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Towards a Sociology of Environmental Flows

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Towards a Sociology of Environmental Flows. The emerging sociology of networks and flows, as it can be found in the works of Castells and Urry among others, offers promising perspectives for environmental sociology in rethinking its principle object of study: nature and environment. The sociology of flow perspective takes us beyond the nation-state, helps us to rethink global dynamics, puts an emphasis on the ?material dimension? of the social and provides new insights into issues of equality and power in relation to environmental flows. Next to these positive points to be derived from the works of Castells and Urry, environmental sociologists will be also confronted with problems or dilemma?s when working within a network and flow perspective. Noteworthy in this respect are Castells? relation between the space of flows and the space of place and Urry?s emphasis of natural science dynamics at the expense of human agency. When these problems are dealt with in an adequate way, the sociology of networks and flows can help to formulate a new agenda for 21st century environmental sociology. By Arthur P.J. Mol and Gert Spaargaren.

 

By GLOBUS Institute for Globalization and Sustainable Development, Netherlands.

Environment Policy Resource.