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Ojala, Maria
Publications (10 of 46) Show all publications
Ojala, M. & Lidskog, R. (2017). Mosquitoes as a Threat to Humans and the Community: The Role of Place Identity, Social Norms, Environmental Concern and Ecocentric Values in Public Risk Perception. Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 22(2), 172-184
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mosquitoes as a Threat to Humans and the Community: The Role of Place Identity, Social Norms, Environmental Concern and Ecocentric Values in Public Risk Perception
2017 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 172-184Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a risk that climate change will cause an increase of mosquito populations in Europe. Due to their nuisance to humans, there are demands to combat mosquitoes, mainly through spraying. These interventions, however, are expensive and associated with uncertainties concerning effects on biodiversity.This poses a dilemma for policy-makers, which makes it important to gain knowledge on what people’s nuisance comprises. Thus, the aim of this study is to explore what factors are associated with this risk perception of mosquitoes.Theories about place identity, social norms, environmental concern and values were used to identify relevant factors. A questionnaire was distributed to 317 persons in a Swedish community where mosquitoes have increased radically. The items concerning risk perception fell out as a unidimensional scale in a principal component analysis (PCA) and the internal consistency of the scale was good. Risk perception was positively related to place identity, descriptive social norms, and self-oriented environmental concern and negatively related to ecocentric values. The most important predictor was descriptive social norms, but the other factors and gender also contributed uniquely in explaining risk perception. Results are discussed in relation to the theory of social amplification of risks.

National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-288432 (URN)10.1080/13549839.2016.1185097 (DOI)000396619900003 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-04-27 Created: 2016-04-27 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Ojala, M. (2016). Critical emotional awareness as a key competence in education for a sustainable future. In: : . Paper presented at Competence2016, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, Ocober 19-21. Part of symposium: Sustainability competences: meanings, possibilities, and constraints(Chair: Arjen Wals, Wageningen University).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Critical emotional awareness as a key competence in education for a sustainable future
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Problem domain (50 words)

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is one important tool to handle global problems such as climate change. Some researchers argue that ESD should focus on transformative learning aimed at critical awareness and change of unsustainable norms, habits, and structures. The need of disruptive competence building is emphasized.

Questions, Purpose (100 words)

This presentation takes its starting point in the above mentioned accounts of ESD, i.e., transformative learning and disruptive competence building. The purpose is, however, to show, through theoretical argumentation and by referring to empirical studies, that it is important to also include emotional aspects. The concept of “critical emotional awareness” as a key-competence in ESD will be introduced. The questions in focus are: Why is it important to focus on this competence? What components does it consist of? How does it differ from other similar concepts? What are the ethical and practical implications of including critical emotional awareness in ESD?

Development of the argument (250 words)

Studies will be presented showing that negative emotions of for instance anxiety, unease and dissonance can be evoked by the seriousness and complexity of global problems but also by these pedagogical approaches “identity threatening” character. These emotions can sometimes be positive forces in the learning process, but they can also be hard to face, and whether or not they will help or overturn transformative learning may have to do with how these emotions are coped with and regulated. Therefore, it is not enough to disrupt unsustainable cognition/thinking, norms, and practices if aiming for transformation, there is also a need to focus on critical emotional awareness as a key-competence in ESD. This competence includes awareness not only of emotions and underlying values involved in the learning process, but also of different emotion-regulation strategies and how these are influenced by emotion norms. The capacity to disrupt unsustainable coping strategies and to promote more sustainable ones, seen from the perspective of subjectification and transformation as goals of ESD, is also an important part of this competence. “Critical hope” is an additional vital component that will be touched upon. In addition, the difference between “critical emotional awareness” and “the therapeutic turn in education” that focuses on emotional competence, not as enabling change, but as a tool to adapt to the dominant societal order will be discussed. Finally, ethical and practical implications of including critical emotional awareness as a competence in ESD will be elaborated on, and both possibilities and constraints will be in focus.

Conclusions (150 words)

In this presentation it has been argued that when aiming for transformative learning in ESD, there is also a need to include critical emotional awareness. By rupturing the order of things, by disrupting, and transgressing, negative emotions are evoked. These feelings can be hard to confront and therefore can be coped with in more or less constructive ways both at an individual level and in social processes. This coping is influenced by larger emotion norms. By realizing this, a whole new network of power relations opens up for scrutiny. It is not enough to critically examine unsustainable thinking, norms, and practices; one also need to be aware of unsustainable ways of dealing with emotions and of how “power” governs even what seem to be our most private feelings. Hence, it is important for educators to acquire critical awareness of these aspects to respond professionally when applying transformative learning in ESD.

