How does Ronald Inglehart explain the rise of environmental concern in the late twentieth century?

2019 Words9 Pages
How does Ronald Inglehart explain the rise of environmental concern in the late twentieth century? What criticisms have been and could be made of his arguments? Do you think his ideas are valid? According to Inglehart there is a growing mass of evidence which indicates that deep-rooted changes in world views are taking place. These are changes which seem to be reshaping economic, political, and social life in societies around the world. This essay will discuss the contributory factors, supporting factors, and criticisms towards this claim… There are two key approaches to environmental values: The philosophical approach considers what people should think about the environment, whilst the sociological asks what do people think about the environment. The methodology to attaining results for each approach is dissimilar: Philosophy will rely on approaches such as consequentialism and rights, whereas sociology routes for statistics and decisions through both quantitative and qualitative methodology. These divergent approaches, when combined are positively contributory in making a balanced evaluation of one’s environmental values. (Society and Nature 3a, lecture) However, Inglehart is criticised for not making this balanced evaluation since his approach is predominantly only sociological. Furthermore, individuals experience nature in different ways, so is it possible to generalise and say what people do and should think anyway? Inglehart argues that since the late 1960’s there has been a ‘silent revolution.’ He says this has come about because society’s values have altered, and now priorities towards environmental concern: Moreover, this revolution in values, (according to Inglehart) has caused environmental concerns to rise. His ‘silent revolution’ denotes a shift from materialism to post materialism: (Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society: 3-15) One
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