Huxley College on the Peninsulas Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Abstract

We present a theory of the basis of support for a social movement. Three types of support (citizenship actions, policy support and acceptance, and personal-sphere behaviors that accord with movement principles) are empirically distinct from each other and from committed activism. Drawing on theoretical work on values and norm-activation processes, we propose a value-belief-norm (VBN) theory of movement support. Individuals who accept a movement's basic values, believe that valued objects are threatened, and believe that their actions can help restore those values experience an obligation (personal norm) for pro-movement action that creates a predisposition to provide support; the particular type of support that results is dependent on the individual's capabilities and constraints. Data from a national survey of 420 respondents suggest that the VBN theory, when compared with other prevalent theories, offers the best available account of support for the environmental movement.

Publication Title

Human Ecology Review

Volume

6

Issue

2

First Page

81

Last Page

97

Required Publisher's Statement

The Human Ecology Review is published by the Society for Human Ecology.

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