Sociology (SOCI) 450

Environmental Sociology (Revision 2)

SOCI 450

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Reading course - Social Science

Prerequisite: An introductory sociology or one other social science course.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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SOCI 450 is not available for challenge.

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The primary objective of this senior course is to introduce the student to a sociological perspective on ecology and, as ecologist Stan Rowe says, “that blurry concept called environment.” SOCI 450 critically assesses a number of contradictions in the current ways that many social theorists conceive of ecology, the environment, and environmental controversies. To that end, students analyse concepts such as the commons, global ecology, green economics, environmental management, consumption, acquisitiveness and identity, scientific knowledge, and the fashionable term “sustainable development.”


  • Unit 1: History and Theory in the Study of Society and the Environment
  • Unit 2: Local and Global Transformations
  • Unit 3: Climate Justice
  • Unit 4: Energy Sovereignty
  • Unit 5: Food Sovereignty and the Future


To receive credit for SOCI 450, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least a “C-” (60 percent). You must also achieve a minimum grade of 60 percent on your final research paper. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Critical Comm. Quizzes Research Paper Proposal Annotated Bibliography Final Research Paper Total
25% 20% 5% 20% 30% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Shiva, Vandana, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis, Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2015.

Turner, Terisa E., and Leigh Brownhill, The New Twenty-First Century Land and Oil Wars, New York: International Oil Working Group, 2009.

Film (DVD)

Ashnan Film (producers), Hijacked Future, 43-minute DVD, ISBN 978-0-9810141-1-1.

Other materials

Students will access all other course materials online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, October 26, 2010.

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Updated February 28 2017 by Student & Academic Services