An Environmental Sociology for the Twenty-First Century

  title={An Environmental Sociology for the Twenty-First Century},
  author={David Pellow and Hollie Nyseth Brehm},
  journal={Review of Sociology},
Environmental sociology has become a mature field within the discipline of sociology. We consider several of the key theories that define the core and boundaries of the field, calling attention to debates and unresolved questions. We contend that two of the defining features of this field are (a) attention to the inseparability of human and nonhuman natures and (b) attention to the role that power and social inequality play in shaping human/nonhuman interactions. These two characteristics of… 
From fringe to core? The integration of environmental sociology
The extent to which environmental sociology remains a fringe specialty or a leading area of research and practice within the larger discipline is frequently commented on, but rarely examined
Re-conceptualizing (environmental) sociology
Despite decades of activity, environmental sociology has not yet achieved its original goal of reorienting the discipline to account for human–ecosystem interdependence. Here, I review critical
Towards a global environmental sociology? Legacies, trends and future directions
The question is raised of whether current versions of environmental sociology are appropriate for analysing a globalised world environment; or whether environmental sociology’s strong roots in European and US cultures make it less relevant when facing an increasinglyglobalised world.
Locating Gender in Environmental Sociology
Environmental sociology is premised on the inseparability of humans and nature and involves an analytical focus on the place of power and social inequality in shaping human/nonhuman interactions. Our
Anthropocene – a cautious welcome from environmental sociology?
This paper concerns the way in which environmental sociologists might approach the concept of ‘the Anthropocene’. As our title suggests, we extend in the paper a cautious welcome to this concept.
Externalities: why environmental sociology should bring them in
The concept of externalities represents the core of environmental economics but appears much less in sociology and other social sciences. This article presents the concept of externalities and makes
Climate change in sociology: Still silent or resonating?
Since Lever-Tracy’s call for stronger sociological engagement with climate change in 2008, the number of climate-related contributions to leading sociological journals has increased. Yet, they still
Sub-disciplining science in sociology: Bridges and barriers between environmental STS and environmental sociology
ABSTRACT It is inarguable that the natural sciences, from chemistry to ecology, are indispensable if sociologists are to address environmental change. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how, exactly,
Ending the Stalemate: Toward a Theory of Anthro-Shift
For years, sociologists who study society and the environment have focused on resolving the debate regarding the relationship between economic development and environmental degradation. Studies from
Challenging the white spaces of environmental sociology
In 2015, Dorceta Taylor received the Fred Buttel Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Environmental Sociology Award at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). At a


Closing the “Great Divide”: New Social Theory on Society and Nature
Twenty years ago, two environmental sociologists made a bold call for a paradigmatic shift in the discipline of sociology—namely, one that would bring nature into the center of sociological inquiry
Weber and the Environment: Classical Foundations for a Postexemptionalist Sociology1
In the last two decades classical sociology, notably Marx, has been mined for environmental insights in the attempt to surmount the “human exemptionalism” of post–Second World War sociology. Weber,
Durkheim on the Environment
Pioneer environmental sociologists, Riley E. Dunlap and William R. Catton Jr., successfully laid the foundation of environmental sociology by pointing out the anthropocentric bias of mainstream
Marx's Theory of Metabolic Rift: Classical Foundations for Environmental Sociology1
  • J. Foster
  • Sociology
    American Journal of Sociology
  • 1999
This article addresses a paradox: on the one hand, environmental sociology, as currently developed, is closely associated with the thesis that the classical sociological tradition is devoid of
Agency, Democracy, and Nature: The U.S. Environmental Movement from a Critical Theory Perspective
In this book Robert Brulle draws on a broad range of empirical and theoretical research to investigate the effectiveness of U.S. environmental groups. Brulle shows how Critical Theory--in particular
A New Ecological Paradigm for Post-Exuberant Sociology
paradigm which impedes recognition of the societal significance of current ecological realities. Thus, sociology stands in need of a fundamental alteration in its disciplinary paradigm. The
Beyond the nature/society divide: Learning to think about a mountain
Sociological efforts to understand environment-society relationships fall primarily into four conceptual categories. The first three, involving analytical separation, analytical primacy, and balanced
From the Margins to the Mainstream? Disaster Research at the Crossroads
The sociology of disasters has developed in ways that have weakened its ties with mainstream sociology. It has remained remarkably resistant to changes in the broader sociological landscape, and its
Political Economy of the Environment
Sociological theories about the political economy of the environment have appeared in two waves. The first wave has a productivist orientation, showing how the normal workings of industrial
Toward a Critical Sociology of Risk
Sociologists are growing increasingly skeptical toward research on risk conducted in other fields, and new perspectives on risk are emerging. Topics that merit further exploration include the social