, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 59-70

Sustainability and sociology

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Abstract

Sociologists have been slow to address directly the questions raised by the issue of sustainability, despite the prominence of the idea in other disciplines and policy fields. This article argues that sociologists are “missing the boat” by ignoring the questions that sustainability raises. In addition, it is suggested that sociology is uniquely equipped with the theoretical and methodological background to contribute scientifically accurate understandings of this phenomenon to a world much in need of such guidance. The article concludes that addressing questions of sustainability may nudge sociology into new and fruitful directions of inquiry.

This research was supported in part by National Science Foundation grant number CMS-9312647, which is gratefully acknowledged. Thanks, also, to Gary Marx, Alice Fothergill and Sharon Erickson Nepstad.