Thinking about nature and the environment: some contributions from Social Representations Theory

Paula Castro About the author

This paper presents two studies, conducted in Portugal within the framework of Social Representations Theory (SRT), and aiming at analyzing how the Portuguese think and talk about environment and nature. A general overview of the field of environmental beliefs and attitudes is first presented, and some of SRT ideas that may help advance this field of studies are advanced. A questionnaire study that aimed at identifying the social representations of the environment present in Portugal is then summarized, and, departing from some of the question it points to, a second study is afterwards presented. It resulted from a series of focus groups, in which four discourses were identified whose main features are summarized. Finally, the value that SRT may add to this field of studies is discussed, in terms of a more consistent theoretical integration.

social representations theory; environmental psychology; environmental beliefs

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