Everyday cultures in inner city Nottingham: environmental concern and behaviour

Pell, David J.; Shelton, Isobel and Bates, Tom (2003). Everyday cultures in inner city Nottingham: environmental concern and behaviour. Everyday Cultures Working Papers 7; Pavis Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes.


This paper is based on the findings of a study carried out in 2000/2001 and funded by the National Everyday Cultures Programme. It explores the nature and extent of environmental concern and behaviour embedded in everyday culture in Britain and the factors influencing this through the everyday lives of 22 adults living in 18 households in a street in inner city Nottingham. This field suffers a dearth of, especially ethnographic, research. With a focus on environmental concern and behaviour and using Schein’s(1992) model of levels of culture, we unpack everyday assumptions, values and behaviours, first organising our data into ‘ethnoportraits’ and then around 6 key themes: the home, local community, the body, shopping, transport and belief systems. We find strong evidence of a culture of individualism rather than of collectivism which most are unhappy about, of people seeking meanings to life and of a correlationship between tendencies to care for each other and for the rest of Nature.

Applying Moisander’s (1999) model of motivation, ability and behaviour to these findings we are able to suggest how those concerned to influence everyday environmental concern and to motivate a shift in environmental behaviour in Britain, might best proceed. This builds on the work of social attitudinal surveys.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions