Environmental Sociology

Discipline: Sociology
Instructor: Roberts
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 1045
End: 1200
Field Work: Day 4 - Piraeus - Wednesday, 17 July | Greece
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This course examines beliefs and behaviors towards the environment, and how the structures of society (such as the economic system and status hierarchies) influence these and contribute to the persistent abuse of the environment.  Focuses on the rise of public concern and the environmental movement, unequal exposures to risks, and directions forward.

Field Work

Country: Greece
Day: 4 - Piraeus - Wednesday, 17 July

July 17 (Piraeus, Greece) Athens is a complex city, with a large number of “greening” initiatives, to address environmental issues such as Green space, waste management, and the water cycle, energy, air quality, biodiversity, and environmental education and consciousness-raising.  The lab will begin with a bus tour of major environmental areas of concern in of the city, including beaches, highly urbanized city centers, and key public parks.  At each stop, we will hear from local residents and community organizations about their experiences and concerns.  Lunch will take place at a good park or location with a vista of these problems.  We will travel to relatively poorer and relatively wealthier neighborhoods for comparison of environmental issues, and the final stop will be municipal and federal planning and/or environmental agencies, to discuss environmental and urban planning efforts. Academic Objectives:

  1. To observe and be told about unequal exposures to environmental risks in Piraeus/Athens;
  2. To learn about environmental education and sustainability initiatives in Southern European cities, and to reflect upon whether they represent major or minor efforts to address root environmental problems of modern society;
  3. To directly observe and strategies for reducing water, CO2, energy consumption, runoff, and smog issues in Northern Africa and Southern Europe;
  4. To hear from local and national government officials, NGOs, and community members about environmental solutions they are trying to institute, about local barriers to action, and ideas for the future.