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Anthropocene: a cautious welcome from environmental sociology?
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Environmental Sociology Section)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6735-0011
Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC), Department of Sociology, Bowland North, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.
2016 (English)In: Environmental Sociology, ISSN 2325-1042, Vol. 2, no 4, 395-406 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper concerns the way in which environmental sociologists might approach the concept of ‘the Anthropocene’.  As our title suggests, we extend in the paper a cautious welcome to this concept. Such a stance – an openness to ‘natural’ accounts accompanied by cautionary tales– has a long history within environmental sociology. In the paper, we document how the concept of the Anthropocene presents environmental sociology with a global environmental narrative that supports many of its own modes of thought. The concept of the Anthropocene reinforces, for example, the value of scholarship scrutinising ontological relationality, political-economic change, inter-disciplinary collaboration and cause-effect dynamics. At the same time, contemporary narratives of the Anthropocene seem to pose challenges for environmental sociology. We suggest that these narratives open up a need to think carefully about issues of naturalisation, difference, knowledge, agency and justice. We suggest that environmental sociology needs to draw on the full repertoire of its discipline in order to establish a critical-constructive relation between its own ways of thinking and those that are currently prominent within the narrative of the Anthropocene.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016. Vol. 2, no 4, 395-406 p.
Keyword [en]
Anthropocene; environmental sociology; narrative; environmental challenges; post-disciplinarity
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-53405DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2016.1210841OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-53405DiVA: diva2:1044586
Available from: 2016-11-04 Created: 2016-11-04 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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