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Palgrave Macmillan

Towards a Sociology of the Coast

Our Past, Present and Future Relationship to the Shore

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  • © 2018


  • Discusses why the coast is a significant space historically, socially and culturally that demands sociological investigation
  • Using Australia as a case study the author critically engages with the ways in which coasts have developed
  • Argues for an ethical rethinking of our use of coasts today to protect them for future generations

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Table of contents (10 chapters)


About this book

This book seeks to understand the coast as a place that has deep significance both historically and sociologically. Using several case studies in Australia, the author uses Max Weber’s approach to rationalisation to understand the different ways coasts have been interpreted throughout modern history. While today, coastal places are known for their aspects of lifestyle or adventure, their histories, underpinned by colonialism and industrialization, are vastly different. The author examines the delicate dichotomy between the alternative experiences the coast provides today, versus the ideals and values imposed upon it in times gone by. The author makes an ethical argument about the ways in which we use and experience the coast today will adversely affect the lives of future generations in an attempt to generate further discussion amongst students and scholars of the sociology of place, as well as coastal managers and stakeholders. 

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Cook University, Cairns, Australia

    Nick Osbaldiston

About the author

Nick Osbaldiston is Senior Lecturer in sociology at James Cook University, Australia. He is the author of Seeking Authenticity in Place, Culture and Self  and the co-editor of Understanding Lifestyle Migration (with Michaela Benson). His research interests include migration, cultural sociology and climate change adaptation. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Towards a Sociology of the Coast

  • Book Subtitle: Our Past, Present and Future Relationship to the Shore

  • Authors: Nick Osbaldiston

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan London

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-137-48679-0Published: 02 November 2017

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-1-349-69544-7Published: 31 January 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-137-48680-6Published: 20 October 2017

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 275

  • Number of Illustrations: 10 b/w illustrations, 7 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Urban Studies/Sociology, Urban Geography / Urbanism (inc. megacities, cities, towns), Urban History, Ethics

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