You are here

An Invitation to Environmental Sociology

An Invitation to Environmental Sociology

Sixth Edition

October 2020 | 504 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
If there were ever a time for environmental sociology, it is now. As COVID-19 is spreading across our communities, our countries, our world, we have all become too familiar with maintaining that awful term of “social distance.” Yet there can be no true distance from that which is always with us and within us: our social ecology

An Invitation to Environmental Sociology invites students to delve into this rapidly changing field. Written in a lively, engaging style, the authors cover a broad range of topics in environmental sociology with a personal passion rarely seen in sociology texts. The book's unique organization explores three different kinds of questions about interactions between humans and the natural world: the material, the ideal, and the practical. The Sixth Edition of this bestseller comprises 12 chapters instead of 13, making it easier to fit into the normal rhythm of a course. But the result is also an edition that is up-to-date and enriched with much newer material, while continuing to use an inviting tone that the title promises.

Included with this title:

The password-protected Instructor Resource Site (formally known as SAGE Edge)
offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides. Learn more.

About the Authors
Chapter 1: Environmental Problems and Society
Joining the Dialogue

Environmental Justice Across Time

Environmental Justice Across Social Space

Environmental Justice Across Species

The Social Constitution of Environmental Problems and Solutions

Part I: The Material
Chapter 2: Health and Justice
The Material Basis of the Human Condition

One Health

One Justice

Living Downstream: The Precautionary Principle

Making Ties

Chapter 3: Consumption and Materialism
The Hierarchy of Needs

Consumption, Modern Style

Goods and Sentiments

Goods and Community

The Treadmill of Consumption

Chapter 4: Money and Markets
The Growth Compulsion

The “Invisible Elbow”

Overproduction and Underproduction

The Constructed Market

Rock Steady Farm and the Economics of Optimism

Chapter 5: Technology and Science
The Monologues of Technology and Science

Technology as a Dialogue

Technological Somnambulism

Science as Dialogue

Disasters, Fast and Slow

Science and Technology as Political

Chapter 6: Population and Development
The Malthusian Argument

Population as Culture

The Inequality Critique of Malthusianism

The Technologic Critique of Malthusianism

The Demographic Critique of Malthusianism

The Environment as a Social Actor

Part II: The Ideal
Chapter 7: The Ideology of Environmental Domination
Christianity and Environmental Domination

Individualism and Environmental Domination

Heteropatriarchy and Environmental Domination

The Difference That Ideology Makes

Chapter 8: The Ideology of Environmental Concern
Ancient Beginnings

The Moral Basis of Contemporary Environmental Concern

The Extent of Contemporary Environmental Concern

Two Theories of Contemporary Environmental Concern

The Dialogue of Environmental Concern


Chapter 9: The Human Nature of Nature
The Contradictions of Nature

Nature as a Social Construction

Environment as a Social Construction

The Dialogue of Nature and Ideology

Part III. The Practical
Chapter 10: Mobilizing the Just Ecological Society
Mobilizing Ecological Conceptions

Mobilizing Ecological Connections

Mobilizing Ecological Contestations

The Pros of the Three Cons

Chapter 11: Transitioning to the Just Ecological Society
Democracy and Bureaucracy

Legal Structure

The Bottom and the Top

Participatory Governance

Local Knowledge

Governing Participation

Grounding Our Knowledge

Soul Fire Farm and Just Ecological Transition

Finding Our Balance

Chapter 12: Living in the Just Ecological Society
The A-B Split

The Reconstitution of Daily Life

Reconstituting Ourselves



Instructor Resource Site

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.
Key features
  • The previous “Body and Justice” chapter was reframed and is now chapter 2, “Health and Justice,” enabling students to build on their understanding of environmental justice and they progress through the rest of the chapters.
  • Thoroughly rewritten chapter 7, “The Ideology of Environmental Domination,” reframes the environmental challenges of patriarchy as based on heteropatriarchy, and in doing so considering the possibilities that a queer ecology affords.
  • The addition of two early-career scholars as co-authors brings valuable new perspectives to the text.
  • New discussions of emerging issues in environmental sociology include disappearing species and landscapes; Rock Steady Farm, a new paradigm of economic and ecological sustainability; and greening our cities.
  • More emphasis on inclusivity using gender-neutral language and widening the range of lived experiences in the examples and case studies.


  • Develops the notion of normal environmentalism as a practical application of environmental sociology to real-world problems
  • Offers an integration of environmental social movement theory
  • Discusses the latest theoretical trends in environmental sociology, including metabolic rift, biopolitics, environmental flows, the Jevons paradox, disproportionality, degrowth, and participatory governance
  • Presents evocative sketches that open each chapter

The Sixth Edition has been restructured, with 13 chapters from the previous edition reorganized into a 12-chapter format.
A new Ch. 2 focuses on issues of environmental justice and health.
Ch. 1 has a new discussion of environmental justice across species that addresses questions of disappearing species and landscapes.
Ch. 4 (Money and Markets) has a discussion about Rock Steady Farm, a new paradigm of economic and ecological sustainability.
Ch. 7 on the ideology of environmental domination includes new material on ideologies of heterosexism.
Ch. 12 has a new section on greening our cities.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site