Sociological Perspectives Special Issue – Civic Responses to Environmental Issues: How Culture Matters

Sociological Perspectives

Special Issue: Civic Responses to Environmental Issues: How Culture Matters

Guest editors:
Emily Huddart Kennedy, Dept of Sociology, University of British Columbia
Josée Johnston, Dept. of Sociology, University of Toronto

Co-Editors of Sociological Perspectives: Matthew Carlson, Lindsey Wilkinson,  Hyeyoung Woo (Portland State University)
Managing Editor: Elizabeth Withers (Portland State University)

Sociological Perspectives is seeking articles for a special issue.

Civic Responses to Environmental Issues: How Culture Matters

Environmental sociology has well-developed materialist explanations of human-environment relationships, illuminating how the economy and technology shape human impact on the non-human world. Meanwhile, cultural explanations—and culture itself—have been largely overlooked. Culture matters because it works alongside material resources to shape who engages in environmental protection and who is excluded; which solutions are deemed appropriate and acceptable and which are deemed impossible or distasteful; and whose environmental impact is carefully scrutinized and whose goes unnoticed. This special issue will be the first to bring together largely overlooked tools—such as cultural capital, symbolic boundaries, and emotions—to bear on the topic of civic responses to environmental issues. To be clear, examining the role of culture in environmental responses is not an “idealist” orientation, but is based on the long-standing research tradition of examining meaning alongside materiality.

The papers in this special issue of Sociological Perspectives will explore, through different topics, methods, and cultural theories and concepts, the ways civil society responds to environmental issues. The issue will not necessarily focus strictly on those actively engaged in civic environmentalism; we also invite scholarship that scrutinizes those groups in society that resist or deny the need for environmental protection, as well as those who challenge dominant narratives of the ‘right’ way for individuals to protect the environment. The range of engagement strategies that the issue might include (but is not limited to) is:

  • The sharing economy, sustainable lifestyle issues, green products and ethical consumption;
  • Anti-environmental protection campaigns, ‘astro-turfing’, and climate deniers;
  • Allies in environmental protection who seek to redefine contemporary definitions of ‘environmentalists’ such as indigenous activists and ‘preppers’ (communities preparing for imminent conflict over natural resources).

Please submit abstracts as Microsoft Word documents no longer than 500 words to by April 1, 2018 for feedback and further submission information. Selected abstracts will be invited to submit full manuscripts by June 15, 2018 and the full manuscripts will be subject o blind peer review consistent with the standards established by the journal. As such, submitted papers must be based on original material, not under review or consideration by any other journal or publisher.

The special issue will be in Volume 62, which will be published in 2019.

Please feel free to contact any of the editors about submission details or with any questions. Guest Editor information is provided below:

Emily Huddart Kennedy
Department of Sociology
The University of British Columbia
6303 NW Marine Drive
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1








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