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An Inconvenient Truth: Lower Classes Reluctance to Environmental Politics and Policies in Europe

Abstract : When the environmentalism emerged in the 70s, a vigorous debate arose between the movement spearhead, the associations’ members from new middle-classes (Boy 1981; Cotgrove et Duff 1980) and the representative unions of the traditional industrial and agricultural world. These feared that the new middle classes, by curbing growth, «remove the scale" that they have themselves climbed into their social ascent, and deprive them of access to the benefits of affluent society to which they aspired (Prendiville, 1993). This opposition was analyzed as a new transverse cleavage, basis of "new politics", and responding to "post-materialist" voters (Inglehart, 1993). Thereafter, the promotion of sustainable development with its three pillars and the theory of ecological modernization, have tried to show that there was no real conflict between social claims and ecology. But more recently, some researchers tell a different story: they highlight the growing dramatic opposition between winners and losers of globalization (Kriesi et al. 2008). What are the consequences today of these inequalities on the desire for ecology? Is the divide reducing or enlarging between those claiming priority to the protection of the environment, and those who prefer first growth and the fight against poverty? We will examine the evolution of these positions in the different social classes of the countries of Western Europe since 1974. To display these historical trends, we will rely on major European surveys: Eurobarometer, EVS, ISSP and ESS.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01192561
Contributor : Jean-Paul Bozonnet Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - 10:08:48 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 8:01:15 PM

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Jean-Paul Bozonnet. An Inconvenient Truth: Lower Classes Reluctance to Environmental Politics and Policies in Europe. 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination, Aug 2015, Prague, Czech Republic. ⟨halshs-01192561⟩

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