Citizen-consumers and evolution [electronic resource] : Reducing environmental harm through our social motivation / Mikael Klintman.

Klintman, Mikael, 1968-
Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan : [distributor] Macmillan(US), 2012.
1 online text (150 p. :)
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Behavior evolution.
Consumer behavior -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Consumer behavior -- Environmental aspects.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Mikael Klintman is Professor of Sociology at Lund University, Sweden and a former Wallenberg Research Fellow in Environment and Sustainability at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. His previous publications include Eco-Standards, Product Labelling and Green Consumerism (with Magnus Bostrom).
This book develops a groundbreaking, novel approach to examining ethical consumer behaviour from the perspective of evolutionary theory, illustrating the deeply rooted potentials and limits within society for reducing environmental harm. 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 'Klintman's goal is to learn how we can motivate people to avoid "environmental harm". He discards the boundary-maintaining fixed beliefs that have put sociology at risk of being left on the side of the road. The result is pragmatic sociological theory that is compatible with current understanding of the biological underpinnings of human behavior.' - Jerome H. Barkow, Honorary Professor, Institute of Cognition and Culture, Queen's University of Belfast, UK and Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
Introduction Three Approaches Apollonian and Dionysian Trust Rebound Effects and Spillovers Single Policy and Planning Issues Wider Societal Change Conclusions and Discussion.
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