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Talking about global environmental issues need not be an exercise in gloom, doom, and individual sacrifice—as Michael Carolan ably demonstrates in this introduction to environmental sociology.
Society and the Environment examines today's environmental controversies within a socio-organizational context. After outlining the contours of "pragmatic environmentalism," Carolan explores the material world: air, water, biodiversity, and trash. He considers the pressures that exist where ecology and society collide, such as population growth and its associated increased demands for food and energy. Finally, he drills into the social/structural dynamics—including political economy and the international legal system—that create ongoing momentum for environmental ills.
This interdisciplinary text features a three-part structure in each chapter that covers "fast facts" about the issue at hand, examines its wide-ranging implications, and offers pragmatic consideration of possible real-world solutions. Bolstering the analysis, a variety of boxes highlight relevant case studies as well as the value judgments which lurk everywhere in talk about environmental phenomena. Discussion questions and key terms enhance the text's usefulness, making Society and the Environment the perfect learning tool for courses on environmental sociology.
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Michael Carolan is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University, USA. He is the author or co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed articles in addition to several books, including 'Decentering Biotechnology', 'Embodied Food Politics', 'Reclaiming Food Security', 'The Sociology of Food and Agriculture', and 'The Real Cost of Cheap Food'.Review:
"An engaging, well-organized, and comprehensive treatment of the core issues in environmental sociology. Carolan's conversational style and pragmatic focus will help students connect with the subject rather than become depressed."
—Richard York, University of Oregon
"Unique for its matter-of-fact approach, Society and the Environment covers all the important topics in a well-organized way. Students will be drawn to its interdisciplinarity, its accessibility, and its lack of social science jargon."
—Shaunna Scott, University of Kentucky
"In this very well-organized and thought-provoking book, Carolan weaves together the macro and the micro, reflecting the truly complex nature of human/environment interaction. He manages to articulate to the reader that environmental issues are never black and white but rather shades of gray."
—Jesse T. Weiss, University of the Ozarks
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