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About this book
About this book
This book demonstrates how sociology has an important part to play both in understanding and shaping how human societies respond to the threat of ecological catastrophe. It investigates the growing urgency of environmental crises and the remarkable increase in knowledge of genomics; discusses the development of biotechnological interventions, from GM crops to human cloning, which have raised questions about sociology's ability to analyse the contemporary world; focuses on climate change, and the challenges it poses to human societies and the need for sociology to play a part in current debates; considers the political and public policy engagement of sociologists in a profoundly unequal social world facing major challenges from the impact of environmental change; and, explores activist responses and how these differ depending on the specific challenge and the resources available to the social actors who are involved.
1. Society, nature and sociology (Bob Carter and Nickie Charles, both University of Warwick). Part One: Changing Conceptions of the Natural and the Social. 2. Race, sex and the 'earthly paradise': Wallace versus Darwin on human evolution and prospects (Ted Benton, University of Essex). 3. Alienation, the cosmos and the self (Peter Dickens, University of Cambridge). 4. Normality and pathology in a biomedical age (Nikolas Rose, London School of Economics). 5. Sociology and climate change (John Urry, Lancaster University). Part Two: Social Worlds, Natural Worlds: Sociological Research 6. The dangerous limits of dangerous limits: climate change and the precautionary principle (Chris Shaw, University of Sussex). 7. A stranger silence still: the need for feminist social research on climate change (Sherilyn MacGregor, Keele University). 8. Broadcasting green: grassroots environmentalism on Muslim women's radio (Daniel Nilsson DeHanas, University of North Carolina). Part Three: Sociological Futures. 9. The 'value-action gap' in public attitudes towards sustainable energy: the case of hydrogen energy (Rob Flynn, Paul Bellaby and Miriam Ricci, all University of Salford). 10. Technologies in place: symbolic interpretations of renewable energy (Carly McLachlan, University of Manchester). 11. 'Doing food differently': reconnecting biological and social relationships through care for food (Elizabeth Dowler, Moya Kneafsey, Rosie Cox and Lewis Holloway, all University of Warwick). 12. Unnatural times? The social imaginary and the future of nature (Kate Soper, London Metropolitan University). Notes on contributors. Index.
Bob Carter lectures at the University of Warwick and is co-convenor of the MA in Race and Ethnic Studies. His research interests include language and social theory, and racism and ethnicity. Nickie Charles is Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender at Warwick University and Honorary Professor, School of the Environment and Society at Swansea University. Her research interests include gender divisions and the relation between paid and unpaid work, families and kin relationships, and gender, health and age