Self expression versus the environment: attitudes in conflict

Lukas Parker, Torgeir Aleti Watne, Linda Brennan, Hue Trong Duong, Dang Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to present the findings of a survey into attitudes towards the environment and the pro-environmental behaviours of young adults in Vietnam. An online survey was administered to university students in Vietnam s two most populous cities, Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City (N 391). The results suggest that environmental considerations are not taken into account in young Vietnamese adults purchase intentions. This is more evident in expressive purchases, but also, to some degree, in utilitarian purchases. For the marketers of environmentally friendly products, this represents at least two key challenges: first, to try to shift the attitudes of young adult consumers towards thinking of environmental friendliness as an attractive characteristic and status-filled activity for potential expressive purchases. Second, making environmentally friendly alternatives of expressive goods more visible and more widely available in Vietnam. Non-government organisations and governments seeking to protect the environment need to consider this unique dynamic in social marketing campaigns to increase the desirability of pro-environmental product choices and other pro-environmental behaviours. This paper examines pro-environmental behaviours and intentions of young adults in Vietnam for the first time. The paper establishes that self-expression is more important than the environment, and it is also evident that these young consumers are still vulnerable to perceived social pressure when it comes to expressing themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-152
Number of pages15
JournalYoung Consumers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • young consumers
  • consumer behaviour
  • Asian values
  • new ecological paradignm
  • pro-environmental behaviour

Cite this

Parker, L., Aleti Watne, T., Brennan, L., Duong, H. T., & Nguyen, D. (2014). Self expression versus the environment: attitudes in conflict. Young Consumers, 15(2), 138-152.