Understanding the critical association between societal well-being and environmental quality has its origins in sociology and the sub-discipline of environmental sociology.
Courses related to environmental sociology will prepare you for employment in a variety of private and public agencies with an environmental mission, including local and state departments of ecology, community recycling programs, environmental action groups, consulting firms, lobbying organizations, and international non-governmental organizations.
WSU courses expose you to a balance of sociological theory, empirical research methods and substantive investigations. Sociology faculty teaching these courses are known for their research on the environmental impacts of technology, the effects of international trade and investment on environmental degradation, and militarism and environmental inequality.
Students interested in studying environmental sociology should take regularly-offered courses such as:
- Sustainability and Society (SOC 332)
- Globalization (SOC 415)
- Society and Technology (SOC 430)
- Urbanization and Community Organization (SOC 433).
Students are also encouraged to interact with our environmental sociology faculty through their other course offerings or participate in their research projects for other opportunities to study environmental sociology.
If you are interested in research, graduate study in environmental sociology enables you to explore the various forms of interaction between human societies and the environment, focusing on the social dimensions of the surrounding natural and human-made environments. For example, you could seek to understand environmentalism as a social movement, the ways in which societal members perceive of environmental problems, and the origins of human-caused environmental degradation.
The inequitable social distribution of environmental hazards is another central area of research at WSU and examines the processes by which socially disadvantaged populations come to experience greater exposures to a variety of environmental hazards. These environmental inequities are investigated at the individual level as well as at the community level, national level, and global level.
Students interested in graduate study in environmental sociology are encouraged to inquire about our graduate program’s historically prominent focus in environmental sociology, as well as other environmental sociology and environmental studies graduate programs in the United States.
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