An environmental sociology for the twenty-first century

David N. Pellow, Hollie Nyseth Brehm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Environmental sociology has become a mature field within the discipline of sociology. We consider several of the key theories that define the core and boundaries of the field, calling attention to debates and unresolved questions. We contend that two of the defining features of this field are (a) attention to the inseparability of human and nonhuman natures and (b) attention to the role that power and social inequality play in shaping humannonhuman interactions. These two characteristics of environmental sociology also reveal strong links between this field and the broader discipline, in light of recent reexaminations of classical sociological writings. We conclude with a consideration of new directions environmental sociologists might take toward building an even more robust, interdisciplinary, and critical area of study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-250
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Sociology
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Ecosystems
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Nonhuman natures
  • Power
  • Social inequality


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