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Psicologia & Sociedade

On-line version ISSN 1807-0310


MATIAS, Hugo Juliano Duarte  and  PINHEIRO, José de Queiroz. Sustainable development: a discourse about the relation between development and nature. Psicol. Soc. [online]. 2008, vol.20, n.1, pp.134-143. ISSN 1807-0310.

This study presents the analysis of definitions of sustainable development, as a basic element of interpretative repertoires for the relation between development and nature. Three hundred and fifty five students of several courses of a federal university answered a questionnaire, providing the definitions, thereafter submitted to content analysis to examine the concept of nature and its relation with development. Three discursive matrixes were found: (a) the "economic bias" one - the necessity of development subordinates the need of nature preservation nature is a "natural resources"; (b) the "good intentions" discourse - the necessity of development subordinates the necessity of preservation - nature is "fragility"; (c) the "empty" - one development and nature are separate. It is concluded that the attribution of meaning to nature is important to explain how people think about the relation between development and nature, and that these discursive matrixes may justify social practices.

Keywords : Sustainable development; pro-environmental behavior; concept of nature; Environmental Psychology.

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