Advanced

(Un)knowingly needing support : an exploration into the importance of social support and relations for climate-friendly Danes

Orup, Mette LU (2018) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20181
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Many studies on how to encourage pro-environmental behaviour have been done. However, they have tended to focus on individual behaviour in isolation of social interactions despite increasing scepticism about the effectiveness of this approach in promoting the necessary transition toward a more sustainable society. Such a transition constitutes a central part of the transformational mode of sustainability science and this thesis taps into the mission of finding ways to better understand how to increasingly engage citizens in lower carbon lifestyles.

Through a constructivist grounded theory study this thesis explores how Danes who try to live climate-friendly experience social support from their social relations and the importance of it... (More)
Many studies on how to encourage pro-environmental behaviour have been done. However, they have tended to focus on individual behaviour in isolation of social interactions despite increasing scepticism about the effectiveness of this approach in promoting the necessary transition toward a more sustainable society. Such a transition constitutes a central part of the transformational mode of sustainability science and this thesis taps into the mission of finding ways to better understand how to increasingly engage citizens in lower carbon lifestyles.

Through a constructivist grounded theory study this thesis explores how Danes who try to live climate-friendly experience social support from their social relations and the importance of it in interaction with their own ability to live climate-friendly in their everyday life. These interactive social processes were explored through in-depth personal accounts of experiences and perceptions shared by 17 Danes.

Findings from this rich empirical material showed that emotional, esteem and belonging support were the most predominant types of social support that research participants found missing from their close family ties and friends. It was however also the most present types of support, but these were characterised by being found outside the close social relations through seeking communities of interest (both online and real-life). Conflicts or other relational strains tended to be the cause for this need to go beyond the close friends and family ties to find social support related to climate-friendliness. Such need was often explained because of perceived lack of understanding, disapproval, lack of climate-friendly action from close relations, or even the experienced need to seek support elsewhere in order to maintain these close relations.

Through the iterative process of going back and forth between data collection and analysis – important to grounded theory – I found that not only the type of social support was important to identify but also the source from which it came, i.e. the type of social relation. Therefore, the initial conceptual framework on social support was modified to encompass types of social relations too which was done by extending already existing theory. This new framework has the potential to guide sustainability scientists, transition designers or other practitioners who in the future will try to enable more citizens to adopt lower carbon lifestyles by bringing a broader social context into the equation. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Orup, Mette LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
social support, social relations, relational strain, climate-friendly behaviour, grounded theory, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2018:012
language
English
id
8951145
date added to LUP
2018-06-19 14:10:33
date last changed
2018-06-19 14:10:33
@misc{8951145,
  abstract     = {Many studies on how to encourage pro-environmental behaviour have been done. However, they have tended to focus on individual behaviour in isolation of social interactions despite increasing scepticism about the effectiveness of this approach in promoting the necessary transition toward a more sustainable society. Such a transition constitutes a central part of the transformational mode of sustainability science and this thesis taps into the mission of finding ways to better understand how to increasingly engage citizens in lower carbon lifestyles.

Through a constructivist grounded theory study this thesis explores how Danes who try to live climate-friendly experience social support from their social relations and the importance of it in interaction with their own ability to live climate-friendly in their everyday life. These interactive social processes were explored through in-depth personal accounts of experiences and perceptions shared by 17 Danes.

Findings from this rich empirical material showed that emotional, esteem and belonging support were the most predominant types of social support that research participants found missing from their close family ties and friends. It was however also the most present types of support, but these were characterised by being found outside the close social relations through seeking communities of interest (both online and real-life). Conflicts or other relational strains tended to be the cause for this need to go beyond the close friends and family ties to find social support related to climate-friendliness. Such need was often explained because of perceived lack of understanding, disapproval, lack of climate-friendly action from close relations, or even the experienced need to seek support elsewhere in order to maintain these close relations.

Through the iterative process of going back and forth between data collection and analysis – important to grounded theory – I found that not only the type of social support was important to identify but also the source from which it came, i.e. the type of social relation. Therefore, the initial conceptual framework on social support was modified to encompass types of social relations too which was done by extending already existing theory. This new framework has the potential to guide sustainability scientists, transition designers or other practitioners who in the future will try to enable more citizens to adopt lower carbon lifestyles by bringing a broader social context into the equation.},
  author       = {Orup, Mette},
  keyword      = {social support,social relations,relational strain,climate-friendly behaviour,grounded theory,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {(Un)knowingly needing support : an exploration into the importance of social support and relations for climate-friendly Danes},
  year         = {2018},
}