Synopses & Reviews
This book reflects upon and critiques the potential of citizen-consumer's to alter their natural consuming habits and to "shop ethically, 'care for the environment' and 'think glocally'" so as to reduce environmental harm. The author argues that our present conceptual understanding of what drives peoples' environmental behaviour (that environmental remedies can be realized by determining fixed ends which citizen-consumers could strive for) is inadequate and that environmental policies based on these perspectives of human behaviour yield poor results and will not change citizen-consumer behaviour.
Developing a substantial challenge to the existing accepted theories, this book sets out a groundbreaking approach to understanding citizen-consumer behaviour from the perspective of evolutionary theory. The evolutionary theory of human nature shows that firstly, environmental concern is not a universal element across different cultures and secondly, that neglecting one's environmental harm through striving for individual accumulation of wealth is not a characteristic of human nature. Instead, it is social motivation, rather than rational choice that is the driving force behind human agency and recognizing the importance of social motivation is essential as a basis for the advancement of sustainable development and adaptation of the norms and practices of citizen-consumers, markets and politics. The book concludes by discussing how the evolutionary perspective on human behaviour can constitute the basis for the development of practical environmental projects and policies.
'Debates surrounding threats to environmental integrity and the potential for sustainable development are contentious, and proposals regarding appropriate public policy vary widely. Klintman argues forcefully that effective policies encouraging global citizens to act in ways that are more eco-responsible must be rooted in a clear grasp of human nature. Absent attention to
behavioral dispositions deeply rooted in our species's distant ancestry - for example, our inclinations toward status striving and self-deception - prospects for workable solutions are dim. Klintman makes a compelling case, and his book illustrates the value of forging a productive alliance between environmental sociology and the evolutionary behavioral sciences.' - Timothy Crippen, Professor of Sociology, University of Mary Washington, USA
About the Author
MIKAEL KLINTMAN is a professor of Sociology at Lund University, Sweden. His previous publications include Eco-Standards, Product Labelling and Green Consumerism (with Magnus Böstrum).
Table of Contents
Apollonian and Dionysian Trust
Rebound Effects and Spillovers
Single Policy and Planning Issues
Wider Societal Change
Conclusions and Discussion