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Environmental Values

Towards a More Grounded and Dynamic Sociology of Climate-Change Adaptation

Martin John Mulligan

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 165-180. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13894344179167


Lever-Tracy (2010) concluded from a review of major international sociological journals that sociology is 'lagging behind' in terms of research on the challenges of global climate change. More recently, John Urry (2011) contributed a rather speculative book on 'post-carbon sociology', yet sociologists continue to lag behind geographers and psychologists in contemplating the social and cultural dimensions of climate-change adaptation. The findings of the present paper suggest that the sociology of climate-change adaptation could take its lead from the work of cultural and human geographers on people-place relationships, and engage with art theory and practice to offer imaginative insights into the scope and scale of the climate-change challenge. Sociologists could also make a major contribution to current debate on the roles of community action and community engagement in climate-change adaptation, noting that the word 'community' is open to abuse and misunderstanding. Drawing on his own research on the challenges facing local communities in Australia and Sri Lanka, the author combines previously disconnected bodies of literature to identify some important points of departure for the journey towards Urry's 'post-carbon sociology'.


Affect, agency, art, climate change

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Adapting to a Perilous Planet. Kenneth Shockley and Andrew Light

Editorial: The Ethics of Engineering the Climate. Christian Baatz, Clare Heyward and Harald Stelzer

Self-Identity and Sense of Place: Some Thoughts Regarding Climate Change Adaptation Policy Formulation. Charles N. Herrick

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