• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Volatile Places: A Sociology of Communities and Environmental Controversies is a thoughtful guide to the spirited public controversies that inevitably occur when environments and human communities collide. The movie "An Inconvenient Truth" based on the environmental activism of Al Gore and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina are specifically highlighted. Authors Valerie Gunter and Steve Kroll-Smith begin with a simple observation and offer a provocative case study approach to the investigation of community and environmental controversies.

Social Facts and Brute Facts: Confounding the Social and the Physical
Social facts and brute facts: Confounding the social and the physical

The quality of human life is inextricably interwoven with the kinds and variety of stimuli [we] receive from the earth and life it harbors, because human nature is shaped by … external nature.

Rene Dubos1

There is an interchange between culture and environment, perhaps continuous dialectic interchange, if in adapting the culture transforms its landscape … so it must respond anew to changes that it had set in motion.

Marshall Sahlins2

The first quote is from the biologist Rene Dubos; the second is from the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins. Each writer, the biologist and the anthropologist, addresses an incontrovertible condition of human existence: communities and environments are so entangled ...

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