“The real issues in sustainability aren’t technical,” an agronomist said to me a few years ago, “they’re social.” An over-statement perhaps—sustainability certainly also involves many real, and often difficult, technical issues. But this agronomist’s words are indicative of how researchers from across the disciplines are increasingly coming to value the importance of a sociological perspective in the study of the environment. This course presents a graduate-level introduction into that important perspective.
The organization of the course, rather immodestly, roughly follows the organization of a book of mine, An Invitation to Environmental Sociology, which we will also read in the second week of the semester. I hesitate to assign my own book, fearing it might discourage debate. But it does provide a general overview and synthesis of the field. Besides, you might as well know what I think about the various topics we will cover, and I don’t want to lecture.
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