Environmental sociology tends to be dominated by macrosociological theories, to the point that microsociological perspectives have been neglected and ignored. This collection of original work is the first book dedicated to demonstrating the utility of microsociological perspectives for investigating environmental issues. From symbolic interactionism to actor–network theory, from dramaturgy to conversation analysis, from practice theory to animism, a variety of microsociological perspectives are not only drawn upon but creatively applied and developed, making this collection not only a contribution to environmental sociology, but to microsociological theory as well. The authors address such topics as the treatment of waste, human–animal relations, science and industry partnerships, environmental social movements, identities, and lifestyles, eco-tourism, the framing of land, water, and natural resources, and even human conceptions of outer space.
Bringing together diverse scholars, perspectives, and topics, Microsociological Perspectives for Environmental Sociology opens the field up to new approaches and initiates much needed dialogue between environmental sociologists and microsociologists. It will appeal not only to sociologists, but to environmental scholars across the social sciences interested in enriching their theoretical repertoire in studying the social aspects of the environment.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
Introduction: awakening micro-theoretical perspectives in environmental sociology
BRADLEY H. BREWSTER AND ANTONY J. PUDDEPHATT
1 Micro-interactions of cosmic proportions: mediating human–cosmos relationships in the planetarium
MEGAN S. ALBAUGH BONHAM
2 “This is not Sea World”: spectacle and insight in nature tourism
PETER R. GRAHAME
3 How to climb Mount Fuji (at your earliest convenience): a non-representational approach
4 Negotiating identity, valuing place: enacting “earthcare” and social justice at Finca La Bella, Costa Rica
STELLA M. ČAPEK
5 Green lifestyles and micropolitics: pragmatist action theory and the connection between lifestyle change and collective action
JANET A. LORENZEN
6 Mead, interactionism, and the improbability of ecological selves: toward a meta-environmental microsociological theory
STEPHEN ZAVESTOSKI AND ANDREW J. WEIGERT
7 Present tense: everyday animism and the politics of possession
MICHAEL M. BELL
8 Wild selves: a symbolic interactionist perspective on species, minds, and nature
9 Dog shit happens: human–canine interactions and the immediacy of excremental presence
MATTHIAS GROSS AND ANA HORTA
10 Sorting the trash: competing constructions and instructions for handling household waste
11 The utility of phenomenology in understanding and addressing human-caused environmental problems
12 The social psychology of compromised negotiations: constructing asymmetrical boundary objects between science and industry
13 Escaping the iron cage of environmental rationalizations: microsocial decision-making in environmental conflicts
FILIP ALEXANDRESCU AND BERND BALDUS
Bradley H. Brewster is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Graceland University, USA.
Antony J. Puddephatt is Associate Professor of Sociology at Lakehead University, Canada and co-editor of Ethnographies Revisited: Constructing Theory in the Field.
'It's about time! Environmental sociology might have found innovative ways to theorize materiality but it still is grappling with everyday life. Sensitive to avoid reaffirming the micro-macro dualism, Microsociological Perspectives for Environmental Sociology playfully investigates the varied ways in which our encounters with the natural world matter, and are mattering.' - Michael S. Carolan, Colorado State University, U.S.A
'Students and scholars interested in a variety of environmental issues, will find the topics in this book most intriguing – from narration of the cosmos to environmental conflicts, from mountain climbs and whale watching to what to do with our waste, this lively collection calls on us all to consider what constitutes our relationship to nature, identity, and community. Deeply theoretical with a broad range of micro-sociological perspectives, Microsociological Perspectives and Environmental Sociology highlights the relationship of nature to social life through the rich lens of emotions, identity, embodiment, interaction, politics and collective identity. I strongly recommend this book to undergraduate and graduate students alike. It will no doubt be a must read for those teaching about qualitative methods and/or the environment.' - Lori Holyfield, University of Arkansas, U.S.A
'This anthology demonstrates how micro-perspectives address matters previously within the domain of macro-analytic research, and how such analysis can inform theory and politics—a welcome contribution to environmental sociology' - Jeffrey E. Nash, Symbolic Interaction