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An Invitation to Environmental Sociology

An Invitation to Environmental Sociology

Fifth Edition

July 2015 | 512 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“This is not only the best environmental sociology text I’ve used, but it is the best text of any type I’ve used in college-level teaching.” –Dr. Cliff Brown, University of New Hampshire

Join author Mike Bell and new co-author Loka Ashwood as they explore “the biggest community of all” and bring out the sociology of environmental possibility. The highly-anticipated Fifth Edition of An Invitation to Environmental Sociology delves into this rapidly changing and growing field in a clear and artful manner. Written in a lively, engaging style, this book explores the broad range of topics in environmental sociology with a personal passion rarely seen in sociology textbooks. The Fifth Edition contains new chapters entitled “Money and Markets,” “Technology and Science,” and “Living in the Ecological Society.” 

Part I: The Material
Chapter 1: Environmental Problems and Society
Chapter 2: Consumption and Materialism
Chapter 3: Money and Markets
Chapter 4: Technology and Science
Chapter 5: Population and Development
Chapter 6: Body and Justice
Part II: The Ideal
Chapter 7: The Ideology of Environmental Domination
Chapter 8: The Ideology of Environmental Concern
Chapter 9: The Human Nature of Nature
Chapter 10: The Rationality of Risk
Part III: The Practical
Chapter 11: Modernizing the Ecological Society
Chapter 12: Governing the Ecological Society
Chapter 13: Living in an Ecological Society


Instructor site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Lecture Notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
    Chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer assistance with lecture and review preparation by highlighting essential content, features, and artwork from the book.
  • Chapter exercises for individual or group projects provide lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class reinforce active learning. 
  • Final Exam and General Course Projects
  • Video and Multimedia Links, including carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topic.
  • Recommended Readings list useful books and articles for additional study.

An interesting topic which is quite densely written. Whilst it would not be a core text or an area covered in any depth during the social work course on which I teach, it does cover some timely and important issues and I would perhaps recommend to third year or postgraduate students.

Dr Robert J Hagan
Department of Sociology & Applied Social Studies, University of Ulster
July 22, 2016

A bit too geography focussed for my environmental science class. May adapt for a 4th year MSc / MSi module on technology & society.

Professor Iseult Lynch
Schl of Geog, Earth & Env'l Sciences, Birmingham University
July 20, 2016

The content is relevant to the course objectives. This textbook will provide students with an enterprising opportunity to explore newer trends in the field of environmental sociology. As an introductory text it covers a number of critical issues and provide many relevant examples and insights into the emerging challenges that intersect human behavior and its impact on the environment.

Mr Andrew Hicks
Faculty of Social Sciences/Department of Sociology, University of Guyana
October 21, 2015
Key features


  • New co-author Loka Ashwood brings a fresh perspective to this respected resource.
  • A new chapter, “Living in An Ecological Society,” exposes readers to the practical arts of transforming everyday lives towards environmental change.
  • Former chapter on “Money and Machines” expands into two: “Money and Markets” and “Technology and Science.” The new chapters bring a fresh discussion of the relationship between science and the environment, and the impact of capitalism on the environment.
  • New material on extraction in the developed and developing worlds, the industrialization of agriculture, the hazards of fossil fuel production, environmental security, and making environmentalism a normal part of our lives further enlighten readers to new trends in this ever-evolving field.


  • Improves the exposition and integration of the unifying concept of ecological dialogue.
  • Develops the notion of normal environmentalism as a practical application of environmental sociology to real-world problems.
  • Offers an integration of environmental social movement theory.
  • Discusses the latest theoretical trends in environmental sociology, including metabolic rift, biopolitics, environmental flows, the Jevons paradox, disproportionality, degrowth, and participatory governance.
  • Presents evocative sketches that open each chapter.

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

For instructors

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