Individualism vs. Collectivism: Effect on our pro-environmental behaviour

by Mariya Semenova

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: New Zealand; individualism; collectivism; science communication; pro-environmental behaviour; environmental concern; sustainability; sustainable communities; intentional communities
Record ID: 1297364
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5597


This thesis includes an academic and a creative component. The academic component examines the relationship between the two value orientations of individualism and collectivism and their effect on our pro-environmental behaviour. A survey of two groups from New Zealand was conducted to see if the more environmentally active group (sampled from the sustainable communities in New Zealand) was more collectivistic in its value orientation than the presumably less environmentally active group (sampled from the general New Zealand population). The survey was also used to infer whether individualism and collectivism are significant predictors of pro-environmental behaviour. The results provide partial support for the hypotheses in this thesis. The creative component, a short documentary film, The Oasis, tells a story of a man whose behaviour and lifestyle provide a good example of an environmentally active individual within a New Zealand context. This film offers a case where an environmentally conscious individual possesses a great mix of individualistic and collectivistic values.