Individualization of Responsibility

The responsibility of each individual to solve environmental problems rather than the responsibility of the culture or institution (Maniates 33).


Representation of Individualization of Responsibility. Via Meetings & Incentives Worldwide.

Individualization of responsibility involves taking the blame and power out of the hands of social institutions and putting in into individual consumers. Without conscious positive environmental changes on the individual level, the larger culture can never change (Kent 138). The first step in the process of taking care of the environment is for people to think as individual consumers first, then citizens (Maniates 34). This includes making small changes in daily routines and encouraging other to do the same. There are many ways to do this, such as buying a “green” appliance rather than one that is not as eco-friendly, or car-pooling with co-workers.


Further Readings:

Kent, Jennifer. “Individualized Responsibility and Climate Change: “if climate protection becomes everyone’s responsibility, does it end up being no-ones?“. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, vol. 1, no. 3, 2009, pp. 132-149.

Maniates, M. F. “Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World?Global Environmental Politics, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 31-52.

Case Studies:

Beaty Gone Bad

The Ethics of Hunting

Food Gap & the Consumer Burden

Pangolin Trafficking

Fear the Sharks No More!