Social Networks, Socioeconomic Status, and Environmental Collective Action: Residential Curbside Block Leader Recycling

Jess W. Everett
J. Jeffrey Peirce

DOI: 10.2190/KMEJ-1P0D-6TCB-GG0T


This research introduces the notion of environmental collective actions (ECAs) and makes comparisons with collective actions as described by previous researchers. A particular type of ECA is investigated in greater detail; using data from a survey of 269 block leaders, relationships among the effectiveness of block leader curbside recycling, block socioeconomic status, and block social networks are examined. Higher levels of block participation in the recycling program are seen to be associated with higher socioeconomic status, higher "social tie density" (a measure of how well block residents know each other), and higher "social tie centralization" (a measure of how well the block leader knows block residents). The effect of tie density is seen to be more pronounced for high income and education level blocks, but less pronounced for blocks with high levels of resident home ownership. The effect of tie centralization appears more pronounced for low socioeconomic status blocks. Explanations for these results are discussed.

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