individual behavior and reports on the attempts of the author’s research group and others to develop

Values, Beliefs, and Proenvironmental Action: Attitude Formation Toward Emergent Attitude Objects1

Discoveries in environmental science become the raw material for constructing social attitude objects, individual attitudes, and broad public concerns. We explored a model in which individuals

Identity theory and social identity theory

In social psychology, we need to establish a general theory of the self which can attend to both macro and micro processes, and which avoids the redundancies of separate theories on different aspects

A Value-Belief-Norm Theory of Support for Social Movements: The Case of Environmentalism

We present a theory of the basis of support for a social movement. Three types of support (citizenship actions, policy support and acceptance, and personal-sphere behaviors that accord with movement

The Link between Identity and Role Performance

Despite interest in the influence of self-concept on behavior, research has been limited by (I) the need to better understand the mechanism by which self influences role behaviors, (2) a reliance on


Social stress can be understood by incorporating interruption theory as developed in research on stress into a model of identity processes drawn from identity theory. From this perspective, social