Environmental Sociology in 5 Minutes



envira sock is the sociological study of societal environmental interactions that boils down to questions like what social factors cause environmental problems what counts as an environmental problem anyhow who gets to define that what are the societal impacts of these problems what's being done to solve these problems and that has kept some very smart people very busy for several decades Charlie Darwin with his emphasis on how the environment shaped a behavior and indeed existence itself is the granddaddy of enviros oak but classical sociology from Durkheim on tended to downplay the direct effects of the environment on society indeed by the mid twentieth century mainstream sociology came to believe the environment was irrelevant it wasn't until the late 1970s that things changed with the work of William cotton and Riley done one according to one thinker there are five basic epistemologies of environmental sociology that is five different theories of what to blame and research for environmental degradation neo Malthusian ISM takes thomas malthus's ideas of population growth outstripping the planets productive capacity mixes in unconstrained individual selfishness and says there'll be an inevitable tragedy of the Commons that view has been challenged by Nobel prize-winning political scientist Elinor Ostrom economists like Omachi ascend and sociologists like Allen Schnee Berg the new ecological paradigm humans like to see themselves as exempt from environmental influence and constraints are cultures of accumulation and innovation our Cortex's and opposable thumbs freest from the tyranny of being animals and the ecological constraints facing animals really say doesn't say Dunlap and captain humans are impacted by cause effect and feedback loops of ecosystems the earth has a finite level of Natural Resources and waste repositories humans are not exempt neo Marxism meanwhile some Marxist theoreticians decided that the state wasn't only the executive arm of the bourgeoisie and used their class conflict and analytic tools to look at the environmental movements not just as cultural but also political and economic struggles at the same time eco Marxists like John Bellamy foster pointed out that Marx wasn't just a cheerleader and stood for industrialization but according to the Wikipedia article the big shift came with Alan Schneeberger pointing out that state capitalists and labor were all together on the treadmill of production growth meeting everyone's needs for taxes profits and jobs his three predictions were first the desire for economic expansion will prevail over ecological concerns second government's will attempt to control only the most dire of environmental problems to prevent health and economic disasters third once environmental degradation became severe political forces would respond with sustainable policies the driving factor would be economic damage caused by environmental degradation the economic engine would be based on renewable resources at this point production and consumption methods would adhere to sustainability regulations however those committed to traditional forms of unbridled growth opposed this movement towards sustainability as we're seeing in the United States right now ecological modernization in the 1980s in response to the neo-marxist analysis that was to do me in gloomy for career advancement came ecological modernization continued economic growth and a habitable planet were compatible said some when humans were smart and diligent phrases like cradle to cradle production cycles industrial ecology biomimicry and greening industry became popular social construction of media most recently after the post modernists kept bleating about discourse attention turned to how while environmental problems are materially real they typically require to be socially constructed to be noticed finally given our species failure to act on environmental problems the coming decades will have a sixth epistemological chapter in the enviros Hawk story centered on questions like which attach which text books should be thrown onto the campfire next which sociologist is plump enough to keep the rest of us fed for a few more days

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