GREEN IDENTITIES IN CONFLICT: Leaving the Group, Conformism and Loyal Deviance, Arising from Conflicting Green Identities Within Local Communities
Velzen, Timon van
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In this Master’s thesis the interaction between personal green identity and community green identity in the development of sustainable intentions has been examined. Also, it has been explored what conflict resolution strategies people use in case the two identities are not well aligned. This can be either conformism (social influence theory), leaving the group (social identity theory) or loyal deviance (normative conflict model). The research contributes to an indepth and integrated insight in how sustainable behaviors develop, by using a community-based perspective. An integrated theoretical model has been developed in which identification with the community and centrality of personal green identity are incorporated as moderators that determine what resolution strategy will be adopted. A survey has been conducted in The Netherlands (N=775), including an experimental manipulation element regarding the green identity of the community one is part of (on the level of municipality). Results show that personal green identity is a strong determinant of green intentions. Dutch citizens generally find themselves quite green and tended to conform to the municipality especially in the green condition. People tended to stimulate greenness in the community (loyal deviance) mostly when they were in the non-green community condition. Persons tended to leave the group (or adopt a dual identity) especially in case they did not highly identify with their municipality.