Implications (50 words)

The presentation will end by elaborating on practical implications for teacher education of including critical emotional awareness as a key-competence in educating for a sustainable future. Thus, how this competence can be nurtured in both future educators and their future students will be discussed.

 

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296655 (URN)
Conference
Competence2016, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, Ocober 19-21. Part of symposium: Sustainability competences: meanings, possibilities, and constraints(Chair: Arjen Wals, Wageningen University)
Projects
Young people´s communication with parents, friends, and teachers about global environmental problems: Emotions, coping, and self-efficacy
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-06-18 Created: 2016-06-18 Last updated: 2016-06-18
Ojala, M. (2016). Facing anxiety in climate change education: From therapeutic practice to hopeful transgressive learning. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Facing anxiety in climate change education: From therapeutic practice to hopeful transgressive learning
2016 (English)In: Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, ISSN 1205-5352Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the need for critical emotional awareness in environmental and sustainability education (ESE) that aspires to result in transgressive learning and transformation. The focus is on the emotions of anxiety/worry and hope and their role in climate change education (CCE). By disrupting unsustainable norms and habits hope for another way of being could be evoked, but transgressive learning can also trigger anxiety due to the undecided nature of the future and the gravity of the climate problem. The objective is, on the one hand, to point to the importance of critical awareness of these emotions and the need to disrupt unsustainable emotion-regulation strategies when aiming for transformation, and, on the other, to provide suggestions for including these dimensions in CCE.

National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-274567 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2010-1152
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-22 Last updated: 2017-11-30
Ojala, M. (2016). Preparing children for the emotional challenges of climate change. In: Winograd Kenneth (Ed.), "Education in times of environmental crises: Teaching children to be agents of change": (pp. 210-218). Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preparing children for the emotional challenges of climate change
2016 (English)In: "Education in times of environmental crises: Teaching children to be agents of change" / [ed] Winograd Kenneth, Routledge, 2016, p. 210-218Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261073 (URN)
Projects
Young people´s communication with parents, friends, and teachers about global environmental problems: Emotions, coping, and self-efficacy
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2015-08-28 Created: 2015-08-28 Last updated: 2016-04-28
Ojala, M. & J. Bergstad, C. (2016). Symposium: Young people and climate change engagement. In: : . Paper presented at 24th IAPS Conference, Lund University, Lund Sweden, June 28-July 1.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Symposium: Young people and climate change engagement
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One important group to include in the efforts to combat climate change (CC) is young people. Youths are the future leaders of society, as well as being citizens of today. They will be the ones handling the future negative consequences of this environmental and societal crisis. This group is also relatively easy to reach with information, since many are part of the educational system. Research about young people and CC is, however, quite rare. The present symposium focuses on this important group and their engagement and participation concerning CC. In two quantitative and two qualitative studies we explore and discuss factors that are related to CC engagement among young people and diverse forms of participation, both collective and private sphere pro-environmental engagement. To be able to combat CC it is of vital importance to reach a better understanding of these factors. In study 1 “Young and skeptical: how does media use affect young people’s pro-environmental behavior?” Yuliya Lakew (presenter), Örebro University, Sweden and Ulrika Olausson, Jönköping University, Sweden, in a longitudinal questionnaire study investigates the role of CC-skepticism and media use, and the interaction between these factors, in explaining private sphere-pro-environmental behavior among a group of late adolescents. In study 2 “Young people’s distancing strategies concerning climate change: Relations to engagement, communication patterns, gender, and worry” Maria Ojala, Uppsala University, Sweden, in a questionnaire study, looks at adolescents’ active distancing strategies concerning CC and how these strategies relate to CC-worry, environmental efficacy, private-sphere pro-environmental behavior and communication patterns with parents and peers. Gender differences are also in focus. In study 3 “Youth as change agents: working collectively for transformations” Elin Selboe (presenter) and Milda  Nordbø, University of Oslo, Norway, in a qualitative study analyses the choice of strategies and arenas for engagement with CC among youth that are already involved in transformative processes related to sustainability and social justice. Both formal and informal approaches to collective organization are in focus of the presentation. In study 4 “The dynamics of youth engagement in climate change” Milda Nordbø (presenter) and Elin Selboe, University of Oslo in an interview study, explore factors leading to youth engagement with CC, and those factors that sustain or may lead to a gradual termination of youth activism. The focus is on family support, friends, school, experience with nature, social debate and organizational life. The symposium will end with a discussion on how researchers from different disciplines, using diverse methodologies and theories, can collaborate in improving knowledge about youths and CC. Implications for CC-education and CC-communication will be elaborated upon. Study 1 is part of the project “Political socialisation” at Örebro University (Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences). Study 2 is part of the project “Young people´s communication with parents, friends, and teachers about global environmental problems” (Swedish Research Council Formas) and study 3 and 4 are parts of the project “Voices of the Future: Values and Visions Voices of the Future: Values and Visions of Norwegian Youth on Responses to Climate Change (Norwegian Research Council).

