Towards a sociology of nature.

Macnaghten, Phil and Urry, John (1995) Towards a sociology of nature. Sociology, 29 (2). pp. 203-220. ISSN 1469-8684

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This paper is concerned with the relationship between sociology and nature or the environment. We briefly summarise the various ways in which historically `nature' has been conceptualised, including the connections between the `natural' and the `market'. We suggest that there are many `natures' and then proceed to develop an agenda for a sociology of such natures. This comprises four elements: a sociology of environmental knowledges; social variation in the reading of natures; a sociology of the diverse forms of environmental damage; and a more general examination of environmentalism and society. We conclude with an examination of the relations between culture and nature suggesting that changes in this relationship now demonstrates what has always been the case, namely, that nature is elaborately entangled and fundamentally bound up with the social and the cultural. As the social and the cultural are both rapidly changing provides deciphering that relationship immensely fruitful but complex areas for future sociological work.

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04 Feb 2009 16:33
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 19:00