The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Second Edition
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The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Second Edition

Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Graham Woodgate

This thoroughly revised Handbook provides an assessment of the scope and content of environmental sociology, and sets out the intellectual and practical challenges posed by the urgent need for policy and action to address accelerating environmental change.
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Editorial commentary


Graham Woodgate Environmental sociology has been at work since the first edition of this volume was published in 1997 and in ways that were not always apparent – for example, interpreting phenomena like climate change, biodiversity and food poverty, examining their politicization, and illuminating actual and possible social responses. In Part I of this edition, we have included chapters that elucidate some of the concepts and theories that are employed in framing analyses of socio-environmental relations. The complex and dynamic character of societies’ interactions with the rest of nature, the discursive practices of environmental sociologists, and their experiences and reflections in both their professional and personal lives, all influence the ways in which socio-environmental relations are understood and the particular aspects of them that are the focus of attention. Thus it is more accurate to talk of environmental sociologies, envisaged as a dynamic set of cultural lenses through which to view and to make (non)sense of the world around us, and the ways in which our actions and institutions influence and are influenced by it. Our aim, then, is to provide a snapshot that reflects something of the diversity of concepts and theories that constitute contemporary environmental sociological thought and practice. In Chapter 1, Riley Dunlap considers the way in which environmental sociology has matured and become more diverse over the three decades that have passed since he and his colleague William Catton Jr first proposed their ‘new ecological paradigm’ in the late 1970s. Dunlap notes that while the long-running...

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