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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: SOC2020 Module Title: SOCIOLOGY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Module Provider: Sociology Short Name: SOC214
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: BURNINGHAM KA Dr (Sociology)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern
Module Overview

The analysis of environmental issues and problems is a recent growth area within Sociology.  This module will introduce students to sociological literature on the environment covering three broad areas:-



1.         Environmental Sociology or Sociology of the Environment?


            Topics covered include: introduction to environmental issues, the need for social scientists to contribute to environmental debate, alternative conceptions of the role of sociology - realist and constructionist approaches.


The Social Causes and Consequences of Environmental Problems


Topics covered include: the relationship between social inequality and environmental problems, capitalism and industrialism as causes of environmental problems, are we moving into a risk society or a period of ecological modernisation?

3.         Understanding Environmentalism


            Topics covered include: introduction to Green political thought, Green parties, environmental groups, the distribution of environmental attitudes and behaviours in the public, New Social Movement theories, sociological explanations for the rise of environmentalism, media constructions of environmental problems.


Module Aims
Learning Outcomes

By the time of completing this module, students should:
1.   Comprehend the relevance of sociological research for  understanding  environmental issues;

2.    Appreciate alternative sociological positions towards the study of the environment;


3.    Have some knowledge of the social causes and consequences of environmental problems;


4.    Be acquainted with some of the main issues in environmental politics.


Module Content
One essay of 1500-2000 words and one project (40%), plus an examination (60%)
Methods of Teaching/Learning
Selected Texts/Journals

Anderson, A. (1997) Media, Culture and the Environment  London : UCL Press


Hannigan J, (1996), Environmental Sociology: a Social Constructionalist


Perspective, London , Routledge


Irwin, A. (2001) Sociology and the Environment: a critical Introduction to Society, Nature and Knowledge Oxford , Polity


Martell L, (1994), Ecology and Society: An Introduction, Oxford , Polity Press


Yearley S, (1991), The Green Case: A Sociology of Environmental Issues, Arguments and


Politics, London , Harper Collins Academic


Last Updated
September 2009