Understanding engagement and disengagement from pro-environmental behaviour: The role of neutralization and affirmation techniques in maintaining persistence in and desistance from car use
Despite mounting evidence that car use is a prime culprit of global warming, our love affair with the car persists. General awareness of the environmental consequences of car usage is high but fails to correspond to moderated car use. This paper contributes to an understanding of how university students’ environmental beliefs affect decisions to engage in continued car use (persistence) and/or to discontinue or reduce car use (desistance). The aim of the research presented here was to explore the range of neutralizations and counter-neutralizations (affirmations) employed by students and to examine the ways in which they are used to justify and maintain either persistence or desistance in car use. The research consisted of six focus group sessions with thirty-four UK-based Higher Education students. Analysis of the study’s data highlights the range of neutralizations and counter-neutralizations employed by students in social settings. The article discusses the usefulness of neutralization theory in accounting for actual and/or intended non-environmentally friendly behaviour such as car use. In addition, the study’s findings are discussed in relation to prior research and to potential implications for public policy interventions which favour moderating car usage.
Volume (Year): 94 (2016)
Issue (Month): C ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/547/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Manaugh, Kevin & El-Geneidy, Ahmed M., 2013. "Does distance matter? Exploring the links among values, motivations, home location, and satisfaction in walking trips," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 198-208.
- Wright, Chris & Curtis, Barry, 2005. "Reshaping the motor car," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 11-22, January.
- Bamberg, Sebastian & Fujii, Satoshi & Friman, Margareta & Gärling, Tommy, 2011. "Behaviour theory and soft transport policy measures," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 228-235, January.
- Kim, Junghwa & Schmöcker, Jan-Dirk & Fujii, Satoshi & Noland, Robert B., 2013. "Attitudes towards road pricing and environmental taxation among US and UK students," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 50-62.
- Jonn Axsen & Kenneth S Kurani, 2012. "Interpersonal influence within car buyers' social networks: applying five perspectives to plug-in hybrid vehicle drivers," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(5), pages 1047-1065, May.
- Frans M. Dieleman & Martin Dijst & Guillaume Burghouwt, 2002. "Urban Form and Travel Behaviour: Micro-level Household Attributes and Residential Context," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 39(3), pages 507-527, March.
- Jonn Axsen & Kenneth S Kurani, 2012. "Interpersonal Influence within Car Buyers' Social Networks: Applying Five Perspectives to Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Drivers," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 44(5), pages 1047-1065, May.
- Strutton, David & Vitell, Scott J. & Pelton, Lou E., 1994. "How consumers may justify inappropriate behavior in market settings: An application on the techniques of neutralization," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 253-260, July.
- Sylvia Lorek, Joachim H. Spangenberg, 2001. "Indicators for environmentally sustainable household consumption," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1), pages 101-120.
- Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
- Guiver, J.W., 2007. "Modal talk: Discourse analysis of how people talk about bus and car travel," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 233-248, March.
- Linda Steg & Gerard Tertoolen, 1999. "Sustainable Transport Policy: The Contribution from Behavioural Scientists," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 63-69, January.
- Massey, Oliver T., 2011. "A proposed model for the analysis and interpretation of focus groups in evaluation research," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 21-28, February.
- Andreas Chatzidakis & Sally Hibbert & Andrew Smith, 2007. "Why People Donâ€™t Take their Concerns about Fair Trade to the Supermarket: The Role of Neutralisation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 89-100, August.
- LeBoeuf, Robyn A. & Shafir, Eldar & Bayuk, Julia Belyavsky, 2010. "The conflicting choices of alternating selves," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 48-61, January.
- Shannon, Tya & Giles-Corti, Billie & Pikora, Terri & Bulsara, Max & Shilton, Trevor & Bull, Fiona, 2006. "Active commuting in a university setting: Assessing commuting habits and potential for modal change," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 240-253, May.
- Anable, Jillian, 2005. "'Complacent Car Addicts' or 'Aspiring Environmentalists'? Identifying travel behaviour segments using attitude theory," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 65-78, January.
- Aaron C. Ahuvia, 2005. "Beyond the Extended Self: Loved Objects and Consumers' Identity Narratives," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 171-184, June.
- Schuitema, Geertje & Anable, Jillian & Skippon, Stephen & Kinnear, Neale, 2013. "The role of instrumental, hedonic and symbolic attributes in the intention to adopt electric vehicles," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 39-49.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:94:y:2016:i:c:p:278-294. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.