Title: Towards sustainable society: from materialism to post-materialism

Authors: Arto O. Salonen; Mauri Åhlberg

Addresses: Faculty of Welfare and Human Functioning, Helsinki Metropolia UAS, P.O. Box 4032, FI-00079 Metropolia, Finland ' Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Finnish university students (n = 198) assessed their attitudes and achievements in implementation of sustainable development in their daily life. The data were collected using a theory-grounded semantic differential technique. A measurement instrument was created by balancing 36 variables of environmental, economic and social sustainability. As a result of logistic regression analysis post-material behaviour was predicted statistically significant by the following attitudes: health-promoting lifestyle, recycling, organic food, water saving, maintaining of civil society, favouring eco-labelled products and services, and favouring renewable energy resources. These themes are discussed in the paper and a model of sustainability promoting social change is created.

Keywords: sustainable society; sustainable development; post-materialism; attitudes; behavioural change; social change; high consumption society; economic sustainability; environmental sustainability; social sustainability; Finland; university students; regression analysis; modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2013.056846

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2013 Vol.5 No.4, pp.374 - 393

Available online: 19 Aug 2013

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