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-280642 (URN)
Conference
24th IAPS Conference, Lund University, Lund Sweden, June 28-July 1
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-03-12 Created: 2016-03-12 Last updated: 2016-03-12
Ojala, M. (2016). Teachers’ Meta-Emotion Philosophies and Climate Change Education. In: : . Paper presented at ECER, NW 30. Environmental and Sustainability Education Research, Dublin, Ireland,23 to 26 August 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teachers’ Meta-Emotion Philosophies and Climate Change Education
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During recent years many researchers have started to argue for the importance of including emotional aspects in ESE. Two main arguments are often used: (1)That the complexity and seriousness of sustainability challenges such as climate change can evoke negative emotions of for instance worry and guilt among students and this needs to be taken account of in educational efforts to prevent feelings of hopelessness and promote hope and agency (Gardiner & Rieckmann, 2015; Hicks, 2014; Ojala, 2013; Stevenson & Peterson, 2015). (2) In utilizing diversity and taking account of different value-laden commitments, conflicts will inevitable occur and educators need to take account of these conflicts and emotions related to them to prevent deadlocks and to promote constructive learning (Garrison et al., 2015;Sund & Öhman,2014; Wals, 2007). These arguments often include a view of emotions as constructive forces. For instance, worry has been found to increase information search and critical thinking (see Ojala, 2013), while dissonance is seen as a pre-request for learning (Wals, 2007). Likewise “positive” emotional aspects such as hope and “passionate engagement” are seen as important motivational forces to take account of (Lundegård & Wickman, 2007; Stevenson & Peterson, 2015; Sund & Öhman, 2014). However, what’s largely missing in the literature is an exploration of teachers’ views of the role of emotions in ESE. An exception is a study showing that a group of teachers thought that ESE can frighten students and overthrow hope and thereby the teachers sometimes avoided talking about aspects that they thought was too emotion provoking (Cross, 1998). Thus, the teachers’ views of emotions influenced their didactical choices.

In the present study the focus is on climate change education and the theoretical framework is teachers’ meta-emotion philosophies. Meta-emotion philosophy has been defined as an organized set of emotions and thoughts regarding one’s own feeling and other people’s feelings (Gottman et al.,1997). The term was created in relation to parents relationships with their children. It’s about awareness of emotions, acceptance of emotions, handling of emotions, and coaching of emotions. Meta-emotion philosophies have an indirect effect since they influence how parents interact with their child in emotional laden situations, which can have an effect on how children cope with emotions (Katz et al., 2012). Studies on teachers and meta-emotions philosophies are, however, rare, and are more or less non-existing in relation to education about larger societal problems. An Italian study was recently published about meta-emotion philosophies among early childhood teachers (Ciucci et al., 2015) and a masters’ thesis dealt with the association between teachers’ meta-emotions and students’ performance and bonding to school (Ming Yan, 2010). Regarding educating about societal problems Zembylas and colleagues (2014), although not using the term meta-emotions, identified pedagogical strategies with which emotions are schooled and that classify certain emotions as ‘legitimate’ or ‘appropriate’ and others as ‘illegitimate’ or ‘inappropriate’. In addition, a study demonstrated that students who perceived their teachers as not taking seriously their negative emotions concerning societal problems were more inclined to de-emphasize the seriousness of climate change than students who felt that their teachers respected and validated their emotions (Ojala, 2015). Hence, there seems to be a relation between the emotional rules that teachers enforce and individual coping strategies that young people use in relation to the climate problem.

