Dr Melissa Pepper

+44 (0)1483 686983
39 AD 03

Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology.


Pepper M, Jackson T, Uzzell D (2011) An Examination of Christianity and Socially Conscious and Frugal Consumer behaviors,Environment and Behavior43(2)pp. 274-290 Sage Publications
In recent years, the potential of religions for fostering more sustainable consumer behaviors on the part of their adherents has often been invoked. This article provides an overview of research on Christianity and ecologically conscious, socially conscious, and frugal consumer behaviors. Previous research has focused mainly on ecologically conscious consumer behavior, reporting mixed findings, depending on the religion measures that are used. In an extension to this body of work, a U.K.-based survey examining religious influences on socially conscious and frugal consumer behaviors is reported. Weak positive relationships between general religion measures (dispositional religiousness, spirituality, religious service attendance, and Christian identification) and both types of consumer behavior were obtained, suggesting that religion does indeed foster sustainable consumer behaviors, albeit marginally. However, attempts to distinguish among consumer behaviors by means of God concepts were largely unfruitful. Future research needs to investigate the influence of specific religious beliefs about consumerism, wealth, and social justice on consumer behavior. An increased focus on action research would also be valuable.
Pepper M, Jackson T, Uzzell D (2010) A Study of Multidimensional Religion Constructs and Values in the United Kingdom,Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion49(1)pp. 127-146 WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
A growing number of studies have systematically examined the relationships between religiousness and value priorities. However, few studies have utilized multidimensional constructs of religiousness or attempted to distinguish among the value priorities of the religious. Using a general public sample and a churchgoer sample in the United Kingdom, this article examines the associations between Schwartz's values, several general religion measures, and conceptualization of God. Religiousness aligns most strongly along the conservation/openness to change value dimension, and spirituality is rotated further toward self-transcendence values. Findings suggest a shift among the religious away from an emphasis on security. God concepts are uniquely related to some value types. Particularly among the churchgoers, for whom God concepts may be especially formative, characteristics attributed to God are reflected in value priorities. These findings support the theoretical assertion that conceptualization of God is a foundational religious belief implicated in more specific values, attitudes, and beliefs.
Police Support Volunteers (PSVs) are citizens who give their time freely to perform tasks that complement the duties of police officers and staff. Emerging over the last 25 years or so, PSVs feature in every police service in England and Wales, carrying out a range of tasks including administration, front counter duties, and community engagement activities. However, the evidence base around PSVs is distinctly underdeveloped with little in the way of empirical studies. This PhD study seeks to expand the currently narrow field of research through the first focused study of PSVs in the Metropolitan Police Service. The study considers the motivations of PSVs and influence these have on their experiences. It goes on to explore PSVs? contributions, the importance they attach to ?being useful?, the experiences they have alongside officers and staff, and the extent to which they feel recognised and valued for their time. Finally, the study turns to the organisation itself ? the infrastructure in place to support, manage, develop, and involve PSVs ? features that are recognised as central to volunteer experiences. Maximising opportunities for the police service and community to capitalise on the benefits of a police workforce that includes PSVs ? engagement, communication, innovation, and a source of labour, skills, and expertise ? requires a more developed understanding of the issues explored in this study. Indeed, failing to build such an evidence base to guide the involvement of volunteers, at best, risks oversight of the value that PSVs bring ? at worst, the reputation of both volunteers and the police organisation. The study concludes with a call to rethink the way volunteers are involved in policing, reassign tasks, and reimagine the PSV within a landscape where the police service is faced with changing priorities and demands to do ?more for less?.