What is (responsible) consumption? Discussing environment and consumption with children from different socioeconomic backgrounds in The Netherlands

Helen Kopnina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research explores the attitudes of children from different socioeconomic backgrounds toward consumption with the aim of establishing a framework for incorporating the subject of (responsible) consumption into the upper elementary school curriculum. This study draws upon the four-step methodological procedure, including consumption diaries, focus-group sessions, interviews, and concept mapping, conducted among 140 upper elementary school children in the Netherlands between September 2010 and January 2011. The consumption diaries, chronological documents recording purchase, use and waste of materials, were used both as analytical tools and the means to stimulate environmental awareness. Comparison of the clusters generated by concept mapping analysis shows that there are significant differences between attitudes of children from different socioeconomic backgrounds. While pupils from the "well-to-do" predominantly ethnically Dutch schools showed greater awareness of and concern about their own consumptive patterns, children from less economically advantaged and ethnically mixed schools demonstrated lower environmental awareness and concern. However, children from the disadvantaged schools demonstrated more pro-environmental consumptive behaviors associated with the money-saving activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-226
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmentalist
Volume31
Issue number3
Early online date29 Mar 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

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