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Social Ecology

  • By: Madronna Holden
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Social ecology stresses the link between the domination of humans and the domination of nature, envisioning the creation of a nonhierarchical society as the solution to both contemporary ecological and social crises. Social ecology's ideal society mirrors the integrative and communitarian order of natural ecology—characterized by dynamic unity in diversity. For social ecology, theory and activism are inevitably linked, as expressed in the programs of the Social Ecology Institute.

Social ecology, as developed by Murray Bookchin, has as its central premise the idea that the domination of other humans occurs in concert with the domination of natural systems. Both stem from hierarchical social arrangements that set men over women, rich over poor, race over race, humans over nature, and mind over matter. In such stratified ...

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