Closing the "great divide": New social theory on society and nature

Michael Goldman, Rachel A. Schurman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Twenty years ago, two environmental sociologists made a bold call for a paradigmatic shift in the discipline of sociology - namely, one that would bring nature into the center of sociological inquiry and recognize the inseparability of nature and society. In this essay, we review recent scholarship that seeks to meet this challenge. The respective strands of this literature come from the margins of environmental sociology and border on other arenas of social theory production, including neo-Marxism, political ecology, materialist feminism, and social studies of science. Bringing together scholars from sociology, anthropology, geography, and history, each of these strands offers what we consider the most innovative new work trying to move sociology beyond the nature/society divide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-584
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Sociology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Ecofeminism
  • Ecological marxism
  • Environmental sociology
  • Political ecology
  • Science studies
  • Social theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Closing the "great divide": New social theory on society and nature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this