Research examines both experiences in nature and stories about experiences in nature.

Assignment # 4

Read “Eco-Identities” and watch the embedded TED talks. Also read “The Making of an Environmental Activist.” in the Supplemental reading link. Then respond to both parts of the Reading Response in your blog on your website.

In “The Making of an Environmental Activist,” Matsuba and Pratt (2013) note that pleas to support the environment and attend to human damage that has been done to it have “gone unheeded” (p. 60). They search for the reasons that calls to action have been largely unsuccessful through a consideration of identity formation. In particular, their research examines both experiences in nature and stories about experiences in nature. In this Assignment, summarize what they learned about people with environmental activist identities; pay close attention to how the researchers argue such identities are formed. In a second paragraph, connect insights from the article to the arguments made in Reading One about Place Attachment and Place Identity. How do personal and social experiences of place matter in the development of environmental activists? Explain your reasoning, using information from the “Place Attachment” reading where useful.

Choose two of the individuals featured in Reading Two on “Eco-Identities.” Use Matsuba and Pratt’s ideas about environmental activist identities to explain whether or not each of the individuals you have chosen is or is not an environmental activist.

The conclusion of this assignment is about YOU. Using insights from any of the three readings in this unit, discuss whether or not you have an eco-identity now and whether or not you believe you will have an eco-identity in the future. Since Matsuba and Pratt share research that claims these identities are frequently formed in the early part of life, through emerging adulthood, many college students would seem to be potential environmentalists in some sense. Are you? Why or why not?

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