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Environmentalism and Social Differentiation: a paper in memory of Steve Crook

Pakulski, J and Tranter, BK 2004 , 'Environmentalism and Social Differentiation: a paper in memory of Steve Crook' , Journal of Sociology, vol. 40, no. 3 , pp. 221-235 , doi:

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This is a tribute to the late Steve Crook who shared with us the excitement of research on environmentalism. As we predicted, environmental activism in Australia remains socially circumscribed, but its scope, and the scope of environmental concerns, have been widening. Differentiation and proliferation of environmental issue combines with social diffusion and routinisation. The proportion of people who see the environment as a salient issue continues to be relatively high, in spite of an increasing competition from new issue-concerns, including security and illegal migration. The new ‘white’ environmental issues enter the public arena reflecting widespread (though less urgent) concerns about genetic modification of food-crops and cloning of human tissue – all interpreted as ‘interference with nature’. The ‘white’ environmental issues attract the concern of new social categories of ‘conscience environmentalists’ who are more likely to be women, tend to be older, religious, and less attracted by green organizations. They are also less metropolitan in their location, and not as leftist and postmaterial in their value preferences as their ‘green’ and ‘brown’ predecessors. The formation of the ‘white’ environmental issue cluster and constituency opens the way for new ideological re-interpretations of environmental outlook – and for new political alliances.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Pakulski, J and Tranter, BK
Keywords: environmentalism green issues postmaterial values public opinion roiutinisation social movements
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sociology
ISSN: 1440-7833
DOI / ID Number:
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