Text topic: New Key to Sociology
Text author: Јелисавета Вукелић
The paper analyzes the prevalence and socio-demographic characteristics of environmental activism in Serbia. Analysis of the data collected in three research projects (survey conducted on a representative sample for Serbia (N = 1952) and two environmentally vulnerable communities (Pancevo (N = 450) and Bor (N = 350)) and semi-structured interviews with 44 leaders of environmental non-governmental organizations from Serbia) is focused on answering three questions: 1. What is the extent to which environmental activism is developed in Serbia, in general, and environmentally vulnerable communities, in particular? 2. What are the main socio-demographic characteristics of environmentally active individuals in Serbia?; 3. What are the main socio-demographic differences between environmental activists in the environmentally affected communities and those who are active in the other areas? The research results show that environmental activism is relatively underdeveloped in Serbia in general, as well as in the directly affected communities. A typical environmental activist is a young man or woman, city dweller, member of the middle class and a highly educated person who is in a relatively secure financial position. When it comes to Pancevo, the data show that socio-economic variables (financial and class status) do not have a statistically significant effect. This could be attributed to the “democratising” effect of environmental risks. On the other hand, the case of Bor is rather atypical since none of socio-demographic variables shows statistical significance, which can be explained with almost total economic dependence of the operations of RTB Bor (which is also the largest polluter).