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Lecture 10

SOC101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Environmental Sociology, Human Ecology, Social Constructionism

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Barry Mc Clinchey

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The Environment
Social conditions and environmental quality are connected
Industrialization, population growth, eating habits of much of the world, are all the
products of human activity
The sociological study of the environment includes the examination of claims-making by
scientists, business leaders, policy-makers, environmentalists, the media, and members of
the public at large
The sub-field of environmental sociology is generally acknowledged to have originated in the
Post-world war II prosperity allowed for greater attention to be directed at non-material issues
including the environment.
Environmental sociology studies the interrelationships between society and the environment.
With a focus on the relationship between human social organization and the physical
Many believe that concern for the environment is more evident when the economy is strong.
It took more than 1 million years for the population of the world to reach 1 billion around the
mid nineteenth century
In the century and a half since then, this figure has increased to 6.9 billion in 2010
Dramatic increases in the world population has been referred to as a time bomb threatening the
Mainly affecting the 5.5 billion people in developing countries: in Africa, Asia, Latin America
and the Caribbean
Poverty is often deemed responsible for why many developing countries remain in the
transitional stage
As such, it will be difficult to reduce the population of the world unless economic, social, and
technical progress can be made in the developing world.
Emphasizes that the earth’s natural resources are finite and need to be carefully preserved.
Some maintain that the land’s capacity to sustain itself is rapidly declining.
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