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Environmental Sociology

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Image: AB Umweltsoziologie

Welcome to the Section for Environmental Sociology in the Institute of Sociology at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. This Section is structured around the professorship for Environmental Sociology established by joint appointment with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) External linkin Leipzig.

Environmental Sociology focuses on the relationship between society and its material environment, and on the negatively viewed impacts of human interventions in various natural environments in particular. The consequences of these interventions are becoming increasingly apparent with regard to climate change, soil quality, air purity, energy supply, water quality, and chemicals in the environment. The Environmental Sociology Section draws on many strands of sociological theory (from the classics through to current trends) in order to analyse environmentally relevant knowledge and to gain a better understanding of sustainable societal transformations. In the course of this, contemporary debates about sustainability are subjected to critical examination and placed in interdisciplinary contexts. In both research and teaching, issues and theories in Environmental Sociology are set in relation to one another, not least by means of approaches drawn from Science and Technology Studies (STS).

Dealing with complex environmental problems continues to demand that the natural, engineering and social sciences gradually converge toward one another. In cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre in Leipzig, the Section promotes interdisciplinary approaches and a global perspective on the relationship between society and the environment. Alongside the foundations of Environmental Sociology (theory and practice), the wide range of issues addressed in research and teaching include experimental strategies in science and society, the cultural foundations of renewable energy systems, environmental innovation and sustainable technologies, animals and society, the chemicals transition, the mobility transition, conflicts in environment and technology, decision making in conditions of non-knowledge, as well as frequently recurring topical issues in society and politics.

Holder of the professorship

Secretariat of the department

An Overview of the Department for Environmental Sociology