Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction

Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction

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Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction by Paul Robbins, John Hintz, Sarah A. Moore

Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction is an overview of the diverse conceptual tools and traditions for thinking about, explaining and addressing the environmental challenges we face in the contemporary world.

  • Provides an introduction to the environmental challenges we face in the contemporary world through foundational theoretical ideas illustrated with concrete, everyday examples
  • Utilizes compelling, conversational language to expound on theory, history, and scientific topics, making the text accessible to a diverse readership
  • Draws upon contemporary theoretical understandings in nature/society theory while demonstrating through practice and deployment
  • Includes discussion of key historical events, topical issues, and policies, as well as scientific concepts

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781444358629
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 09/26/2011
Series: Critical Introductions to Geography , #13
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 312
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Paul Robbins is a Professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona, Tucson. His current research centers on the relationships between individuals, environmental actors, and the institutions that connect them. Robbins is also the author of Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction (2004) and Lawn People: How Grasses Weeds and Chemicals Make us Who We Are (2007).

John Hintz is Assistant Professor of Geography and Geosciences at the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. His current research focuses on land use conflicts, environmental policy, and the US environmental movement. He has most recently published in the journals Capitalism Nature Socialism and Ethics, Place and Environment.

Sarah A. Moore is Assistant Professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Her research focuses on urban development politics, urban environmental issues, and environmental justice in the United States and Latin America. Her publications include articles in the Professional Geographer and Society and Natural Resources.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures.

List of Tables.

List of Text Boxes.


1 Introduction: The View from Clifton Bridge.

What Is This Book?

Part I Approaches and Perspectives.

2 Population and Scarcity.

A Crowded Desert City.

The Problem of "Geometric" Growth.

Population, Development, and Environment Impact.

The Other Side of the Coin: Population and Innovation.

Limits to Population: An Effect Rather than a Cause?

Thinking with Population.

3 Markets and Commodities.

The Bet.

Managing Environmental Bads: The Coase Theorem.

Market Failure.

Market-Based Solutions to Environmental Problems.

Beyond Market Failure: Gaps between Nature and Economy.

Thinking with Markets.

4 Institutions and "The Commons".

Controlling Carbon?

The Prisoner's Dilemma.

The Tragedy of the Commons.

The Evidence and Logic of Collective Action.

Crafting Sustainable Environmental Institutions.

Are All Commoners Equal? Does Scale Matter?

Thinking with Institutions.

5 Environmental Ethics.

The Price of Cheap Meat.

Improving Nature: From Biblical Tradition to John Locke.

Gifford Pinchot vs. John Muir in Yosemite, California.

Aldo Leopold and "The Land Ethic".

Liberation for Animals!

Holism, Scientism, and Pragmatism? Oh My!

Thinking with Ethics.

6 Risks and Hazards.

The Great Flood of 1993.

Environments as Hazard.

The Problem of Risk Perception.

Risk as Culture.

Beyond Risk: The Political Economy of Hazards.

Thinking with Hazards and Risk.

7 Political Economy.

The Strange Logic of "Under-pollution".

Labor, Accumulation, and Crisis.

Production of Nature.

Global Capitalism and the Ecology of Uneven Development.

Social Reproduction and Nature.

Environments and Economism.

Thinking with Political Economy.

8 Social Construction of Nature.

Welcome to the Jungle.

So You Say It’s "Natural"?

Environmental Discourse.

The Limits of Constructivism: Science, Relativism, and the Very Material World.

Thinking with Construction.

Part II Objects of Concern.

9 Carbon Dioxide.

Stuck in Pittsburgh Traffic.

A Short History of CO2.

Institutions: Climate Free-Riders and Carbon Cooperation.

Markets: Trading More Gases, Buying Less Carbon.

Political Economy: Who Killed the Atmosphere?

The Carbon Puzzle.

10 Trees.

Chained to a Tree in Berkeley California.

A Short History of Trees.

Population and Markets: The Forest Transition Theory.

Political Economy: Accumulation and Deforestation.

Ethics, Justice, and Equity: Should Trees Have Standing?

The Tree Puzzle.

11 Wolves.

January 12, 1995, Yellowstone National Park.

A Short History of Wolves.

Ethics: Rewilding the Northeast.

Institutions: Stakeholder Management.

Social Construction: Of Wolves and Men Masculinity.

The Wolf Puzzle.

12 Tuna.

Blood Tuna.

A Short History of Tuna.

Markets and Commodities: Eco-Labels to the Rescue?.

Political Economy: Re-regulating Fishery Economies.

Ethics and Ecocentrism: The Social Construction of Charismatic Species.

The Tuna Puzzle.

13 Bottled Water.

A Tale of Two Bottles.

A Short History of Bottled Water.

Population: Bottling for Scarcity?

Risk: Health and Safety in a Bottle?

Political Economy: Manufacturing Demand on an Enclosed Commons.

The Bottled Water Puzzle.

14 French Fries.


A Short History of the Fry.

Risk Analysis: Eating What We Choose and Choosing What We Eat.

Political Economy: Eat Fries or Else!

Ethics: Protecting or Engineering Potato Heritage?

The French Fry Puzzle.




What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Robbins, Hintz and Moore have taken something excellent and made it even better. It remains as comprehensive yet accessible as the first, and by adding new material about human-nature relations, the authors ensure that edition two reflects important recent developments in thinking and practice.”
Noel Castree, University of Manchester

“This masterful synthesis of environment-society scholarship brings together cutting-edge ways of thinking about nature/society entanglements with highly grounded objects of exploration—from lawns to bottled water to uranium. The dynamic and accessible writing style belies the book’s empirical and theoretical sophistication. For upper-level undergrads and lower-level graduate students of environment-society relations, this new edition remains the “go-to” text in the field.”
Kendra McSweeny, Ohio State University Columbus

"As an introductory text reflecting contemporary scholarship via plural perspectives and hybrid objects, Environment and Society continues to innovate."
Jim Proctor, Lewis & Clark College

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