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Nature, Society and Environmental Crisis

Nature, Society and Environmental Crisis

Bob Carter (Editor), Nickie Charles (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-19333-7

Apr 2010, Wiley-Blackwell

256 pages

Select type: Paperback


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This volume explores the relationship between nature and society.
  • Highlights the significant part Sociology can play in both understanding and shaping how human societies respond to the threat of ecological catastrophe
  • Addresses a topic that is rapidly gaining interest within sociology and the wider political realm
  • The volume brings together an unusually broad range of contributors who offer a wide and fascinating scope of perspectives on this issue
1. Society, nature and sociology (Bob Carter and Nickie Charles, both University of Warwick).

Part One: Changing Conceptions of the Natural and the Social.

2. Race, sex and the ‘earthly paradise’: Wallace versus Darwin on human evolution and prospects (Ted Benton, University of Essex).

3. Alienation, the cosmos and the self (Peter Dickens, University of Cambridge).

4. Normality and pathology in a biomedical age (Nikolas Rose, London School of Economics).

5. Sociology and climate change (John Urry, Lancaster University).

Part Two: Social Worlds, Natural Worlds: Sociological Research

6. The dangerous limits of dangerous limits: climate change and the precautionary principle (Chris Shaw, University of Sussex).

7. A stranger silence still: the need for feminist social research on climate change (Sherilyn MacGregor, Keele University).

8. Broadcasting green: grassroots environmentalism on Muslim women’s radio (Daniel Nilsson DeHanas, University of North Carolina).

Part Three: Sociological Futures.

9. The ‘value-action gap’ in public attitudes towards sustainable energy: the case of hydrogen energy (Rob Flynn, Paul Bellaby and Miriam Ricci, all University of Salford).

10. Technologies in place: symbolic interpretations of renewable energy (Carly McLachlan, University of Manchester).

11. ‘Doing food differently’: reconnecting biological and social relationships through care for food (Elizabeth Dowler, Moya Kneafsey, Rosie Cox and Lewis Holloway, all University of Warwick).

12. Unnatural times? The social imaginary and the future of nature (Kate Soper, London Metropolitan University).

Notes on contributors.


  • Investigates the growing urgency of environmental crises and the remarkable increase in knowledge of genomics
  • Discusses the development of biotechnological interventions, from GM crops to human cloning, which have raised questions about sociology's ability to analyse the contemporary world
  • Focuses on climate change and the challenges it poses to human societies, and the need for sociology to play a part in current debates
  • Considers the political and public policy engagement of sociologists in a profoundly unequal social world facing major challenges from the impact of environmental change
  • Explores activist responses and how these differ depending on the specific challenge and the resources available to the social actors who are involved
  • Argues that sociology has an important part to play both in understanding and shaping how human societies respond to the threat of ecological catastrophe