These hypotheses, marked by the cultural and contextual biases of our own reflection, contrast with the classical ethnological approach, where the observer blurs as much as possible to the profile of the populations studied. However, they are a methodological starting point that will be adjusted as we go along.
Hypothesis 1 :
Environmental awareness is the result of a process of raising awareness of environmental issues, a process that is built in three consecutive and ordered steps:
- Knowledge. To know the environmental disturbances, the solutions for a sustainable development, the harmful actions and the beneficial actions. Knowledge to develop interest.
- Understanding. Understand at the collective level the role that humanity plays, but also the individual responsibility for its actions or inaction. Understand what is our individual impact on what surrounds us and what is the impact of our environment on lives today and in the future. Understanding to develop sensitivity.
- Action. Convert knowledge and understanding into motivation for action, commitment for oneself and others. Action to develop identity.
Thus, developing environmental awareness means first of all having access to knowledge through information, then taking the time for reflection, introspection to understand the implications, and the place we occupy in this complexity, and finally, acting and committing to concrete actions so that the protection of the environment becomes an integral part of our identity.
Hypothesis 2 :
Motivation for action can be explained by two main factors:
- A quest for satisfaction. Act in the expectation of a satisfactory result from a psychological and physiological point of view. To have a good conscience, for a feeling of accomplishment, by altruistic feeling, ..
- Out of necessity involving a fear of discomfort (pain, discomfort, death,...)
Experiencing a healthy environment for example (silence, fresh air, beautiful landscapes,...) is generally a pleasure, a satisfaction that is too often forgotten and can be enough to create a motivation for protection.
Understanding also that the degradation of our immediate or distant environment directly affects our health and well-being today, but even more so tomorrow (allergies, depression, cancers, digestive disorders, climatic accidents, etc.) can motivate us to seek to improve our living conditions and therefore environmental conditions.
Hypothesis 3 :
Behind any environmental problem lies the question of survival or at least the degradation of quality of life. The alteration of one's environment is above all, the modification of one's own habitat, habits and comfort of life. It can be about one's own survival, that of one's descendants, that of one's neighbour,...
Awareness and action depend mainly on the circles of empathy of the individual concerned (individual, family, clan, nation, race, mammal, living) and knowledge of the impact of their actions on the survival of members of the same circle.
Understanding people's circles of empathy and demonstrating how climate change and environmental degradation directly affect them is one way to involve them in this change