Perceptions of Air Quality and Sense of Place among Women in Northeast Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Melissa Gallina, Allison Williams


Research on environmental health risks suggests that public perceptions of risk may be greater than quantitative health risk assessments, especially amongst vulnerable groups such as women and immigrants. This study uses the environmental stress and coping framework to examine individual perceptions of air quality amongst Canadian-born and immigrant women in Northeast Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Furthermore, the study aims to determine the influence of sense of place on local environmental perceptions. Quantitative survey results suggest that Canadian-born residents have a higher absolute value of sense of place than immigrants. Qualitative focus group discussions suggest that, compared to immigrant women, Canadian-born women may be more aware, knowledgeable and concerned about larger-scale air quality issues; however, the tension between economic and environmental needs hinders their sense of control. Bringing the quantitative and qualitative data together suggests that sense of place may inform environmental perceptions.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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