Inderscience Publishers

Social perceptions of environmental issues: a case study looking at people's representations of environmental issues

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The implementation of efficient environmental and waste management policies requires a better understanding of how these issues are integrated into social dynamics. In particular, we need to improve our knowledge of social perceptions about these problems. To do this, one can use a methodology based on lexicographical tools. It allows the reconstruction of actors' representations from in-depth interviews. This study aims to demonstrate the benefits and limitations of such a method. It looks at the perceptions of environment and waste issues of French industrial actors. A common representation has been extracted on the basis of the categories most present in the discourses. It has then been completed and refined by a deeper examination of relationships between actors, of values underlying the representation, and of its dynamic aspects. The method presented here would be particularly appropriate for comparative analysis between different groups of actors or different cultures.

Keywords: environment, lexicology, social perceptions, environmental policies, waste management

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