Emergent themes? A year in the life of Environmental Sociology

Lockie, Stewart (2015) Emergent themes? A year in the life of Environmental Sociology. Environmental Sociology, 1 (4). pp. 237-240.

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[Extract] Attempts to summarize key themes in environmental sociology – the sorts of summaries we find in review articles, 'state of the art' handbooks and introductory texts – usually present environmental sociology as a series of debates: (1) constructivism versus materialism; (2) eco- logical modernization versus ecological realism; and (3) European versus North American sociology.¹ Sometimes, these debates are explicitly mapped onto to each other – giving us something like 'constructivist European ecological modernizationists' versus 'critical American material realists'. Sometimes, this mapping is implied.

Of course, any attempt to summarize a field must impose some kind of order and 'key debates' may, in principle, be as useful a way to do this as any other. No-one means to imply that environmental sociology can be split neatly down the middle, leaving two distinct paradigmatic communities fighting it out for theoretical and geopolitical supremacy. The real world, everyone will admit, is more complex, more fluid and, thankfully, more interesting. There is always room towards the end of handbooks and review essays for a section on 'the Other'– whether this Other be scholarship from outside the USA and Europe or the emergence of new theoretical or empirical concerns. It's just that some problems, places and conceptual frameworks tend to dominate scholarship and debate.

Or do they?

Item ID: 42081
Item Type: Article (Editorial)
ISSN: 2325-1042
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2016 22:30
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment @ 20%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 80%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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