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Sociology (SOCI) 450

Social Theory and the Environment (Revision 1)

SOCI 450 course cover

Revision 1 closed, replaced by current version.

Delivery Mode:Individualized study with online enhancements. Audio component*.
*Overseas students, please contact the University Library before registering in a course that has an audio/visual component.


Area of Study:Reading course - Social Science

Prerequisite:SOCI 348 recommended and professor approval.

Centre:Centre for Global and Social Analysis

SOCI 450 is not available for challenge.

Course website

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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.”


To receive credit for SOCI 450, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent) and at least “C-” (60 percent) or greater on the mid-term take-home exam. Students must successfully complete a learning plan, a book review, a take-home mid-term examination based on the course texts, and a research proposal and research essay. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Learning Plan Book Review Mid-term Exam Research Proposal and Essay Total
no grade 20% 30% 50% 100%

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

Course Materials


Bocock, Robert. 1993. Consumption. New York: Routledge.

The Ecologist. 1993. Whose Common Future: Reclaiming the Commons. Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers.

Pratt, Larry, and Ian Urquhart. 1994. The Last Great Forest: Japanese Multinationals and Alberta's Northern Forests. Edmonton: NeWest Press.

Redclift, Michael, and Ted Benton. 1994. Social Theory and the Global Environment. New York: Routledge.

Sachs, Wolfgang, ed. 1993. Global Ecology: A New Arena of Political Conflict. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.

Other materials

The course materials include a student manual and a study guide.

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 1.

Last updated by SAS  06/10/2015 11:37:54