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Ecological way of life of Russian and American students: features of manifestation and problems of formation

Research Article

Polina O. Ermolayeva, Candidate of Sociology researcher, ,
mailto: polina-e@mail.ru
Ecological way of life of Russian and American students: features of manifestation and problems of formation.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 236-253

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For citation:
Ermolayeva P. O. Ecological way of life of Russian and American students: features of manifestation and problems of formation. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 236-253


In the article, based on empirical research of the author, the ecological way of life of the Russian (by the example of Kazan) and American (by the example of Fort Collins, Colorado) studentship is analyzed: the forms of ecological behavior, ecological activism are investigated; the students are grouped by type of ecological activism. The ecological way of life is a wide set of systematically reproduced pro-ecological practices of the population, united by the idea of the subject’s responsibility for the environmental health. We investigated the complex of problems, devoted to different manifestations of the ecological way of life at various levels of social reality. The pro-ecological behavior of American and Kazan students has been studied, and behavioral practices aimed at protecting the environment, protecting the population from the negative impact of unfavorable environmental factors have been revealed. A model for typification of students in environmental activities has been constructed; it includes four types: an ideal pro-ecological type, an incomplete positive type, an incomplete negative type, an anti-environmental type. The conclusion is made that environmentalization of the way of life as a complex construction is expressed in pro-ecological behavior and pro-ecological activism. The availability of necessary infrastructure contributed to environmentalization of the way of life of American students. The ecological way of life of the American students has become more widespread and accessible, in contrast to the Kazan students, where such pro-ecological practices are yet being formed. It is important to produce the necessary infrastructure development facilities: new parks, embankments, gardens. For partial solution of transport problems and reduction of carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere, one can arrange city cycle lanes, ecological bicycle routes. In addition, development of strong civil society institutions contributed to the more active civic position of American students and confidence that with the help of various actions they will be able to influence the decisions of the authorities in the field of environmental activities. Paternalism is characteristic both for the Russian youth, and for the entire population. The study has shown that the American student body acted as the initiator of various pro-ecological practices to a greater degree than Russian students.


environmental lifestyle, environment behavior, environmental activism, typological analysis.


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