The aim of this study is to explore senior high-school teachers’ meta-emotion philosophies regarding climate change education. The two main research questions are: What are teachers’ views and feelings about students’ emotions concerning climate change and these emotions role in the learning process? What strategies (if any) do teachers use to handle their own and students’ emotions in the classroom?

Method

In all 15 to 20 Swedish senior high-school teachers in geography, teaching about climate change, are interviewed. The methodological approach is phenomenological in the sense that it is the participants’ subjective experiences and interpretations of the object of study that is in focus. This relates to a well-known approach of studying ‘teacher beliefs’ in order to comprehend for instance teachers’ choices and decision-making in the classroom (see for example, Biesta et al. 2015). A stratified purposeful sampling approach was chosen to select the target group (Patton, 2001). The factors of gender, age/experience, and teaching subjects besides geography (natural science/social science) were taken account of in the sampling process. Semi-structured interviews were chosen as a data collection method. This type of interview is based on an interview guide where a number of topics of theoretical interest guide the interviews. The interviews are conducted as discussions around these themes and the order of the questions in the interview are not completely fixed but can be changed according to how the conversation develops (Drever, 1995). The interviews are recorded and written down word by word to allow analysis of the material.A thematic analysis is going to be performed on the data (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The printed interview protocols are going to be read carefully in order to identify a number of overarching themes. Thereafter a coding scheme is going to be created and each overarching theme will became a separate document in which pieces of the interviews are going to pasted (after a further review of the material). Sub-categories to the overall themes are then going to be identified. Thematic analysis can be both inductive and deductive, and in the present analysis the identification of themes is going to be influenced, on the one hand, by previous research and, on the other hand, by openness to the data at hand (Braun & Clarke, 2006).

Expected Outcomes

The data will be coded into different themes and sub-themes. The thematic analysis is going to be performed both in a deductive way, where different already identified overarching meta-emotion philosophies to a certain extent will guide the coding of the data (see Gottman et al.,1997; Katz et al., 2012; Ming Yan, 2010). These are: (a) An emotion-coaching meta-emotion philosophy - for instance an awareness and acceptance of emotions, using emotions as opportunities to learn. (b) A dismissing meta-emotion philosophy – for instance a non-awareness of emotions, but also a view that negative emotions are harmful and should be avoided or minimized (c) A disapproving meta-emotion philosophy – where emotions are seen as mostly negative and where one disapproves of emotions as part of the learning process. However, an inductive approach will also be used in which the unique meta-emotion philosophies and related sub-themes of teachers in relation to climate change education will be identified, organized, and described in detail. This will be a novel contribution to the research literature about ESE and climate change education. Teachers will most probably not be coded into only one meta-emotion philosophy category; instead some are expected to express a pattern of different philosophies. These patterns will be taken account of in the analysis. Results are going to be discussed in relation to the theory about meta-emotion philosophies and in relation to earlier studies belonging to the “emotional turn” in research about ESE. Practical implications for ESE/CCE will be elaborated on.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284124 (URN)
Conference
ECER, NW 30. Environmental and Sustainability Education Research, Dublin, Ireland,23 to 26 August 2016
Projects
Young people´s communication with parents, friends, and teachers about global environmental problems: Emotions, coping, and self-efficacy
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-04-15 Created: 2016-04-15 Last updated: 2016-06-18
Ojala, M. (2016). Young people and global climate change: Emotions, coping, and engagement in everydaylife. In: N. Ansell, N. Klocker, & T. Skelton, (Ed.), Geographies of children and young people handbook. Volume 8 Geographies of global issues, change and threat.: (pp. 1-19). Springer reference
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young people and global climate change: Emotions, coping, and engagement in everydaylife
2016 (English)In: Geographies of children and young people handbook. Volume 8 Geographies of global issues, change and threat. / [ed] N. Ansell, N. Klocker, & T. Skelton,, Springer reference , 2016, p. 1-19Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter focuses on research about how young people, mainly those from Northern Europe, relate to global climate change. Although in a sense this threat is spatially and temporally remote from the young people’s everyday lives, they come in contact with climate change through media and school and also relate concrete experiences to the threat. In this chapter climate change is seen as an existential, moral, and political problem. The aim is to investigate what emotions young people experience, how they cope, and how coping strategies are related to environmental efficacy, environmental engagement, and subjective wellbeing. Worry seems to be the most common emotion. Young people actively cope by using: (1) Problem-focused coping, i.e., thinking about, planning, and trying to do something to fight climate change; (2) Emotion-focused coping, for instance getting rid of negative emotions with distancing strategies; (3) Meaning-focused coping and hope, i.e., being able to switch perspective and see both negative and positive trends, and putting trust in more powerful societal actors. Meaning-focused coping seems to be an especially constructive strategy, since it is positively associated with environmental efficacy and engagement, as well as wellbeing. The chapter ends by arguing that it is important to let young people give voice to their climate-related emotions and that it is vital to realize that coping not only takes place at an individual level but is also a social process in which the adult world plays an important role

