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Title:Stewarding emotional places: Effects of place and emotion on pro-environmental behaviors in working landscapes
Author(s):Shipley, Nathan James
Director of Research:van Riper, Carena J
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stewart, William P
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Chu, Maria L; Dolcos, Florin; Stedman, Richard C
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):place attachment
place meaning
pro-environmental behavior
Abstract:Understanding the contribution of social-psychological forces on human behaviors that influence the environment is a vital aspect of understanding and identifying practices and policies that act on these forces to promote conservation of complex social-ecological systems. This research closely examines the contributions of two interrelated social phenomena (concepts of place and emotions) as they relate to human behaviors that benefit the environment and sustainability of agroecosystems in the context of working landscapes in the Midwestern United States. In the first study, I conducted a systematic review to examine the role of emotions of pride and guilt in predicting pro-environmental behavior. Through a meta-analysis I found that across 35 studies pride and guilt both were significant predictors of pro-environmental behavior and anticipated pride was most strongly correlated with behavior. In the second study, I tested the factor structure of a novel place meaning scale and tested for differences in place meanings across two different rural contexts in Illinois and Iowa, U.S. Through confirmatory factor analyses I found evidence that eight place meanings could be distinguished and that respondents living in the two study sites differed in their place meanings. In the third study, I conducted interviews with farmers living in the Kaskaskia River Watershed, Illinois to understand their decision-making and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices. Through a narrative analysis, I found that farmers described their decision-making as a process of active place-making where emotions and place meanings served as aspirations for their land. Farmer decision-making was articulated through two recurrent narratives, one narrative was unified around meanings of efficiency and commodity values of place, whereas another narrative that empathized farm and family legacy. In the final study, I examined relationships among concepts of place and pro-environmental behavior using data collected from a survey administered to a panel of residents living in the Kaskaskia River Watershed. Through structural equation modeling, I confirmed multiple hypotheses, notably that diverse place meanings were predictors of place attachment and that anticipated emotions of pride mediated the attachment-behavior relationship across urban and rural respondents. In sum, findings from my mixed-method research indicate that concepts of place and emotions – particularly pride – are related to engagement in behaviors that benefit the environment. These findings emphasize the importance of recognizing the influence of concepts of place and emotions to understand farmer decision-making, as well as encourage sustainable transformations of working landscapes across the Midwestern United States.
Issue Date:2021-07-07
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Nathan Shipley
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-01-12
Date Deposited:2021-08

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