Although the literature on courage is abundant, examples of individuals exhibiting social courage to confront environmental injustices are relatively unexplored. Based on Meyer’s (2009) theoretical model of social courage, this retrospective single subject case study examines activist Julia Bond’s actions protesting mountain top strip mining in West Virginia. This investigation seeks to extend our understanding of social courage by addressing a real-life example of an individual confronting a conflict situation, overcoming risk, and becoming an agent for change. Specific real life examples of behavior mapped onto a theoretical model can be useful in not only explaining behavior but also in dissecting, analyzing, and contributing to the theoretical model. First, this paper provides a brief biographical sketch of Julia Bonds; next it describes the details of the situational factors framing her actions as important examples of Meyer’s features of social courage; finally the paper proposes new considerations for the theory of social courage based upon the Bond’s example.
|Keywords:||Social Courage, Environmental Justice, Case Study|
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Psychology and Applied Therapies Division, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, USA
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