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer reference, 2016
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-247823 (URN)10.1007/978-981-4585-95-8_3-1 (DOI)978-981-4585-95-8 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2015-03-24 Created: 2015-03-24 Last updated: 2016-03-13
Ojala, M. (2016). Young people’s distancing strategies concerning climate change: Relations to engagement, communication patterns, gender, and worry. In: : . Paper presented at 24th IAPS Conference, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, June 28- July 1. Part of symposium: Young people and climate change engagement (Chairs: Maria Ojala, Uppsala University & Cecilia Bergstad, University of Gothenburg).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young people’s distancing strategies concerning climate change: Relations to engagement, communication patterns, gender, and worry
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Young people are one important group to include in the efforts to combat climate change (CC). Youths are the future leaders of society and they will be the ones handling the future negative consequences of this problem. This group is also relatively easy to reach with information, since many are part of the educational system. Still, studies about young people and CC are rare. The present study focuses on Swedish late adolescents (n=624; mean age=18) and their coping and engagement concerning CC. The study takes its starting point in the psychologically distant character of CC and the fact that this could impede engagement. A common suggested solution to this predicament is to make CC more visible and concrete. Studies also show that when people are confronted with CC through media or through CC-education they become more concerned and worried. This worry could lead to more engagement, but could also lead to disengagement and a low sense of efficacy. Applying the transactional theory of coping, this study argues that young people are not just passively taking in information about CC, but are actively dealing with this problem. In addition, how they are coping could have relations to felt efficacy in dealing with the problem and to engagement. The focus in this study is on how young people actively are distancing themselves from CC. Research has found that some youths deny that CC is as serious as researchers claim or argue that the negative consequence will only be visible in the future or among people living in faraway places. These ways of de-emphasizing the threat is more common among boys, is negatively related to worry, knowledge, efficacy, and engagement, while being positively related to negative communication patterns with peers and parents. However, besides to directly distance themselves from the problem, people can also distance themselves from negative emotions felt. How this emotion-focused distancing strategy relates to engagement among young people has, however, not been investigated before. The aim of the present study is to explore how distancing strategies concerning CC among adolescents relate to environmental efficacy, pro-environmental behavior, CC-worry, and communication patterns with parents and peers. Possible gender differences will also be in focus. Senior high-school students answered a questionnaire in the classroom during school hours. Statistical analyses showed that distancing was more common among girls (as was also the case in two pilot studies), was negatively related to felt efficacy and was positively related to CC-worry and to negative communication patterns with parents and peers. Distancing, however, had no relation to pro-environmental behavior. In a regression analysis the most important predictors of distancing were negative communication with fathers and CC-worry. A mediation analysis showed that the gender difference in distancing was explained by the fact that girls worried more about CC than boys. Results are discussed in relation to the transactional coping theory, the theory of affective intelligence, and gender theories. Practical implications for CC-education are elaborated upon.

