To test the hypothesis that history, national and religious traditions, State relations and social and economic variations between individuals generate cultural differences in which the relationship to the natural world and the environment is a fundamental element. It is intended that advice can be given on the environmental expectations and the environmental priorities of the nations, regions and social groups in Italy, Germany and France.
To identify differences in environmental sensibility between these countries, the concept of "social representation" is employed, which identifies how individuals represent the environment, through discourse, and how this representation influences their behaviour in practice. The research focusses how environmental preoccupations are established and what individuals do as consequence.
The methodology, identical in each country consists of 60 pilot studies for country, carried out using a qualitative interview guide wich permits to analyse how the environment is perceived and what are the words used to describe different aspects of it, involving 900 people (300 per nation in 3 regions per nation). From these pilot studies a questionnaire is developed, based upon the analysis of the findings. This questionnaire identifies different environmental issues in factual terms and assesses the significance of media, political and scientific discourse. The socio-economic determinants of social representations of the environment are also addressed and the strength of these in each nation as a means of identifying cultural peculiarities assessed.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts