Environmental Sociology

Environmental sociology is a specialized field that deals with the interactions between groups and their environments. It is typically defined as the sociological study of societal-environmental interactions. Sociology is the study of collective behavior, whereas environmental sociology is a specializes on environmental relations. It studies the social dimensions of environmental problems, such as climate change, resource depletion, pollution, and environmental injustice. It also attempts to understand why groups make environmentally destructive choices, and discover ways to alter such collective behavior.

Course and curriculum:

Undergraduate degrees in environmental sociology are rare. Most students earn generalized degrees in sociology. A growing number of sociology departments are now offering concentrations in environmental sociology. Programs with concentrations in environmental sociology offer courses on environmental justice, development and underdevelopment, and the sociology of environmental problems, in addition to the sociological subject areas like quantitative sociological analysis and research design, social problems, criminal justice, policy, economics, community development, and class, race, and gender.

Some of the major areas that come under the discipline include ecological issues, ecological collapse and human progress, ecological implications in modern economy, modern environmentalism, connection between class, race, gender, justice and environmental issues, ecological ethics, global eco-social movements, environmental impacts of technology, the effects of international trade and investment on environmental degradation, militarism and environmental inequality etc.

A bachelor's degree is only the beginning for sociologists. Due to the amount of research involved, most jobs in sociology require advanced degrees. Graduates in other disciplines also concentrate in environmental sociology for master's degree. Master's programs generally require additional coursework in statistics and research methods. PhD programs offer more specialized coursework focusing on various aspects of environmental sociology. Doctoral programs focus heavily on research methods and independent study to prepare candidates for research positions.

Career opportunities:

Doctoral degrees are required for college faculty, research positions at non-profit organisations, corporations, and government agencies. Some find work in non-research positions at social services agencies, non profit organizations, or businesses. The majority of environmental sociologists work as faculty at colleges and universities. Some are also employed by nonprofit environmental agencies and public policy organizations, local and state departments of ecology, community recycling programs, environmental action groups, consulting firms, lobbying organizations, and international non-governmental organizations.


1.School of Ecology and Environment Studies, Nalanda University, Rajgir, Bihar
2.TERI University, New Delhi
3.Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi
4.Environmental Protection Training and Research Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana
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