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Sustainable development: Agents, systems and the Environment
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9350-8652
2016 (English)In: Current Sociology, ISSN 0011-3921, E-ISSN 1461-7064, Vol. 64, no 6, 875-906 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article provides an overview and analysis of sustainable development from a sociological perspective. It is divided into three parts. The first presents selected relevant sociological research before there was ever a concept of sustainable development'. The selected focus is on work falling under the rubrics of environmental sociology as well as development sociology. The second part briefly discusses the context and process that led to conceptualizing sustainable development'. The third part considers the response of several sociological theories to sustainable development issues, with the focus on a selection of four major system theories: world systems theory, neo-Marxist treadmill of production' theory, ecological modernization theory and modern systems theory, all of which have addressed development issues and more recently sustainability questions. The article ends by identifying an ongoing global transformation, the sustainability revolution, which can be compared and contrasted to the Industrial Revolution. Whether this emerging revolution will take place fast enough and comprehensively enough to save the planet earth from multiple disasters remains to be seen.

Abstract [fr]

Resume Cet article propose un apercu et une analyse du developpement durable dans une perspective sociologique. Il est divise en trois parties. La premiere partie presente un certain nombre de recherches sociologiques abordant ce theme, avant meme l'apparition du concept de << developpement durable >>. L'accent est mis sur les recherches en sociologie environnementale et en sociologie du developpement. La deuxieme partie examine le contexte et le processus ayant mene a la conceptualisation du << developpement durable >>. La troisieme partie examine plusieurs representations sociologiques de la question du developpement durable en privilegiant quatre approches systemiques : la theorie du systeme-monde, la theorie neomarxiste du treadmill of production, la theorie de la modernisation ecologique et la theorie des systemes modernes. Ces quatre approches se sont penchees sur les questions de developpement et, plus recemment, de durabilite. Cet article poursuit en mettant en evidence un mouvement social, a l'echelle mondiale, celui de la revolution du developpement durable que l'on pourrait comparer a celui de la revolution industrielle en matiere de transformation des conditions sociales, economiques et culturelles. Il reste a voir si cette nouvelle revolution s'operera avec la rapidite et la portee suffisantes pour sauver notre planete des nombreuses catastrophes qui la menacent. Cet article conclut en suggerant que la sociologie peut et doit jouer un role dans la revolution du developpement durable, comparable a celui assume lors de la revolution industrielle, c'est-a-dire le suivi, la collection de donnees, l'analyse, l'explication et l'evaluation des consequences et des evolutions de ce phenomene.

Abstract [es]

Resumen El articulo ofrece una vision general y un analisis del desarrollo sostenible desde una perspectiva sociologica. Esta dividido en tres partes. La primera parte presenta la investigacion sociologica relevante antes de que hubiera siquiera un concepto de desarrollo sostenible. El enfoque seleccionado se centra en las rubricas de sociologia ambiental y la sociologia del desarrollo. La parte II analiza brevemente el contexto y el proceso que llevo a la conceptualizacion de desarrollo sostenible. La Parte III considera la respuesta de varias teorias de la sociologia a temas de desarrollo sostenible, con foco en una seleccion de cuatro grandes teorias del sistema: la Teoria Mundial del sistema, la teoria neo-marxista de la rueda de produccion, la teoria de la modernizacion ecologica y la teoria de los sistemas modernos, todos han abordado cuestiones de desarrollo y, mas recientemente, las cuestiones de sostenibilidad. El articulo identifica un movimiento continuo social global, la revolucion de la sostenibilidad, que puede ser comparada con la revolucion industrial, en funcion de la transformacion de las condiciones sociales, economicas y culturales. Si esta revolucion emergente se llevara a cabo con la suficiente rapidez y extension para salvar el planeta tierra de multiples desastres, aun esta por verse. El articulo concluye sugiriendo que la sociologia puede y debe jugar un papel en relacion con la revolucion del desarrollo sostenible similar a su papel vis-a-vis la revolucion industrial, esto es, el seguimiento y la recopilacion de datos, el analisis, la explicacion, y la evaluacion de impactos y desarrollos relacionados.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 64, no 6, 875-906 p.
Keyword [en]
Development sociology, environment, environmental sociology, social structure, sustainable development, sustainability revolution, system theories
Keyword [fr]
Environnement, sociologie de l'environnement, sociologie du developpement, developpement durable, theorie systemique, revolution du developpement durable
Keyword [es]
Medio ambiente, sociologia ambiental, sociologia del desarrollo, desarrollo sostenible, l teorias de sistemas, revolucion de sostenibilidad
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-271173DOI: 10.1177/0011392115600737ISI: 000383041700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-271173DiVA: diva2:891314
Available from: 2016-01-06 Created: 2016-01-06 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Burns, Tom R.

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