Environmental Sociology

SOCI 2300

Raka Sen

Thursday, 3:30PM-5:00PM

Environmental Sociology

This seminar will explore how sociologists and adjacent social scientists have investigated the intersections of the environment with inequalities of wealth and power, with a focus on a broad "climate change and society" field. The seminar will cover a) recent efforts to reframe the history of capitalism as the history of a socio-environmental system (and overlaps between that agenda and the "racial capitalism" framework); b) the genesis of US-based environmental justice scholarship; c) the global sociology of carbon emissions and international environmental movements; and, d) new trends in "climate change and society" studies.

Course Objectives

  1. Identify core concepts, theories, and perspectives in the study of environmental sociology.
  2. Examine emerging approaches and questions that characterize contemporary environmental sociology.
  3. Critically analyze the reciprocal relationship between human society and the natural environment. Seeing how the environment plays into other aspects of social stratification put forth by sociology.
  4. Generate new theoretical and analytical questions related to the causal mechanisms underlying environmental degradation and improvement.
  5. Identify new research questions related to the study of the environment and propose ways to study those questions.
  6. Understand changes in the natural environment through a sociological perspective.
  7. Understand how global trade relationships impacts environmental harms in developed and less developed countries.
  8. Explore the origins and impacts of environmental movements seeking environmental justice.
  9. Think critically about the climate changed present and future.
Spring 2024