Sustainable consumption patterns, behavioral strategies and knowledge use in the Hungarian society. A social scientific analysis of sustainable food and energy consumption

NKFIH K138020
2021 – 2024
Project leader: Bernadett Csurgó

Project Participants: Judit Acsády, Adrienne Csizmady, Zoltán Ferencz, Szabina Kerényi, Imre Kovách, Lea Kőszeghy, Luca KristófBoldizsár Megyesi, Gábor Kecskés (Institute for Legal Studies), Zsolt Szabolcsi, Dániel Oross (Institute for Political Science)

The aim of this research is to explore the influences that formulate consumption patterns and environmental concerns in the Hungarian population. Our research will explore the social characteristics of sustainable consumption using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The patterns and strategies of sustainable consumption will be interpreted along analyses of social status and social inequalities. The research seeks to analyze how individual factors of sustainable consumption, such as attitudes, norms, knowledge, and forms of behavior, are related to and affected by different socio-economic factors. Analyzing the social components of sustainable consumption, we also aim to explore how different social processes and systems, such as public policies, legal systems, social movements, organizational networks, culture, and media products, impact sustainable consumption. The formation of different consumption patterns and practices (from selective waste collection to movement activities) will be discussed through the interconnections between social status and sustainability.

Analysing the social aspects we focus on the social differences of sustainable energy and food consumption. Our research will analyse the individual and community level responses to the challenges of climate change. As a result of our research we will have a better understanding of the relationship among environmental attitudes, climate change perception, attitudes toward and discourses on food and energy consumption, also the relevance of urban–rural differences in sustainable consumption and behaviour will became more clear.

Focusing on the policy level we would like to analyse the influence of related policies on individual decisions on energy and food consumption. We aim to understand how can local and national policies contribute to reduce the negative effects of climate change?

The third analysed aspect is the legal environment of sustainable consumption the role of development policies and local legislation system in opening up and closing space for communities to adapt and mitigate the consequences of climate change, and environmental challenges.

One of the most important innovations of this research is that it comprehensively examines the patterns and strategies of sustainable consumption, interpreted along the social situation and social inequalities, in an interdisciplinary approach, from a sociological, legal and public policy perspective. Results will provide a comprehensive framework of the knowledge of the Hungarian citizens as well as the impact of various social processes and actors on sustainable consumption. Thus, facilitating individual, community and state action to reduce the negative environmental impacts of our daily lives.