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Environment and Society, 5th Edition

By Charles L. Harper

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jul 13, 2011

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A sociological approach to human-environment relations


Environment and Society relates to a diverse audience and encompasses viewpoints from a variety of natural and social science approaches.


This integrative book about human-environment relations connects many issues about human societies, ecological systems, and environments with data and perspectives from different fields of study. Its viewpoint is primarily sociological and it is designed for courses in Environmental Sociology and Environmental Issues, or taught in departments of Sociology, Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Political Science, and Human Geography. 


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers should be able to:

  • Understand how environmental problems relate to human behavior, culture, and social institutions
  • Evaluate suggestions for changing the human-environment relationship to a more “sustainable” environment, society, and world order
  • Recognize the importance of worldviews and paradigms that have implicit basic assumptions about the “way the world works” and see how they shape the scholarship of experts in different fields
  • Examine the work and perspectives of economists, political scientists, anthropologists, geographers and policy analysts as they address environmental and ecological issues

Note: MySearchLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySearchLab, please visit: or you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MySearchLab with Pearson eText (at no additional cost). ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205863639 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205863631

Table of Contents


1.)    BRIEF





Chapter 1: Environment, Human Systems, and Social Science           

Chapter 2: Humans and the Resources of the Earth: Sources and Sinks   

Chapter 3: Global Climate Change   

Chapter 4: Energy and Society   

Chapter 5: Population, Environment, and Food   

Chapter 6: Globalization, Growth, and Sustainability   

Chapter 7: Transforming Structures: Markets and Politics   

Chapter 8: Environmentalism: Ideology and Collective Action   






Chapter 1: Environment, Human Systems, and Social Science           

Ecocatastrophe or Ecohype?   

Ecosystems: Concepts and Components  

Sociocultural Systems   

Ecosystem and Sociocultural Evolution: Human Ecology   

Environmental Social Sciences   

Conclusion: Environment, Ecosystems, and Human Systems   

Personal Connections   


Chapter 2: Humans and the Resources of the Earth: Sources and Sinks   

Land and Soil    

Water Resources   

Biodiversity and Forests   

Wastes and Pollution   

Conclusion: The Resources of the Earth   

Personal Connections   


Chapter 3: Global Climate Change   

Ozone Depletion and Ultraviolet Radiation   

Turning Up the Heat: Global Warming

Do We Know Enough to Act?   

Policy Options: What Could Be Done about Global Warming?   

Personal Connections   


Chapter 4: Energy and Society   

A Historical Detour: Recent Energy Crises   

Energy Problems: Environmental and Social   

The Energetics of Human Societies   

The Present Energy System and Its Alternatives   

Barriers, Transitions, and Energy Policy   

In Summary: Energy and the Risks We Take   

Personal Connections   


Chapter 5: Population, Environment, and Food   

The Dynamics of Population Change   

How Serious Is the Problem of World Population Growth?   

Making Sense Out of This Controversy   

Population, Food, and Hunger   

Feeding Eight Billion People in the Next Fifty Years?   

Stabilizing World Population: Policy Options   


Personal Connections   


Chapter 6: Globalization, Growth, and Sustainability   



Growth and Sustainability: Two Perspectives   

Sustainable Societies?   

Transformations and Sustainability: Social Change   

Conclusion: A Transformation to Sustainability?   

Personal Connections   


Chapter 7: Transforming Structures: Markets and Politics   


Politics and Policy   

Possible Levers for Progress   

The Global Political Economy and the Environment   


Personal Connections   


Chapter 8: Environmentalism: Ideology and Collective Action   

American Environmentalism   

Global Environmentalism   

Environmentalism and Change

Environmentalism: How Successful?   

In Conclusion   

Personal Connections




Name Index   

Subject Index

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-205-82053-0

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-82053-5

Format: Alternate Binding

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