La sociologie de l'environment en Europe: Évolution, champs d'action et ambivalences
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AbstractEnvironmental sociology in Europe: evolution, fields of action an ambivalences.No one will deny the environmental issues to be of utmost importance to contemporary society, and yet sociology has not contributed too much attention to it till very recently. This article sketches a state of the art of European environmental sociology, and draws some conclusions from it. For reasons that directly relate to its emancipation from the sciences and, more specifically from any physical determinism in social thinking, sociology for quite a long time more or less ignored the interaction between the social system and its surrounding physical environment. And yet human ecology and related approaches could provide inspiring theoretical assets for a sociology of the environment - and actually did, so, albeit rarely -. In the empirical research three main themes can be distinguished: the research into environmental attitudes, opinions and behaviour, the research into the environmental movement, its strategies and its impact, and the research into the design, the implementation and the effectiveness of environmental politics and policies. From the late 1980s onwards, one can see the environmental sociology being increasingly inspired by paradigms, concepts and issues debated in general sociology, such as social constructivism, the risk society and others. Although a lot of both theoretical and empirical work has been done, the sociology of the environment is still in its early stages and has yet to address a number of issues.

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