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Bucknell University

Publication Date

Spring 2006

Program Name

Australia: Natural and Cultural Ecology


Since the 1960’s and 1970’s, surfing has exuded the stereotype of a laid-back, environmentally conscious and left-wing culture, a connotation often spread through media outlets such as movies, television, and music that encourage the idea. While the stereotype is often known and widely accepted, no studies could be found that actually tested this view. Using a series of interviews and surveys of the New Ecological Paradigm, this study investigated the formation of environmental consciousness and identity in surfing subculture in order to examine the accuracy of such stereotypes, and analyse the effect that such generalized views have on the formation of surfing identity in coastal southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, Australia. The New Ecological Paradigm scale compared the environmental consciousness of surfers with that of non-surfers in the study area, finding significantly more pro-ecological views in the surfing population. These results suggest that while the stereotype of environmental conscious surfers developed during the environmentally-active age of the 1960’s and 1970’s, it is a form of identity still perpetuated in surfing culture today.


Community Psychology | Natural Resources and Conservation


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