(SOS: 1725)      ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY         Credits:4

Objectives of the Course

  • Understand the perspectives on our contemporary ecological circumstances and also to look at ecological regimes in our and other societies
  • Review the history of resource use, wilderness preservation, pollution, various environmental movements, and other developments with significant ecological implications
  • Understand the sociological modes of analysis of environmental issues
  • Exhibit informed, critical approach to the contemporary environmental issues in society


1. Definitions, Issues, Debates: Defining Ecological Issues; Social theory and ecological issues; population, food and hunger; human progress versus ecological collapse

2. The Economic Factor: Industrialisation or capitalism?; the modern economy and its ecological implication; consumer society


1. Environmentalism: Ecological issues in historic perspective, the origins of modern environmentalism, Environmentalism as part of a larger social critique

2. Social Justice and Environmental Issues: Gender, Social Class, Social Justice and Environmental Issues; Ecological issues as social issues


1. Cultural & Religious Factors: Ecology and “Postmodern” relation, ecological ethic in religions, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism; ecological ethic in ethnic communities, culture, rationality and modernity


1. Environmentalism in India: Perspectives from a developing world

2. Democracy, Civil society and ecology: local, international and global Eco-social movements, ecology and global civil society, alternative economics, a second look at consumption

a. To discuss the structure and issues of Kerala society.
b. To analyse transformations in Kerala society

Course Outcomes:
1. Understand the structure, composition of Indian society.
2. Understand the transformation taking place in Indian Society
3. Analyse the changing dimensions of Indian society
4. Learn the various approaches used to study Indian society
5. Develop a critical perspective in understanding social structure


Course Outcomes (COs):

      1. Understand the modern theoretical perspectives in Sociology
      2. Understand the contributions of modern thinkers to generate interest in the discipline.
      3. Enable understanding of modern theorists through reading their original texts.
      4. Exhibit oral and written communication skills in disseminating sociological knowledge based on original works of modern thinkers.

Module 1: Functionalism and Structural Perspectives

    1. Nature of modern theoretical perspectives in sociology: Rationale of classification
    2. The emergence of a functional paradigm: A. R Radcliffe-Brown and R. K. Merton
    3. Systems Approach and Theory of Social Action: Talcott Parsons
    4. Neo-Functionalism: Jeffrey Alexander and Paul Colomy
    5. Structuralism – Ferdinand de Saussure and Claude Levi-Strauss
    6. Critique of functionalism

Module 2: Conflict Perspectives & Critical Theory

    1. Premises of Conflict approach and Marxian legacy, Functions of Conflict: Lewis Coser, Dialectics of Conflict: Ralf Dahrendorf
    1. Critical Theory - Emergence of critical theory – Frankfurt School, Culture Industry - Horkheimer and Adorno Revival of Critical theory – Jurgen Habermas
    2. Neo-Marxian Approach - Class Consciousness – Georg Lukacs; Ideology & Hegemony -Antonio Gramsci
    3. Structural Marxism - Louis Althusser

Module 3: Interactionist Perspective in Sociology

    1. The emergence of micro-sociology – C.H. Cooley, G. H. Mead and Herbert Blumer
    2. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life: Erving Goffman
    3. Ethnomethodology: Harold Garfinkel
    4. Phenomenological Sociology: Edmund Husserl, Alfred Schutz, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann

Module 4: Social Behavioural Perspectives

    1. Intellectual Roots of Exchange theory
    2. Exchange behaviourism – George Homans
    3. Structural Exchange – Peter Blau
    4. Exchange network analysis – Richard Emerson

PSOS-6654                                 SOCIOLOGY OF ENVIRONMENT                              Credits: 4

  1. To provide insight into the social processes which define, create and threaten the natural environment
  2. To learn the relationship between various environmental and social problems
  3. The course should be relevant to students from a wide variety of disciplines who wish to pursue this area for their future study

MODULE 1:Introduction to Environmental Sociology -Nature and Sociology - Eco-crisis – Environmental problems and Society – Social theory in the Environmental debate – Politics of environment

MODULE 2: Ideologies – Green dilemmas – Environmentalism – Anthropocentrism and Deep ecology – Social ecology – Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Gandhiji and Ecology

MODULE 3:Gender and environment – Evolution of masculinist forestry – Women ecology and culture – Gender and environment debate – Nature and Women - Ecofeminism

MODULE 4:Environmental Movements – Environmental conflicts – Struggles over resources – Globalization and Third World countries - Hazardous industries, Mining and Agriculture – Impact on Indigenous communities – Sustainable Development