SOCI220-20SU1 (C) Summer Jan 2020 start

Environment and Society

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 6 January 2020
End Date: Sunday, 9 February 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 10 January 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 24 January 2020


This course considers the relationship between ecology and environmental sociology, collective dilemmas, energy and society, the environment and politics and some other selected environmental issues.

The growing recognition of the reality and consequences of global environmental change poses a fundamental challenge to the ways we interact with the environment and each other, and places new demands on sociological thinking.  This course introduces conceptual tools for approaching environmental issues from the local to global level.  Case studies of human interaction with different aspects of the environment, from water quality to genetic engineering will explore contemporary issues.  Dominating our understanding of such issues and how we deal with them is the environmental movement.  Each phase of the course encourages us to consider how unequal social relationships interact with the biophysical ones in ways which may accentuate the problems of the marginalised.

All human activities have impacts on the biophysical environment and these, in turn, interact with the social world; sociological perspectives contribute to our understanding of this interaction and developing appropriate responses. All theories and themes will be discussed in light of New Zealand’s unique situation.

Learning Outcomes
1. Analyse seminal writing on the environment and trace its influence;
2. Critique programmes/policies for dealing with environmental issues;
3. Identify unequal access to environmental resources & use of environmental goals to promote individual/sectoral interests;
4. Extend use of the Internet to access resources on the environment and academic analysis;
5. Develop cooperative learning relationships with others in the class;
6. Fine tune skills in critical analysis, academic writing and referencing.

Soci220 and Sociology’s ‘Four Pillars’
A central concern of sociology is with the analysis of power, including its distribution and effects on social organisation, social institutions and people’s lived experience. The controversies and control pillar engages with a variety of debates relating to the nature of power in society.  Although the specific relationships between New Zealanders and their environment link to Time and Place, the severity of the current challenges to subsistence on the earth require prioritisation of power.


Any 15 points at 100 level from ANTH or
SOCI, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


SOCI230 (2005), SOCI320, SOCI330 (2005)

Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 10:00 - 12:00 Rehua 529 6 Jan - 2 Feb
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 10:00 - 12:00 Rehua 102 (5/2)
Rehua 529 (8/1-29/1)
6 Jan - 9 Feb
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 13:00 - 15:00 Jack Erskine 340 (8/1-22/1, 5/2)
Karl Popper 612 (29/1)
6 Jan - 9 Feb
02 Monday 13:00 - 15:00 Rehua 530 6 Jan - 9 Feb

Course Coordinator

Alison Loveridge


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Tutorial participation 25% Tutorial preparation and discussion and participation in online discussion by posting on Learn forums 13-27 January
Short essay 24 Jan 2020 25% Introduces an article from a reading list and indicates how it has influenced environmental practice.
Preparation and review of online presentations 25% 10 minute powerpoint presentation with voiceover available to other students online. Topic is issue of choice, prepared as a group project with another student(s), plus written response to 4 other presentations viewed online - due Week 5.
Take home test 25% Short essay question selected from a list handed out Week 5.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Gould, Kenneth Alan. , Lewis, Tammy L; Twenty lessons in environmental sociology; Oxford University Press, 2009.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All SOCI220 Occurrences

  • SOCI220-20SU1 (C) Summer Jan 2020 start