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Environmental Sociology

Environmental Sociology encourages students to use the sociological imagination to explore a broad spectrum of issues facing the environment today. The third edition of this reader includes thirteen new pieces that examine how social dimensions, particularly power and inequality, interact with environmental issues. The textbook opens with an updated introduction that introduces students to key concepts and provides a brief overview of environmental sociology as a field. The readings, excerpts from recently published pieces, are arranged by sociological issue and use a range of perspectives, including environmental justice, risk society, and power structure research. Topics span coal mining, food justice, climate change, and more. Each reading is chosen to be accessible and engaging to undergraduate students and is preceded by a brief introduction to provide context. As the environmental challenges facing our world become ever more pressing, Environmental Sociology aims to equip students with the frameworks they need to approach these challenges from a sociological perspective.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface Introduction: Environmental Problems Require Social Solutions, Deborah McCarthy and Leslie King Imagining Nature 1.Nature's Looking Glass, Hillary Angelo and Colin Jerolmack Political Economy 2.Why Ecological Revolution?, John Bellamy Foster 3.The Tragedy of the Commodity: The Overexploitation of the Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna Fishery, Stefano B. Longo and Rebecca Clausen 4.Ecological Modernization at Work? Environmental Policy Reform in Sweden at the Turn of the Century, Benjamin Vail 5.A Tale of Contrasting Trends: Three Measures of the Ecological Footprint in China, India, Japan, and the United States, 1961-2003, Richard York, Eugene A. Rosa and Thomas Dietz Environmental Inequalities 6.Breaking the Food Chains: An Investigation of Food Justice Activism, Alison Hope Alkon and Kari Marie Norgaard 7.Turning Public Issues into Private Troubles: Lead Contamination, Domestic Labor, and the Exploitation of Women, Lois Bryson, Kathleen McPhillips, and Kathryn Robinson 8.Addressing Urban Transportation Equity in the United States, Robert D. Bullard Social Construction of the Environment, Identity, Emotions and Community 9.Wild Horses and the Political Ecology of Nature Restoration in the Missouri Ozarks, J. Sanford Rikoon 10. People Want to Protect Themselves a Little Bit: Emotions, Denial, and Social Movement Nonparticipation, Kari Marie Norgaard 11.Community Economic Identity: The Coal Industry and Ideology Construction in West Virginia, Shannon Elizabeth Bell and Richard York Perspectives on Disaster 12.Silent Spill: The Organization of an Industrial Crisis, Thomas D. Beamish 13.The BP Disaster as an Exxon Valdez Rerun, Liesel Ashley Ritchie, Duane A. Gill, J. Steven Picou Globalization 14.The Unfair Trade-off: Globalization and the Export of Ecological Hazards, Daniel Faber 15.Driving South: The Globalization of Auto Consumption and Its Social Organization of Space, Peter Freund and George Martin Science, Risk and Knowledge 16.Risk Society and Contested Illness: The Case of Nuclear Weapons Workers, Sherry Cable, Thomas E. Shriver, and Tamara L. Mix 17.The Knowledge-Shaping Process: Elite Mobilization and Environmental Policy, Eric Bonds 18.Hurricane Katrina, Contamination, and the Unintended Organization of Ignorance, Scott Frickel and M. Bess Vincent 19.Media Framing of Body Burdens: Precautionary Consumption and the Individualization of Risk, Norah MacKendrick Social and Environmental Change - Ideas and Actions 20.Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World?, Michael Maniates 21.Cleaning the Closet: Toward a New Fashion Ethic, Juliet Schor 22.Poitics by Other Greens: The Importance of Transnational Environmental Justice Movement Networks, David Naguib Pellow 23.On the Trail of Courageous Behavior, Myron Glazer and Penina Glazer

About the Author

Leslie King is associate professor of sociology and environmental science and policy at Smith College. Her research has been published in journal such as Ethnic and Racial Studies, The Sociological Quarterly, and Gender and Society. Deborah McCarthy Auriffeille is associate professor of sociology at the College of Charleston. Her research has been published in Sociological Inquiry and Urban Studies, and she is co-editor of Foundations for Social Change: Critical Perspectives on Philanthropy and Social Movements.


A thoughtful collection of evidence-based and up-to-date research articles that clearly illuminates the social factors and consequences of our intimate and interconnected relationship with nature, and the environment. This is a useful collection for a wide array of students and instructors interested in tackling today's environmental problems, especially as they are influenced by human institutions and behaviors and have consequences for human health and wellbeing. -- Sara Curran, University of Washington King and Auriffeille's edited volume contains sociological work examining human-environment interaction through a critical lens. By engaging readers in such crucial areas as political economy (domestic and global), environmental inequality, industrial disasters, and the politicization of science/knowledge, this volume cultivates an awareness and deepens an understanding in some of the fundamental theoretical and empirical questions driving the field of environmental sociology today. This book is a must-read for students across the social sciences who want to learn about some of our most important environmental problems from critical sociological perspectives. -- Aaron M. McCright, Michigan State University, co-author of The Risk Society Revisited From the psychological to political, this anthology articulates how societal factors are the very basis from which environmental problems emerge and are resolved. The authors help us see inside the most acute and difficult of these factors-from persistent inequalities to the disasters they create-therefore offering a window through which we can see opportunities for change. -- Sabrina McCormick The new edition of Environmental Sociology: From Analysis to Action includes a number of great case studies to inspire students, and encourage them to see how creative and innovative solutions to ecological problems already exist. It's a read full of accessible and important readings by leaders in the field of environmental sociology. New additions related to food and transit justice, as well as in-depth explorations of recent ecological disasters make it a timely and important book. -- Amy Lubitow, Portland State University This reader, a collection of almost two dozen essays, surveys issues and presents contemporary research in environmental sociology. The essays ask crucial questions about how social forces affect how we see, understand, and ultimately engage nature. To this end, they connect issues like toxic waste or the limits of green economics to racism, food justice, sexism, and class. Their social context is the United States. The essays are organized into eight sections that open with an exploration of the concept of nature. The following sections consider how political economy structures environmental crises and solutions, how social inequalities produce environmental harm, emotions and identity in the social construction of our environments, disasters and industrial society, globalization, science as the producer of both risk and knowledge, and finally ideas for ecologically sensitive social action. The contributors, including luminaries like John Bellamy Foster and Alison Hope Alkon, are mostly sociologists working in universities. * Book News, Inc. *

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