Social Theory and the Environment

Social Theory and the Environment

  • Hardback
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Environmental degradation is no longer a peripheral concern of the social sciences and contemporary politics: it is an unavoidable and pressing reality. This book seeks to establish whether contemporary social theory can help us understand the structural origins of environmental degradation and environmental politics. The book opens by arguing that the historical bequest of classical social theory is very limited. Marx, Weber and Durkheim lived long enough to witness the environmental consequences of modern economic growth, but died too soon to witness its long-term consequences and the growth of political resistance. Goldblatt attempts to transcend the limits of that tradition through a critical investigation of the work of Anthony Giddens, Andre Gorz, Jurgen Habermas and Ulrich Beck. The book analyzes: the roles of capitalism, state socialism and industrialism in generating environmental degradation; the environmental implications of urbanism and globalization; the integration of environmental questions with political economy; and the structural origins of environmental movements.
The book concludes with a discussion of the relationship between conceptions of socialism in social theory and its relevance to contemporary environmental politics. This wide ranging text should be of interest to students of social and political theory, ecology and environmental studies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 300 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 3 figures, notes, bibliography, index
  • 0745613268
  • 9780745613260

Table of contents

Social theory, environmental degradation and environmental politics; capitalism, industrialism and the transformation of nature, Anthony Giddens; urbanism, globalization and environmental politics, Anthony Giddens; the political ecology of capitalism, Andre Gorz; social and cultural origins of environmental movements, Jurgen Habermas; the sociology of risk, Ulrich Beck; conclusion - social theory, socialism and the environment.
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