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Environmental socialisation of adolescents and its impact on their influence on environmental reverse socialisation of parents: The Indian context.

Singh, Pallavi (2016) Environmental socialisation of adolescents and its impact on their influence on environmental reverse socialisation of parents: The Indian context. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Children as influencer in family decision making have widely been acknowledged in consumer research. In today's world environmental concerns are taking centre stage in different discourses including consumer behaviour, in which children have been recognised by policy makers as potential influencers and catalysts of environmental attitude and behaviour change for their families and communities. Globally, different environmental education programs are implemented to empower them, including in India. To study the role of children in environmental discourse in India, this thesis uses consumer socialisation theory to explore the process of environmental socialisation of Indian adolescents (age 13-18 years) and whether they influence the environmental attitudes and behaviour of their parents. The thesis focuses on one activity-based environmental education program, the Green School Program in India as the basis to study the effect of environmental education on the environmental socialisation and reverse socialisation processes and also to target the required sample population. The thesis uses a sequential exploratory mixed methods approach, utilising multiple qualitative methods (including essay writing, group interviews and mother-adolescent dyad interviews) in the first phase followed by a questionnaire survey in the quantitative phase. As a contribution in the environmental reverse socialisation research stream, this thesis indicates that Indian adolescents influence their parents' environmental attitudes and behaviour however the degree of their influence is moderated by parents' perception of their adolescents' environmental ability and knowledge. This adds a new insight into the role of learner in agent-learner relationship in existing socialisation research by indicating that parents as learners are not passive in the environmental reverse socialisation process. Indian parents act more actively as learners and scrutinise and control the knowledge and behaviour influence of their adolescents according to their own perception. Further, as key environmental socialisation agents, school, media, parents and peers were all investigated, and for adolescents' school are considered the most important agent. As an important contribution, this thesis concludes that socialisation agents exert different degrees of influence on adolescents' environmental learning and play a relative role. Another key finding suggest that schools also play an important role in creating a positive perception of adolescents' environmental knowledge and abilities among parents and therefore facilitating their receptivity towards their adolescents' environmental influence. This further contributes to the socialisation theory by indicating schools as antecedent variable for the environmental reverse socialisation process in India. The thesis further contributes to socialisation theory and environmental socialisation research by extending the application of socialisation theory to the environmental socialisation process in India and studying both the environmental socialisation process of adolescents and environmental reverse socialisation process of parents in India and connecting them in one study. Further it also highlights the role of family as a unit in India instead of individual members to be targeted by both environmental education, and communication policies and strategies for holistic impact. The key methodological contribution lies in the development of new scales and this further add in the current methodological discourse of environmental socialisation research by using mixed methods and triangulating both qualitative and quantitative results.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Pallavi Singh
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2016 13:08
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2016 13:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13717

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