Exploring Digital-Environment Habitus in Italy—How Digital Practices Reflect Users’ Environmental Orientations?

Maria Laura Ruiu, Gabriele Ruiu, Massimo Ragnedda, Felice Addeo

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Abstract

This study employs the Bourdieusian concept of habitus to explore how users’ mental dispositions are associated with both their eco-conscious use of digital technologies and online behaviours. The digital-environmental habitus, reflecting such a combination of digital technology use and environmental attitudes, is explored through an online survey of 1188 participants. Factorial analyses are used to measure the environmental orientation of digital users, their digital expertise, and the digital-environmental habitus, encompassing both awareness and behavioural dimensions. We then use a path structural model to investigate the relationship among these constructs. The results indicate that pro-environmental dispositions are associated with digital pro-environmental awareness and behaviours. The existence of digital-specific environmental awareness also enhances pro-environmental digital behaviours, emphasising the importance of educating users about the environmental impact of digital tools. While digital expertise alone does not significantly predict digital-environmental awareness, it does moderate the digital-environmental habitus’s behavioural aspect, promoting behaviours mutually beneficial for users and the environment. Further research is needed to understand how benefit-oriented and eco-centric environmentalism manifests in the digital arena.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4880
Number of pages21
JournalSustainability
Volume16
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2024

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