An overview of key sociological topics related to climate change.

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Sociology
Year / Level: 4
Theme(s): Climate Justice and Social Science



Anthropogenic climate change is arguably the greatest crisis facing humanity in the early part of the 21st Century. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that the average temperature on the earth’s surface is increasing, and that this increase is primarily a result of human activities. This course will provide a brief overview to the science of climate change, and some of the key issues in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The course will provide an overview of key sociological topics related to climate change such as inequality, the social construction of environmental issues, political economy, socialization and the formation of public opinion, media coverage of climate change, social movements, and climate change impacts on communities, and community responses. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to identify and describe at least six key substantive sociological issues related to climate change (e.g., what drives public opinion about climate change issues, what explains patterns of media reporting on climate change issues, what are the opportunities and constraints for social movements who mobilize around climate change issues), and will be able to reflect upon these issues in a comparative context. They will also be encouraged to link these insights to policy issues.


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Read a copy of the course syllabus to see reading lists, assignments, grading, and more.

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David Tyndall