Environmental Identity Development Through Social Interactions, Action, and Recognition

TitleEnvironmental Identity Development Through Social Interactions, Action, and Recognition
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsStapleton, SRiggs
JournalThe Journal of Environmental Education
Pagination94 - 113
Date Published2015/04/03/
ISBN Number0095-8964
Keywordsdiversity, environmental identity, global education, high school, qualitative
AbstractThis article uses sociocultural identity theory to explore how practice, action, and recognition can facilitate environmental identity development. Recognition, a construct not previously explored in environmental identity literature, is particularly examined. The study is based on a group of diverse teens who traveled to South Asia to participate in a global education program focused on climate change impacts. Kempton and Holland's (2003) environmental identity model is applied to find that different types of social interactions fostered different types of identity development. Interactions with people affected by climate change helped participants move toward salience, while interactions with their peers helped youth in environmental action. An additional finding was the importance of diversity within social interactions in shaping environmental identity.