The Environment: A Sociological Introduction / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $19.97   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   


How are human societies changing the global environment?
Is sustainable development really possible?
Can environmental risks be avoided?
Is our experience of nature changing?

This book shows how questions about the environment cannot be properly answered without taking a sociological approach. It provides a comprehensive guide to the ways in which sociologists have responded to the challenge of environmental issues as diverse as global warming, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss and marine pollution. It also covers sociological ideas such as risk, interpretations of nature, environmental realism, ecological modernization and globalization. Environmentalism and green politics are also introduced. Unlike many other texts in the field, the book takes a long-term view, locating environmental dilemmas within the context of social development and globalization.
The Environment: A Sociological Introduction is unique in presenting environmental issues at an introductory level that assumes no specialist knowledge on the part of readers. The book is written in a remarkably clear and accessible style, and uses a rich range of empirical examples from across the globe to illustrate key debates. A carefully assembled glossary and annotated further reading suggestions also help to bring ideas to life.
The book will be a valuable resource for students in a range of disciplines, including sociology, geography and the environmental sciences, but also for anyone who wants to get to grips with contemporary environmental debates.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is in every way an excellent textbook."
Times Higher Education

"This book is an excellent introduction for students new to thisarea of inquiry and should enthuse them to deepen theirinvestigation of some of the most important issues of the 21stcentury."

“In a relaxed and readable style, Sutton introduces keyconcepts with a light touch, illustrating theories with majorevents and relevant contemporary issues.”

"Phillip Sutton has crafted a systematic and thoroughintroduction to the social science of the environment: itsdefinition, transformation, politicization and defence. Heexpansively charts the emergence of the field and points to howglobal changes and politics will affect its future. This book willbecome a key resource for new students of environmental sociologyand a point of engagement for future discussion."
Hank Johnston, San Diego State University

"Philip Sutton combines an excellent introduction to thesociology of the environment with an innovative approach to thefield. A stimulating and wide-ranging text."
Tim Newton, Exeter University

"Written for undergraduate students, Philip Sutton’s TheEnvironment demands no prior knowledge of sociology. Remainingfaithful to its subject matter, the book ranges freely across humanand environmental sciences. Sutton rejects the “retreat intothe present” that characterizes much contemporary sociologyand frames environmental problems in relation to very long-termprocesses of human social development. This “sociologicalintroduction” is challenging in all the right ways."
Stephen Quilley, Keele University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745634333
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/17/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

P.Sutton, Lecturer in Sociology, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Preface ix

1 Natural Environments 1

Defining Nature and Environment 1

Humans in Natural Environments 7

Natural and Artificial Environments 14

Conclusion 16

2 Knowing the Environment 18

Involvement and Detachment 18

The Scientific Revolution 22

Social Constructions of Nature 26

Critical Realism 32

Conclusion 36

3 Experiencing the Environment 38

An Environment of the Senses 38

Experiencing Environments 41

Ecological Identifications 44

Ecological Citizenship 52

4 Transforming the Environment 55

Social Development and the Environment 55

Industrialization 59

Urbanization 64

The Treadmill of Production and Consumption 67

5 Polluting the Environment 72

Types of Pollution 72

Awareness and Significance of Pollution 74

Sensitivity to Risks 80

Conclusion 88

6 Defending the Environment 91

Changing Attitudes 91

The Modern Origins of Nature Conservation 95

The Development of Environmentalism 99

Conclusion 107

7 Politicizing the Environment 109

A Politics of Nature 109

Ecologism: A New Political Ideology 113

The Emergence of Green Parties 116

Conclusion 124

8 Sustaining the Environment 126

The Idea of Sustainable Development 126

A Brief History of Sustainable Development 130

Sustainable Development in Practice 135

Can Societies Become Sustainable? 139

Conclusion 142

9 A Global Environment 144

What is Globalization? 144

The Biosphere as Environment 148

Global Problems, Global Solutions? 150

Conclusion 161

Glossary 164

References and Further Reading 170

Index 178

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)