Ecological conversion vs. car dependency. An analysis of the dissonance between environmental attitudes and car use among low-income households in peri-urban and rural areas

By Yoann Demoli, Matéo Sorin, Axel Villaereal


This article tests the hypothesis that, unlike other consumer practices, daily mobility practices are relatively unrelated to environmental attitudes and values. To achieve this, we articulate the statistical trends observed from a general population survey with a corpus of interviews conducted with a sub-population particularly constrained in its car use. After a presentation of data from the Lifestyles and Environment Survey, we define the indicators available to evaluate our hypotheses (environmental attitude indicators from the New Environmental Paradigm Scale (NEPS), but also car use). We then present the results of our statistical analyses, first using descriptive statistics and then using models, all other things being equal. The results obtained are then discussed in the light of a qualitative survey conducted in Loire-Atlantique among twenty three low-income households living in peri-urban or rural areas. Our analysis indicates, in general, that environmental values only marginally influence individuals’ car use. More specifically, with regard to the sub-population studied, the constraints of daily life, the budget allocated to travel and the lack of real alternatives in terms of comfort and speed often prevail, particularly in the peri-urban and rural areas studied.


  • daily mobility
  • environmental attitudes
  • dissonance
  • NEP scale (NEPS)
  • ecological conversion
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