Environmental concern case study for this report was conducted over 5 individuals from the following ethnic backgrounds — Latino, Afro-American, Hispanic, Asian (Chinese) and East Indian. In order to keep the results of the study even, all of them were selected from the age group of 20-23. All of them are students at an undergraduate or graduate level, working either part or full time positions along with their studies. All of them are friends whom I had known for over an year. The information mentioned in this report has been compiled based on an informal interview and my observations of their lifestyle in the past. Most of the interview was based on gathering their opinions on environmental issues and the extent to which they are involved in their efforts to improve the environment. It also focused on understanding whether their ethnic backgrounds play a role in their beliefs or the actions that they take. A comparison of the main aspects of the interview reveals interesting points.
The individual from the Latino background expressed a fairly obvious indifference towards the environmental issues. A busy work schedule along with school does not let him have much free time to pay attention to environmental issues. He mentioned how his only access to the news is via his car radio and posts on social networking websites like Facebook. Long hours of work do not let him care about things like saving electricity and water. He did not think that his ethnic background had a lot to do with this. He did mention that he comes from a hardworking Latino family where everyone is committed to their work, which has led to him being a workaholic.
The individual from the Afro-American background was more concerned about the environment than his Latino counterpart. He admitted that he likes to stay clean. He is a part of a church youth group which organizes cleaning campaigns in different parts of the city every month. He likes to participate in such events as a way to give back to the environment. He was aware of the all major environmental issues as he kept himself updated using the internet. He worked as well but it was not that hectic. He mentioned how his family had a greater impact on his attitude towards the environment, rather than his ethnic background. They were pretty strict and he was always taught to clean up after himself.
The individual from the Asian (specifically Chinese) background had a mixed attitude towards environmental issues. He said that he worked in his father’s grocery store at the reception and did find the time to catch up with the latest environmental issues from newspapers. However he never really thought about contributing in anyway. He did clean up the area around the store from garbage lying around but never did anything apart from that. He did express interest in being a part of any group working towards helping out with the environment. He denied that his Chinese background might have had any impact on his attitude.
The individual from the Hispanic background was deeply involved with activities to help out with environmental issues. He is a computer Science major and manages had two websites dealing with those issues. He also maintains a blog about environmental hazards that he encounters. He takes pictures of whatever he thinks might be important and uploads them to his blog. He mentioned how he wants to use his skills in web design to reach out to students and make them aware of such issues. He has listed a lot of ways to get involved on his websites and uses social networking to promote them. He said that his Hispanic background did not have any specific impact on his attitude towards the environment. Everything he did was because he wanted to and no one else in his family was a part of any related social group.
The individual from the East Indian background is an international student who had moved to the United States two years ago. He showed a fair amount of concern about environmental issues. He mentioned that there were a lot of differences in how people treated the environment in his country (India) as compared to here. He thought it was essential to enforce fines for littering so that people would stop doing it. As there are no such rules in his country, people take the environment for granted and throw their garbage everywhere they want. His behavior has changed in United States as he makes sure not to litter anywhere.
In conclusion I would say that, the family in which a person is brought up in, has a greater impact on his or her attitude towards the environment that ethnic background on its own. Unless one grows up completely surrounded by people from his background, nothing can be concluded. As far as what I observed from my study, Hispanics and Afro-Americans are more concerned about the well being of their surroundings as compared to Latinos, Asians and East Indians. I would say that individuals who are aware of the problems would possibly get involved at some point of time, when they are free. It needs some encouragement from the media to make them aware of the ways in which they can contribute. Parents of all ethnic backgrounds can focus on ways to incorporate good habits in their kids.
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