Environmental Sociology

(SOCI 208)

What causes environmental problems?

Why are some environmental problems harder to fix than others?

Who should be benefitting from the environment and who should be responsible for its wellbeing?

In Environmental Sociology, we look at the social dimensions of our natural world. We consider how our social life also shapes our ecological life (and vice versa!). Those rules and norms that tell us how to treat each other also influence our feelings about the environment and how we engage with it. The birds, bees, water and trees-the landscapes in which we dwell-can also affect our behaviour and the structure of our society. It’s interactive and reciprocal.

Students in environmental sociology learn about the relationship between society and the environment (including the various ways we socially understand “the environment”). We cover debates around material versus constructivist views of nature, the relationship between capitalism and environmental politics, and environmental problems in the context of modernity. These concepts are explored by talking through important environmental issues in New Zealand and abroad.

The course outline is available to download here: SOCI 208: 2016 Course Outline