22 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Whilst there are profound disagreements about how more sustainable forms of living might be achieved, most research on pro-environmental action recognises it as a fundamentally social challenge – demanding shifts not merely in individuals’ attitudes and behaviours, but also in social norms, contexts and practices. Despite the social nature of the challenge, perhaps the most fundamental social medium – social interaction - remains under-theorised in this area. To address this gap, this paper applies Erving Goffman’s understandings of social interaction to an ethnographic case study of a pro- environmental change initiative called Environment Champions. The analysis shows that social interaction plays a crucially important role in shaping responses to pro-environmental change processes that has the potential to both help and hinder the spread of pro-environmental action. The paper concludes by exploring how Goffman’s ideas develop and extend current debates about pro- environmental behaviour change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages16
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number1
Early online date27 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Banal environmentalism
  • Conspicuous environmentalism
  • Erving Goffman
  • Pro-environmental behaviour
  • Social Interaction
  • Social Practice

Cite this