Ecological Conversion vs Automobile Addiction. An analysis of the discrepancies between environmental attitudes and car use among low-income households in suburban and rural areas

By Yoann Demoli, Matéo Sorin, Axel Villaereal, Gabrielle Varro

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 compare the statistical trends observed in a general population survey and a body of interviews carried out 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. Next, we present the results of our statistical analyses, first using descriptive statistics and then using models, all other things being equal. The results are discussed in the light of the qualitative survey conducted in Loire-Atlantique among twenty-three lower-class households living in peri-urban or rural areas. Our research tends to indicate that, generally speaking, environmental values only marginally influence individual 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
  • car use
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