Collective Environmental Action from an Anthropological Perspective: A Study of Environmental Movements in the United States

EPA Grant Number: U915615
Title: Collective Environmental Action from an Anthropological Perspective: A Study of Environmental Movements in the United States
Investigators: Daro, Vinci E.
Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $101,602
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Social Sciences


The objective of this research project is to bring anthropological knowledge to bear on the social and cultural aspects of environmental degradation. The investigator would like to help develop, and participate in, avenues for new forms of collaboration between social scientists, ecologists, and policy-makers in developing strategies for responding to environmental concerns that are culturally relevant to local communities in the United States and around the world.


Using research tools and theoretical approaches developed by anthropologists, this work draws ethnographic material from local environmental struggles, and broader contextual material from political debates taking place nationally. Participant observation, open-ended personal life-history interviews, and reviews of media coverage of environmental issues are the primary research tools. The project's theoretical approach includes "social practice theory," which focuses on the way identities and commitments develop in social practice, and "political ecology," which focuses on conflicting cultural values that shape-and are shaped by-environmental struggles.

Expected Results:

The research will provide an account of cultural models taking shape among concerned sectors of the public that can be used by decision makers to evaluate environmental issues and potential solutions.

Supplemental Keywords:

anthropology, activism, environmental movements., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Anthropology, decision-making, Ecology and Ecosystems, Sociology, Economics & Decision Making, Social Science, policy analysis, deliberative policy, coalition formation, policy making, collective choice process, environmental decision making, advocacy coalition framework, environmental policy, culture and social practices, behavior change, political ecology

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • Final