The Environment

The Environment : A Sociological Introduction

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How are human societies changing the global environment? Is sustainable development really possible? Can environmental risks be avoided? Is our experience of nature changing? This book shows how questions about the environment cannot be properly answered without taking a sociological approach. It provides a comprehensive guide to the ways in which sociologists have responded to the challenge of environmental issues as diverse as global warming, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss and marine pollution. It also covers sociological ideas such as risk, interpretations of nature, environmental realism, ecological modernization and globalization. Environmentalism and green politics are also introduced. Unlike many other texts in the field, the book takes a long-term view, locating environmental dilemmas within the context of social development and globalization. The Environment: A Sociological Introduction is unique in presenting environmental issues at an introductory level that assumes no specialist knowledge on the part of readers. The book is written in a remarkably clear and accessible style, and uses a rich range of empirical examples from across the globe to illustrate key debates. A carefully assembled glossary and annotated further reading suggestions also help to bring ideas to life. The book will be a valuable resource for students in a range of disciplines, including sociology, geography and the environmental sciences, but also for anyone who wants to get to grips with contemporary environmental more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 172 x 246 x 20mm | 498.96g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 074563432X
  • 9780745634326

Review quote

"This is in every way an excellent textbook." Times Higher Education "This book is an excellent introduction for students new to this area of inquiry and should enthuse them to deepen their investigation of some of the most important issues of the 21st century." Sociology "In a relaxed and readable style, Sutton introduces key concepts with a light touch, illustrating theories with major events and relevant contemporary issues." Area "Phillip Sutton has crafted a systematic and thorough introduction to the social science of the environment: its definition, transformation, politicization and defence. He expansively charts the emergence of the field and points to how global changes and politics will affect its future. This book will become a key resource for new students of environmental sociology and a point of engagement for future discussion." Hank Johnston, San Diego State University "Philip Sutton combines an excellent introduction to the sociology of the environment with an innovative approach to the field. A stimulating and wide-ranging text." Tim Newton, Exeter University "Written for undergraduate students, Philip Sutton's The Environment demands no prior knowledge of sociology. Remaining faithful to its subject matter, the book ranges freely across human and environmental sciences. Sutton rejects the "retreat into the present" that characterizes much contemporary sociology and frames environmental problems in relation to very long-term processes of human social development. This "sociological introduction" is challenging in all the right ways." Stephen Quilley, Keele Universityshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements vii Preface ix 1 Natural Environments 1 Defining Nature and Environment 1 Humans in Natural Environments 7 Natural and Artificial Environments 14 Conclusion 16 2 Knowing the Environment 18 Involvement and Detachment 18 The Scientific Revolution 22 Social Constructions of Nature 26 Critical Realism 32 Conclusion 36 3 Experiencing the Environment 38 An Environment of the Senses 38 Experiencing Environments 41 Ecological Identifications 44 Ecological Citizenship 52 4 Transforming the Environment 55 Social Development and the Environment 55 Industrialization 59 Urbanization 64 The Treadmill of Production and Consumption 67 5 Polluting the Environment 72 Types of Pollution 72 Awareness and Significance of Pollution 74 Sensitivity to Risks 80 Conclusion 88 6 Defending the Environment 91 Changing Attitudes 91 The Modern Origins of Nature Conservation 95 The Development of Environmentalism 99 Conclusion 107 7 Politicizing the Environment 109 A Politics of Nature 109 Ecologism: A New Political Ideology 113 The Emergence of Green Parties 116 Conclusion 124 8 Sustaining the Environment 126 The Idea of Sustainable Development 126 A Brief History of Sustainable Development 130 Sustainable Development in Practice 135 Can Societies Become Sustainable? 139 Conclusion 142 9 A Global Environment 144 What is Globalization? 144 The Biosphere as Environment 148 Global Problems, Global Solutions? 150 Conclusion 161 Glossary 164 References and Further Reading 170 Index 178show more

About Philip W. Sutton

P.Sutton, Lecturer in Sociology, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeenshow more

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