National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-280641 (URN)
Conference
24th IAPS Conference, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, June 28- July 1. Part of symposium: Young people and climate change engagement (Chairs: Maria Ojala, Uppsala University & Cecilia Bergstad, University of Gothenburg)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-03-12 Created: 2016-03-12 Last updated: 2016-03-12
Ojala, M. (2015). Anticipation related emotions of hope and worry concerning global climate change: Promoting emotional awareness in education for a sustainable future. In: : . Paper presented at First International Conference on Anticipation, 5-7 November 2015, Trento, Italy.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anticipation related emotions of hope and worry concerning global climate change: Promoting emotional awareness in education for a sustainable future
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Different approaches to education that acknowledge complexity, value conflicts, and uncertainty in learning about sustainable development and global problems such as climate change have become popular in recent years. These models have however been criticized for lacking a deeper insight into how emotions influence the learning process. This is unfortunate, since many studies have shown that when it comes to global problems, learning about them can trigger worry and anxiety. Quite often worry is seen as something only negative; worry displaces reason, distracts people from what really is important, makes people resistant to outside information, and traps people in self-absorption that promotes self-interest, thereby paralyzing social change. In this presentation I, however, take a radically different approach to worry and the possibility of social change by taking my starting point in newer theories of emotions and empirical studies, mostly within political psychology, that have identified anxiety and worry as necessary preconditions for deliberation, critical thinking and the shaking of habits. Thus, these emotions could be seen as a first step towards becoming interested in and engaging with larger societal issues.

 

Worry and anxiety are unpleasant feelings, however, and may be dealt with by means of coping that are more or less constructive, seen from the perspective of social engagement. Given that society on a global scale to a large extent lacks political structures to deal with climate change, and because the problem’s inherent complexity leads to uncertainty about the right actions to take, it may be difficult for people to cope with their climate worries. In addition, Zygmunt Bauman has argued that people today find it hard to face moral emotions in relation to societal problems and to do something constructive with their moral pain. He claims that this inability is to a large extent due to our living in a neoliberal society that only allows people to feel pleasurable emotions, emotions that most easily can be increased through consumption. In this presentation, I through different empirical studies with young people show that although they cope with climate change related emotions in different ways; some do have the capacity to bear their worries, face the problem behind them and do something constructive about them. In this regard, the concept of meaning-focused coping is used. Meaning-focused coping is not about getting rid of negative emotions but about promoting positive emotions such as hope. These can then co-exist side by side with negative emotions giving people the strength to confront their worries and thereby promote problem-solving efforts. In this study I am going to present different meaning-focused efforts, of both an individual and collective kind, that young people use to promote hope concerning climate change. How these meaning-focused efforts relate to communication patterns with parents, friends, and teachers are also presented. The paper ends by arguing for the importance of “emotional awareness” in education about a sustainable future. Meaning that being aware of emotions is not enough. It is also vital to take into account different emotion regulation strategies at individual, group and cultural levels if wanting to promote transformative learning around these issues.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256280 (URN)
Conference
First International Conference on Anticipation, 5-7 November 2015, Trento, Italy
Projects
Young people's communication with parents, friends, and teachers about global environmental problems: Coping, self-efficacy, and engagement
Available from: 2015-06-22 Created: 2015-06-22 Last updated: 2015-06-22
Ojala, M. (2015). Climate change skepticism among adolescents. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(9), 1135-1153
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate change skepticism among adolescents
2015 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680, Vol. 18, no 9, p. 1135-1153Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Young people relate to one of the most serious social problems, global climate change, in different ways. This study focuses on adolescents (Time 1: mean age = 16.6 years) who de-emphasize the seriousness of this problem. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to investigate what factors predict climate skepticism cross-sectionally and what factors predict climate skepticism one year later. Two waves of data were collected (Time 1: n = 870; Time 2: n = 684). Factors important for explaining skepticism among adults (values, knowledge, conservative political orientation, gender, media use), a cluster of variables related to societal powerlessness (distrust, disinterest in societal issues, low environmental efficacy, low tolerance toward immigrants), and descriptive social norms (social influence from parents and peers) were included in the study. With the exception of media use in cross-sectional analyses, and of media use and a conservative political orientation in bivariate longitudinal analyses, all of these factors were significantly associated with skepticism. However, only perceiving parents as having climate skeptical attitudes and low tolerance toward immigrants predicted an increase in climate change skepticism over the one-year period. Results are discussed in relation to earlier studies about climate change skepticism and socialization theories. Implications for climate change education are also discussed.

Keywords
descriptive social norms; values; tolerance toward immigrant; environmental efficacy; youth; climate change education
National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-244533 (URN)10.1080/13676261.2015.1020927 (DOI)000364950800003 ()
Funder
Riksbankens JubileumsfondSwedish Research Council Formas, 2010-1152
Available from: 2015-02-17 Created: 2015-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-04
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