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Environmental Sociology and the Environmental Movement: Towards a Theory of Pragmatic Relationships of Critical Inquiry.This article explores the question of: what is the relationship between environmental sociology and the environmental movement? In addition to the historical strong links between the two, both have grown tremendously in the last decade. This poses an interesting challenge/problem of practice for environmental sociology. Drawing on the American Pragmatist Movement, I argue that one possible relationship between the subdiscipline and the movement is that of critical inquirers, who constantly rewrite and revise the dominant signs and symbols of the movement, harnessing the vibrant intellectual community and rich research traditions of environmental sociology to enter into a grounded discourse that prevents the movement from becoming stale and/ or oppressive, to pull from inventories of stored tools to construct new social spaces to occupy and ways to get there when the old spaces are no longer recognized as adequate, and to forge ahead of the movement, identifying prejudices, barriers, and unforeseen problems of past, current, or future actions.
Participation in the Environmental Movement Analysis of the European UnionThe article establishes which determinants contribute to involvement in the European environmental movement, whether participants in the movement are unique from participants in other new social movements (NSMs), and the effects of biographical availability and national social structure on environmental activism. Relevant questions include the way values, education and income, family responsibilities, national economic development and population density influence differential participation in the movement across nations.
Explaining Public Support for the Environmental Movement: A Civic Voluntarism Model.Objective. The literature on environmentalism includes many more studies of environmental concern than of the public's practical support for the environmental movement. This article develops several categories of predictors of such support from the civic voluntarism model of Verba and associates. Methods. These predictors are tested with data from the 2000 General Social Survey, which included a special module of items on environmental attitudes and activities. Results. Findings generally suggest the utility of the civic voluntarism model for explaining public support for the environmental movement. Additional analysis attempts to untangle reasons for gender and racial differences in the level of this support. Conclusion. This study elucidates several predictors of practical support by the U.S. public for the environmental movement that merit further attention. Such research should pay attention to the proper ope rationalization of the kind of movement participation studied here
Social Theory and Climate Change Questions Often, Sometimes and Not Yet AskedSocial theorists have been dealing with issues of environment and climate change for quite some years, but on which topics have they focused and with whom have they been talking? Many of the articles included in this special issue exemplify a tendency to frame problems of climate change in terms of existing concerns, including the character of capitalism, the relation between nature and culture, or the social process of problem definition. Other forms of conceptual development are much more obviously driven by the challenge of understanding and perhaps fostering societal transformation in response to climate change. Meanwhile, policy proceeds on the basis of a characteristically thin account of the social world. In this short article I highlight differences in how these agendas unfold and comment on what this means for types of questions that social theorists have often, sometimes and not yet asked about climate change. I conclude that social theory — broadly defined — has much to offer but that realizing this potential will require concerted effort and active engagement with new and unfamiliar audiences.
Local Food: A Social Movement?This article analyzes the development of “local food” institutions from a social movements perspective. Over the last decade, institutions that “shorten the links” between producer and consumer have developed through a diverse collaboration of many social sectors (farmers, agronomic experts, retailers, chefs, food writers, and several distinct consumer sectors). Some agronomists and rural sociologists critical of the globalization and industrialization of agriculture have recognized this development as heralding Polanyian “reembedding” of market exchanges in social relations. This article analyzes whether and how local food is a social movement, using new social movement theory as an analytic framework.
BUILDING ENVIRONMENTALISM: The Founding of Environmental Movement Organizations in the United States, 1900-2000Between the 19th and the mid-20th century, the environmental movement transformed American culture, forcing a rethinking of the 'Manifest Destiny' ideology that had long dominated political thinking toward an understanding of the need to protect and restore the balance between humans and nature. In 1900, there were only a few environmental movement organizations (EMOs), but by 2000, there were over 6,000 national and regional EMOs and over 20,000 local EMOs. What drove this phenomenal growth of EMOs? We examine a 100-year time series of EMO founding, showing that, in addition to the 'legitimation-and-competition' effects of organizational density, EMO founding is facilitated by the discourse-creative activities of critical communities, objective threats in terms of air pollution, foundation giving, and powerful political allies in the presidency and Congress. Environmental discourses also legitimized and competed against one another, favoring 'early risers' and preservationist discourse. Environmental mobilization needs to be understood in terms of the creation of new discursive frames that identify environmental problems, as well as objective environmental threats, resources, and political opportunities
Current World EnvironmentCurrent World Environment an international, open access, peer reviewed research journal of environmental science is published tri-annually with sole aim of rapid dissemination of scientific knowledge among scientists, technocrats, planner and elite citizens for a better life supporting system and to promote the cause for environment and sustainable responses to climate change.
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