Understanding environmentalism in six Asian countries : an analysis of the world values survey Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/f4752k310

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  • This dissertation focuses on a central question for six countries in Asia: what factors affect environmentalism? Numerous studies have proposed mixed theoretical explanations for the relationship between diverse values and beliefs regarding environmentalism. Although these diverse studies propose theories for the fast-growing and multifaceted environmentalism in Asia, here it is argued that the theories only partly explain environmentalism in Asia due to lack of empirical studies of this region. Thus, it is questioned whether Asian countries demonstrate the kinds and levels of environmentalism that would be expected according to these theories. Drawing upon the newest wave of the World Values Survey (WVS), this dissertation analyzes environmentalism in China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, India, and Malaysia. It begins by assessing descriptive features of environmental measurement among these countries' publics. Using bivariate and OLS regression analysis, relationships between three sets of dependent variables (environmental participation, local environmental concern, and global environmental concern), and three sets of independent variables (postmaterial factors, cultural and sociodemographic factors) are analyzed. Analyses found that there are weak connections between postmaterialism and environmental participation and environmental concern in these countries. In addition, the divisions between local and global environmental concern were inconsistent. It was found that more affluent countries had greater concern for global environmental problems, but it was not evident that less affluent countries placed more weight on local environmental problems than on global problems. The results contradict the major theories in environmentalism, and offer the view that the conventional associations of environmental values and their influential factors may not work the same way in Asian countries. In the end, it is proposed that environmentalism in Asia did not originate from certain homogenized values; thus, further studies should focus on addressing how multifaceted environmental values develop into a society's environmentalism.
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