DSOC 3240 - Environmental Sociology(crosslisted) SOC 3240 , STS 3241
Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.
Humans have fraught relationships with the animals, plants, land, water—even geological processes—around us. We come together to revere, conserve, protect the things many call nature. We struggle over who gets to use what, which resources to use or to keep intact, which scientific claims are true and worthy of action. Every environmental concern is on some level a social concern, and more social concerns than we often realize are environmental concerns. In this course, we will examine how people make and respond to environmental change and how groups of people form, express, fight over, and work out environmental concerns. We will consider how population change, economic activity, government action, social movements, and changing ways of thinking shape human-environmental relationships. The fundamental goal of this course is to give you knowledge, analytical tools, and expressive skills that make you confident to address environmental concerns as a social scientist and a citizen.
Outcome 1: Identify a range of major environmental concerns, discuss their social and biophysical implications, and explain different perspectives about how people create and resolve environmental concerns.
Outcome 2: Discuss key debates in the sociology of environmental change, communicating the theoretical claims and empirical evidence each side of the debate brings to bear.
Outcome 3: Competently evaluate claims about environmental risk and vulnerability.
Outcome 4: Use sociological concepts and tools to analyze the emergence, dynamics, and outcomes of environmental controversies.
Outcome 5: Build skills in reading, interpreting, and evaluating scientific and popular texts.
Outcome 6: Express your knowledge and reasoning in engaging written communication.