A new look at the racial differences in environmental attitudes: the roles of risk perception and group consciousness.

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Author: Zhengyan Li
Date: Dec. 1, 2021
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 292 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Environmental attitudes; Environmental participation; Environmental justice; Risk perception race and ethnicity; Group consciousness Highlights * Environmental attitudes of Whites and Minorities explained by different factors. * Risk perception matters for environmental attitudes of both Whites and Minorities. * Political orientation and social connectedness matter much more for Whites. * Group consciousness plays critical roles for Minorities' environmental attitudes. * Group consciousness explains much of the racial environmental-attitude differences. Abstract Racial minorities bear disproportionate share of pollution and environmental risk. A key solution to such disparities is to increase their participation in the environmental policymaking process. In this article, I test various theories of environmental attitudes and participation--with a special focus on risk perception and group consciousness--on Whites and Minorities and use them to explain the racial differences in environmental concern and participatory intentions. Using survey data, I find that risk perception is positively associated with environmental concern and participatory intentions for both Whites and Minorities. I also find that many theories of environmental attitudes apply to Whites and Minorities differently. While the traditional explanations of political orientation and social connectedness apply to Whites, their patterns are less clear for Minorities. Instead, group consciousness plays an exceptionally important role for racial minorities, and it accounts for much of racial minorities' higher levels of concern and participatory intentions compared with Whites. This study provides new perspectives to understand the racial differences in environmental concern and participation and has important implications for the environmental justice research and movement and environmental public policy. Author Affiliation: Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, 700 East University, Kresge Hall, 3rd Floor West, Suite 3510, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA Article History: Received 4 June 2021; Revised 7 August 2021; Accepted 23 August 2021 Byline: Zhengyan Li [ianli@umich.edu]

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A677203807