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Open AccessArticle

Social Identity and Risk Perception Explain Participation in the Swiss Youth Climate Strikes

1
Department of Consumer Behaviour, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
2
Institute for Research, Development and Evaluation, Bern University of Teacher Education, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
3
Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
4
Institute of Geography, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
5
Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK
6
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10605; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410605
Received: 17 October 2020 / Revised: 4 December 2020 / Accepted: 15 December 2020 / Published: 18 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
Since late 2018, young people around the world have united to demand greater action on climate change. Aside from their stated concerns and demands, however, very little is known about why young people have been joining this growing movement. Using a large sample (N = 4057) of people in Switzerland aged between 14 and 25, we show that social identity is most strongly associated with participation, followed by beliefs about the effectiveness of youth strikes, level of education, and worry about climate change. Our findings affirm the relevance of both climate change risk perceptions and social identity-related processes for collective climate change action, and pave the way for promising opportunities in theory development and integration. The study also provides lessons for those who seek to maintain and increase collective action on climate change: concern about climate change is an important motivating factor, but social identity processes are at least as relevant for young people’s participation. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; Fridays for Future; youth climate strikes; collective action; social movements; social identity; risk perception climate change; Fridays for Future; youth climate strikes; collective action; social movements; social identity; risk perception
MDPI and ACS Style

Brügger, A.; Gubler, M.; Steentjes, K.; Capstick, S.B. Social Identity and Risk Perception Explain Participation in the Swiss Youth Climate Strikes. Sustainability 2020, 12, 10605. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410605

AMA Style

Brügger A, Gubler M, Steentjes K, Capstick SB. Social Identity and Risk Perception Explain Participation in the Swiss Youth Climate Strikes. Sustainability. 2020; 12(24):10605. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410605

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brügger, Adrian; Gubler, Moritz; Steentjes, Katharine; Capstick, Stuart B. 2020. "Social Identity and Risk Perception Explain Participation in the Swiss Youth Climate Strikes" Sustainability 12, no. 24: 10605. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410605

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