Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology


Historically, western societies have emphasized the virtues of growth and resource exploitation for meeting the needs of their populations. This emphasis partly springs from a strong anthropencentric tradition in these societies in which humans have been seen as being apart from nature and as somehow immune from ecological constraints. Man's arrogance toward nature has been attributed to numerous factors, including European expansion into the Western Hemisphere during the 17th century and the rapid development of science and technology. Catton and Dunlap (1980) maintain that these factors were important in producing a unique set of values in western societies, which they call the "Human Exemptionalism Paradigm" (HEP). But the Environmental Quality Movement provides recent evidence of a profound paradigmatic shift in the orientations of some Americans. Finding increased acceptance are such ideas as the necessity of limiting economic and population growth and of securing a better balance of man with nature. Catton and Dunlap (1980) have called this newly emergent worldview the "New Ecological Paradigm" (NEP);The present study was designed to test the extent to which some key tenents of the New Ecological Paradigm have gained acceptance among various populations in Iowa. While it was found that the NEP received widespread endorsement, some groups were more resistive of it than others. In particular, urbanites were shown to be more supportive of NEP assumptions than farmers; businessmen were less supportive than other occupational groups; and farmers who staunchly adhere to traditional agrarian ideologies more often accepted the NEP than did farmers who rejected this ideology;The analysis revealed considerable congruency between the respondents' diverse orientations. For example, persons who displayed proenvironmental commitments in the abstract were also those who most often took proenvironmental positions on local issues.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Don E. Albrecht



Proquest ID


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File Size

111 pages

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Sociology Commons