Reshaping the Study of Sociology


From the maintenance of genetic diversity to the disposal of radioactive wastes, from toxics in the groundwater to climate change in the atmosphere above, some of the most serious challenges of the 21st century involve society’s relationships with the environment and technologies upon which we all depend. As sociologists who study society, environment, and technology, we provide insights and research that help people to understand environmental problems and achieve workable solutions for them.

What We Study

  • How do social, political, and technological factors contribute to the pollution and wasteful use of resouces that threaten ecosystems, humans, and other species?
  • How can local communities, societies, and the international community develop strategies that lead to a harmonious and sustainable relationship between societies and their environments?
  • How do new technologies affect both the natural environment, people’s relationships with one another, and human health and well-being?
  • Why do environmental problems, such as toxic waste dumps, so frequently end up in poor and minority neighborhoods in the U.S. and in poor nations abroad, and how can these inequalities be eliminated?
  • How do societies cope with environmental and technological disasters, and how can we develop more effective coping strategies?
  • What factors influence public opinion about environmental problems, and do how local, national, and international public opinion influence government policies and programs to protect the environment?
  • How and why do citizens choose to join and support environmental movements, environmental organizations, and local environmental groups, and what determines whether they succeed or fail?

Interested in Studying Environmental Sociology?

If you’re an undergraduate or beginning graduate student interested in questions like these, this page is for you. You will find links to some useful resources you can use in finding out more about problems of environment and technology and about the research environmental sociologists are working on now. To the left is a more complete set of links for finding out more about our Section and what we do.

If you are considering a career as a sociologist, whether as a teacher, researcher, or in sociological practice, we hope you will consider joining us as a student member. Both the ASA and our section offer greatly reduced membership fees for students.

Student Links