Impeding ecological sustainability through selective moral disengagement Online publication date: Mon, 03-Dec-2007
by Albert Bandura
International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development (IJISD), Vol. 2, No. 1, 2007
Abstract: The present paper documents the influential role played by selective moral disengagement for social practices that cause widespread human harm and degrade the environment. Disengagement of moral self-sanctions enables people to pursue detrimental practices freed from the restraint of self-censure. This is achieved by investing ecologically harmful practices with worthy purposes through social, national, and economic justifications; enlisting exonerative comparisons that render the practices righteous; use of sanitising and convoluting language that disguises what is being done; reducing accountability by displacement and diffusion of responsibility; ignoring, minimising, and disputing harmful effects; and dehumanising and blaming the victims and derogating the messengers of ecologically bad news. These psychosocial mechanisms operate at both the individual and social systems levels.
Online publication date: Mon, 03-Dec-2007
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