Common Ground: Integrating Social and Environmental History

Mosley, Stephen
March 2006
Journal of Social History;Spring2006, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p915
Academic Journal
Since the 1960s, one of the great strengths of social history has been its willingness to respond to contemporary concerns. However, as environmental issues have pushed their way to the top of the global political agenda, social historians have been slow to meet this new challenge. This paper examines reasons for this reluctance and, more importantly, explores the opportunities for integrating social and environmental history. It is divided into three main parts. The first section deals with the failure of social history to strike up a dialogue with environmental history. Section two aims to show that social and environmental history are basically compatible and complementary fields, and argues for increased collaboration by making human-environment relations a key theme for future research. Drawing on studies—both rural and urban—that have begun to establish common ground between the two fields, section three outlines new areas for investigation, including: the interconnections between social inequality and environmental degradation; environments and identities; and consumption and the environment. By focusing attention on how ordinary people interacted with their environments in the past, social historians could make a significant contribution to current discussions about a sustainable future.


Related Articles

  • SOME COMMENTS ON SOCIAL HISTORY. Stearns, Peter N. // Journal of Social History;Fall67, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p3 

    The author focuses on social history. He states that the relative novelty of the field creates some need for clarification, to bolster social historians and to inform and sometimes convert others. He believes that the relationship between social and political history remains difficult. He also...

  • Part V: Opportunities for the Future. Stearns, Peter // Journal of Social History;Spring2006, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p865 

    This article provides an introduction to a section of articles that discuss opportunities for the future of social history. Some of the articles discuss dealing with cultural issues in combination with issues of social structure and lived experience while others focus on enhancing connections...

  • Analytic-Network Coaching©: Coaching for Distributed 'Eco' Leadership and Organizational Change. Western, Simon // Integral Leadership Review;Jan2012, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p1 

    The article offers information on leadership approaches during the past century culminating in a description of Eco-leadership states that leadership is too often conceptualized as an individual innerself being enacted on a work or social stage.Ledership is more than a set of individual...

  • RECENTERING NORTH AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY: pedagogy AND SCHOLARSHIP IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION. Feldman, James; Heasley, Lynne // Environmental History;Oct2007, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p951 

    The article presents views and insights of the authors concerning the environmental history of the Great Lakes. Great Lakes are at once representative of the larger narratives of both the U.S. and Canada. They are also fundamentally important in their own right for their industries,...

  • The Cultural Causes of Environmental Problems. Arponen, V. P. J. // Environmental Ethics;Summer2014, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p133 

    In a range of human sciences, the human relationship to nature has often been viewed as driven fundamentally by religious, philosophical, political, and scientific ideas as well as values and norms about nature. As others have argued before, the emphasis on ideas and values faces serious...

  • Recasting Paradigm Shift: "True" Sustainability and Complex Systems. Smith, Chad L.; Lopes, Vicente L.; Carrejo, Frank M. // Human Ecology Review;Summer2011, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p67 

    Within environmental sociology there exists a debate between competing theories of societal development and its accompanying ecological repercussions and possible solutions. Environmental reform (ecological modernization) and unsustainable economic system (treadmill of production, ecological...

  • Step lightly on the planet. Rees, William E. // Alive: Canada's Natural Health & Wellness Magazine;Apr2008, Issue 306, p46 

    The article discusses the significance of ecological balance. The ecological footprint of a specified population is defined as the area of land-and-water ecosystems required to produce the resources that the population consumes. It also includes the space required to assimilate the wastes that...

  • GAINING GROUND. van der Linden, Marcel // Journal of Social History;Fall2003, Vol. 37 Issue 1, p69 

    Focuses on the aspects of work of social historians. Basis of certain source material; Concept of social history; Connections between different historic processes.

  • Social History and World History: Prospects for Collaboration. Stearns, Peter // Journal of World History;Mar2007, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p43 

    The article explores the complex relationship between social history and world history. It is claimed that both social and world history seek to recast traditional narratives away from the standard topics and the conventional cast of leading characters. Social history was born as a research...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics