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Environment and Society (212-0-20)


Rebecca Rose Ewert
Dr. Rebecca Ewert is an Instructional Professor in the Sociology department. Her teaching and research interests include gender — especially masculinity — inequality, culture, mental health, environmental disasters, and qualitative methods. She received her BA from the University of California, Davis and her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago.

Meeting Info

Lutkin Hall: Mon, Wed 3:30PM - 4:50PM

Overview of class

Our climate is rapidly changing. Rising sea levels and increasing ocean acidity, higher temperatures, more droughts, melting glaciers, wilder weather patterns, and mounting environmental disasters mean that climate change is increasingly visible in our daily lives. What role does human society play in these changes, and what consequences does society suffer as these changes occur? This course is an introduction to environmental sociology during which we will employ an intersectional, sociological perspective to look beyond the scientific basis for environmental problems to understand the social roots of environmental issues. We will cover a variety of topics in environmental sociology, including new directions in sustainable development and how actors such as corporations, the media, and social movements impact public opinion and environmental issues. Further, we will critically examine the gendered, racial, and socioeconomic production of disparate environmental risks.

This course is taught with ENVR_POL 212-0-20

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to,

Course-Specific Goals:
1) Apply a sociological perspective to environmental issues,
2) Define core terms including environmental justice, environmental inequality, and
environmental racism,
3) Examine the causes and consequences of, and potential solutions to, environmental
issues, as they relate to human society,
4) Critically examine the socioeconomic production of disparate environmental risks,
5) Understand of how individuals and communities mobilize in resistance to environmental

Academic Development Goals:
1) Effectively communicate with classmates and instructors in a respectful manner
conducive of learning and collaboration.
2) Engage in critical, analytical thinking and writing.
3) Identify components of academic argument.

Teaching Method


Evaluation Method

writing assignments, take-home midterm paper, final research paper

Class Materials (Required)

All materials for this course will be made available on Canvas - no purchase necessary.

Class Attributes

Social and Behavioral Science Foundational Discipl
U.S. Perspectives on Power, Justice, and Equity
Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro Area