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Steven Yearley

In: The SAGE Handbook of Sociology

Chapter 19: The Sociology of the Environment and Nature

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The Sociology of the Environment and Nature
The sociology of the environment and nature
Sociology's Ambivalence about Nature and the Environment

In much of Europe at least, sociology was far slower than other social sciences, notably economics, anthropology, politics and geography, to interest itself in the environment and in nature. In part this tardiness was due to the reluctance of sociologists to take the environment at face value (see Newby, 1991). Sociologists had generally adopted a constructivist attitude towards the natural world and were accustomed to treating claims about the naturalness' of things as an ideological front. Claims about the natural' differences between the sexes or between races had been rejected by the majority of sociologists; more interest was shown in the business of ‘deconstructing’ these claims. ...

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