Catton Jr., William R.; Dunlap, Riley E.
November 1978
American Sociologist;Nov78, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p256
Academic Journal
This article provides information on the paradigms, theories, and the primacy of the distinction between the Human Exceptionalism Paradigm (HEP) and the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP). A paradigm is an image shared by members of a scientific community telling them the nature of their science's subject-matter. Given a particular paradigm, certain kinds of questions are askable and certain kinds of hypotheses are conceivable, but a paradigm is not very specific that a coherent and detailed theory must follow logically and uniquely from it. The NEP reveals a new dimension of redistribution, which is the competition discerned between people living versus posterity. Such a diachronic competition besets all industrial societies, committed as they are to massive dependency upon exhaustible resources. Cleavage between NEP-adherents and HEP-adherents is more fundamental. Theoretical groupings such as functionalism, exchange, and Marxism, among others, within contemporary sociology do differ. However, the developing NEP-HEP cleavage cuts across such theoretical perspectives. NEP-oriented analysis of the changing conditions differs markedly from the implicitly HEP-oriented analysis.


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