Framing the “Who”
This week we are thinking about the “who” of environmental engagement and remembering that that “who” is often divided. In thinking about this concept, we visited the Hidden Tribes website and took a quiz which offered a relatively simplified view of how Americans identify politically. The More in Common company offers a scale of seven “tribes” ranging from “progressive activist” to “devoted conservative.” Those in the middle include traditional liberals, passive liberals, politically disengaged, moderates, and traditional conservatives. Each group has a profile which breaks down the the most important issues for each tribe as well as some demographics based on the quiz answers. The Hidden Tribes site also has a quiz to measure the Perception Gap, the disparity between one’s perception of the views of each political party and its average views. We also took another quiz called The Six Americas Quiz. This quiz categorized and measured the level of alarm of the general public regarding climate change. From the data, we can see that the population is slowly becoming more alarmed over climate change. While this is a good thing, it also requires further reflection. A second reading we did relating to these ideas comes from the Heterodox Academy. This organization asserts that there is a problem of orthodoxy within academia. This is a call for more diverse viewpoints and even “constructive disagreement” as a form of engaging. In many ways, constructive disagreement is something that us, as students of higher education, should strive to learn, thus creating an elevated opportunity for growth. This requires collaboration and engagement.
The “Who” as Stakeholders
An additional reading discussed identifying the “who” in regards to stakeholders in a situation. A Framework to Implement Stakeholder Participation in Environmental Projects (Luyet et al. 2012) focuses on who the actors are and what characteristics the people or groups may hold. An important aspect is to understand that not all stakeholders have the same views, some groups may be at risk of losing their voice in an issue. As seen in the Hidden Tribes above, the extreme left and right only account for 14% of the country meaning the majority of Americans fall somewhere in the middle but it can seem like their voices aren’t heard (Hawkins et al. 2019). It is important that all different sides still hold a place at the table. This allows the heterodox constructive disagreement model to occur while working towards a greater good.
Does PCUN Have a Hidden Tribe?
In the context of PCUN, identifying stakeholders could be a relatively hard task. If looking at the Hidden Tribes profiles, one can assume that most of PCUN’s directives would be characterized as the three most left leaning tribes. These tribes hold core concerns of: Climate Change, Inequality, Leadership and Division in Society, Healthcare, Racism, and Poverty. Most of these issues are directly addressed through PCUN’s three organizational structures. The 501(c)3 organization is set to build a community touching on poverty, leadership, and division of society. Their 501(c) 4 organization looks to take political action addressing inequalities, racism, climate change, and almost all other concerns above. The last piece, their 501 C(5) organization is a labor union focused on leadership, healthcare, and racism.
Who are PCUN’s Other Stakeholders?
Clearly PCUN represents a large group of liberal American values, but who are the other stakeholders and do they share the same concerns? The other stakeholders in PCUN may include the Oregon Farm Bureau, who have important differences in opinion: the OFB seems to focus primarily on the interests of farm owners while PCUN protects farmworkers. However, both PCUN and the OFB care about very closely related issues, such as pesticides, migrant workers’ rights, etc, even when their opinions differ. Additional stakeholders are influenced by the local communities, such as the school districts and the local and state governments. These stakeholders do not all think along the same lines or share the same concerns as PCUN. As PCUN is so large, the “Who” can be difficult to pin down exactly. The organization itself consists of so many subgroups with different interests with the additional complication of community stakeholders. Yet, PCUN and its network have built a very strong presence within their community as well as politically. We would love to learn more about who PCUN considers their most important stakeholders and how they manage to balance so many different aspects while maintaining their central mission of advocating for farmworkers and Latinx families.
Hawkins, Stephen, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon. 2019. “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape.” Preprint. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/xz25v.
Luyet, Vincent, Rodolphe Schlaepfer, Marc B. Parlange, and Alexandre Buttler. 2012. “A Framework to Implement Stakeholder Participation in Environmental Projects.” Journal of Environmental Management 111 (November): 213–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.026.