24 September 2013

People Matter

Environmental “Behavior Change”: Information, Values, or Windows of Opportunity?

Janet Lorenzen
Department of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Date: Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Time: 12:30-2:00 pm       
Location: Blake 131, Cook Campus

Please click on the following link to see the flyer:

Different perspectives on behavior change include the assertions that information shapes decision-making (rational choice theory), values influence behavior (drive theory), and habits guide social action (practice theory). This talk draws on data from 45 in-depth interviews and participant observation with three groups: (1) voluntary simplifiers, (2) religious environmentalists, and (3) green home owners. Each of these groups is attempting to go green and transition to a less carbon intensive lifestyle. The main finding supports practice theory, suggesting that changes in life (ie., having children or moving to a new city) which disrupt habits create windows of opportunity for people to re-think problems, change their practices, and set new paths for future action.

Janet is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University. She is primarily interested in strategic action and processes of social change. She studies the micro- and meso-level mechanisms which enable macro-level change. Her dissertation research focuses on the ways in which people reduce their consumption and go green. Her research is funded by a dissertation research grant from the Rutgers Initiative for Climate and Society and a dissertation writing fellowship from the American Association of University Women. Her work has been published in Human Ecology Review, Sociological Forum, and Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change.

To see additional events, please visit our  website: http://www.humanecology.rutgers.edu/events.asp

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