Climate change and Environmental Politics
Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Overall aims and purpose
This module will explore the relationship between climate change and society and will offer a timely sociological analysis of the climate crisis we are currently facing. This interdisciplinary module will engage students with various theoretical and multidisciplinary approaches (sociology, social policy, geography, environmental sciences, history) to analyse societies' relationships with their surroundings and the natural world to develop students’ critical and analytical ability to contextualize people’s relationship with the natural world from a historical-contemporary perspective, enabling them to form cohesive and constructive arguments in response to contemporary socio-environmental issues, policies and debates. The module also aims to demonstrate the important role sociology has in resolving the current climate and extinction / biodiversity crisis, by analysing the possible solutions for developing a more sustainable global future.
..The module may cover a range of topics such as: • Introduction to Environmental Sociology; • History of Environmental Sociology; • Capitalism and environmental exploitation; • Knowledge and power; • The economies of globalization; • Citizenship, civic local and global empowerment; • Identity and democracy; • The rise of environmental politics and movements; • Global governance and the environment; • Migration and climate crisis; • The legacy of mass extinction; • The environment and mental and physical well-being; • The Green New Deal; • Towards a sustainable future.
Threshold = D- - D+ - The student must demonstrate some ability to critically evaluate academic text; demonstrate some historical understanding; show the ability to engage with the topic in a factual, evidence-based way; presenting their work logically and clearly.
Students in the higher band of C- to C+ must demonstrate some ability to critically evaluate academic text; demonstrate some historical understanding; show the ability to engage with the topic in a factual, evidence-based way; presenting their work logically and clearly.
Excellent = A- - A* - The students must demonstrate the ability to examine and critically evaluate a wide range of academic texts; demonstrate a sophisticated sociological understanding of climate change from an historical to contemporary contextual; show a clear understanding of key theoretical perspectives; present their arguments in a logical, evidence-based and well communicated manner and demonstrate good analytical skills.
Good = B- - B+ - The students must demonstrate the ability to examine and evaluate a range of academic texts; demonstrate a sociological understanding of climate change and from an historical to contemporary context; to demonstrate the ability to summarise some of the main theoretical perspectives; to present their work in a logical, evidenced-based and clear manner and demonstrate analytical skills.
Demonstrate a mature contextual understanding of events and attitudes in terms of an historical context in line with Level 6 standard of work.
Demonstrate a clear and articulate understanding of the key sociological theories of climate change in line with Level 6 standard of work.
Demonstrate an analytical critical understanding of environmental sociology and the sociology of climate change in line with Level 6 standard of work.
Demonstrate the ability to identify a range of key sociological, environmental, political, economic and policy literature in line with Level 6 standard of work.
Display the ability to critical analysis and critique texts and the ability to construct coherent evidenced-based arguments in line with Level 6 standard of work.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
The module will consist of two hourly weekly workshops, delivered via a multi-method teaching approach that incorporates a range of teaching strategies (lectures, class discussions, examining texts, case-studies, videos/documentaries, radio clips, group work, debates etc), adopting the active learning strategy, where students are encouraged to actively participate in the workshops.
During private study, students are expected to conduct preparatory reading / research for the proceeding workshops and for their their assessments.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- Articulacy in identifying underlying issues in a wide variety of debates.
- Precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
- Clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
- The ability to abstract and analyse arguments, and to identify flaws in them, such as false premises and invalid reasoning.
- Ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions.
- Appreciate a range of research designs and strategies and how they may be applied to sociological investigations.
- Competence to carry out a piece of sociological research using either primary or secondary data, or both.
- Be able to recognize how social data and sociological knowledge apply to questions of public policy.
- Use the theories and concepts of social policy and other social sciences to analyse policy problems and issues
- Undertake either on their own, or in collaboration with others, investigations of social questions, issues and problems, using statistical and other data derived from research publications.
- Analyse and discuss social policy and related issues distinguishing between normative and empirical questions
- the ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions
- competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in sociology, and their application to social life
- the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
- the ability to identify a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods
- the ability to conduct sociological research
- the ability to undertake and present scholarly work
- the ability to understand the ethical implications of sociological enquiry
- the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.
- Develop a sound appreciation of the variety of theories that comprise the discipline of social policy and how these impact on social policy interventions
- Develop a knowledge and expertise with respect to a range of evidence-based policy making and practice.
- Develop a sophisticated understanding of the processes of social policy analysis and evaluation.
Resource implications for students
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/sxu-3131.html
Buckingham, Susan and Turner Mike (eds) (2008) Understanding Environmental Issues London: Sage.
Beck, Ulrich (2005) Risk Society. London: Sage Publications.
Carter, Neil (2018) The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism, Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Castles, Stephen and Davidson, Stephen (2000) Citizenship and Migration: London: Palgrave.
Cox, Kevin R. (1997) Spaces of Globalization. London: The Guilford Press.
de Gaaf, Nan Dirk (2019) Societal Problems as Public Bads. London: Routledge.
Humphrys, John (2001) The Great Food Gamble. Burry St Edmunds: Coronet.
Klein, Naomi (2019) On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal. London: Allen Lane.
Irwin, Alan (2001) Sociology and The Environment. Cambridge: Polity Press
Klein, Naomi (2017) No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics. London: Allen Lane.
Stiglitz, Joseph (2002) Globalization and its Discontents. London: Penguin Books.
Journal: Environmental Sociology. Taylor and Francis
Human Geography: https://hugeog.com/
Nature Climate Change: https://www.nature.com/nclimate/
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- L700: BA Geography year 3 (BA/GEOG)
- L702: BA Geography (4 yr with placement) year 4 (BA/GEOG4)
- L701: BA Geography (with International Experience) year 4 (BA/GEOGIE)
- F800: BSC Geography year 3 (BSC/GEOG)
- F806: BSc Geography (4 yr with placement) year 4 (BSC/GEOG4)
- F802: BSc Geography (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/GEOGIE)
- F801: MGeog Geography year 3 (MGEOG/G)
- F805: MGeog Geography with International Experience year 4 (MGEOG/GIE)