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Symposium: Young people and climate change engagement
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. JPS, Örebro University.
Göteborg Universitet.
2016 (English)Conference paper, 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).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-280642OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-280642DiVA: diva2:911511
24th IAPS Conference, Lund University, Lund Sweden, June 28-July 1
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-03-12 Created: 2016-03-12 Last updated: 2016-03-12

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