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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jesse Walmsley
SOC 279
Seattle Campus

Environmental Sociology

Social processes by which environmental conditions are transformed into environmental problems; scientific claims, popularization of science, issue-framing, problem-amplification, economic opportunism, and institutional sponsorship. Examination of social constructs such as ecosystem, community, and free-market economy. Use of human ecology to assess whether the current framing of environmental problems promotes ecological adaptability. Offered: jointly with F M 271/ENVIR 271; W.

Class Description

The key aspect of this course surrounds investigation of the social processes by which environmental conditions are transformed into environmental problems. Case studies will be employed to illustrate the roles played by scientific claims, the popularization of science, issue framing, problem amplification, economic opportunism and institutional sponsorship. Case studies will provide the foundation for class-based discussions focused on the processes through which environmental problems are legitimated and regulated by social constructs such as ecosystem, community, and the free market economy. Using examples from issues related to forests and associated natural resources, students will study and discuss human ecology as a means of assessing whether current institutional framing of environmental problems promotes ecological adaptability.

Recommended preparation

Class Assignments and Grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Jesse Walmsley
Date: 01/10/2003