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Environmental Sociology 4 (4/6): Macrotheories: The Origins of the Human-Environmental World, II

WHO: I am Dr. Mark D. Whitaker (Ph.D., Sociology; University of Wisconsin-Madison), from a university known for its concentration of environmental sociologists. My interests are environmental sociology, comparative history, the organizational causes of environmental degradation, and sustainability strategies. WHAT: This is a free seven part video lecture series on Environmental Sociology. ================================ Outline of this Session ----------------------- (1/6) Introduction; Continuing "Macrotheories" as different than the five theoretical perspectives and including more organizational ideas about human/environmental interactions in the current world and in world history; recapitulation of the short summary from last session (2/6) Dryzek et al, "Green states and Social Movements": four different views of how the cultures of particular regions matter in framing and mobilizing the ideas of the global environmentalism movement in particular states and cultures, combined with how particular state elite decisions matter as well; thus in the global environmental movement, both local cultural decisions on how to frame the green movement matter, as well as how states respond to this matters--both interacting to make four different 'ideal types' of government/green movement interactions analyzed, with the research team's recommendations for which arrangements tend to be the most successful. (3/6) Introduction of Pre-axial religious views as an organizational issue of human-environmental issues, touching on Karl Jaspers; then into a review of Chew's three books on world environmental degradation over 5,000 years, with a stress on his second book in the series, The Recurring Dark Ages; (4/6) Whitaker's Ecological Revolution, repeating at ever larger scales in world history, our human/environmental past identical in process to our globalized present--though the past of course at a smaller scale then of the same state corruption and economic elite consumptive consolidation and degradation compared to now--though the same process; similarities of Chew's bioregional cultural view of improvement to Whitaker's bioregional cultural and bioregional state view of improvement; discussion of Jasper's pre-axial to axial religions views and Whitaker's argument that Jasper's was uncovering the common ecological degradation contexts that were important in the world's (then) novel religious formation popularizations against the degradative destruction of then powerful state and cultural elites who increasingly were unimportant in people's lives as they were connected to corrupted institutions and cultural ideas (5/6) EcoMarxism: featuring; [1] dependency theory; [2] world systems theory; [3] somewhat Saskia Sassen's global cities, and [4] Schnaiberg et al. (6/6) EcoMarxism vs. Ecological Modernization: their equal views on our human-environmental degradation as organizationally based instead of population based (thus both argue against neo-Malthusianism views); however from that commonality, everything else is different between them in this organizational view: in EcoMarxism the interaction of the organization of the economy and the organization of the environment tends toward being seen as bad for the environment and good for the economy or bad for the environment and bad for the economy as well; discussion typically is without any potential improvement of the organization of the industrial economy discussed (except for somewhat in Schnaiberg though he implies a rejection of the industrial economy is the only option); however in Ecological Modernization views, the organization of environmental improvement is seen as good for the industrial economy since both can work together to remove suboptimal organizational issues of economic conditions of degradation and work toward the organization of environmental-minded integration of an industrial-scale economy; I include a small preparatory discussion at the end regarding my work on how a **politicized consumptive infrastuctural view** of certain materials versus other materials for the same consumptive use categories can integrate both degradation and amelioration in the same model organizationally [1] without biases of either model of purist EcoMarxism or purist Ecological Modernization in their abstracts; and [2] without their equal exclusive modernist bias of them both either. You can use a politicized consumptive infrastructural view to look at any epoch of human history for social pressures of sustainability and unsustainability interacting.
Length: 08:25

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