Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC2097: Environment and Society

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Aims

This module explores how science, technology and society interact to determine what counts as an environmental problem. The aim of the module is to familiarize you with a wide range of environmental problems and methodologies to analyse them. An important focus will be the role of science and divergent understandings of nature in the analysis of environmental issues. You will learn how interdisciplinary approaches to controversies over environmental problems may complicate the debates and read popular media reports of environmental issues more critically. We will discuss the meanings, political uses, and abuses of uncertainties in science, the affirmations of risks and the relationships between environmental and social justice.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate familiarity with different approaches to environmental problem and different roles of science.
2. Discuss conflicting meanings of scientific evidence, social responsibility, uncertainty in science and politics, and critically assess the depiction of environmental problems in popular media and the relationship between social and environmental justice
Discipline-Specific Skills3. demonstrate awareness and understanding of a range of social scientific, historical, and philosophical perspectives;
4. identify the core theoretical assumptions
5. apply a range of theoretical and interpretive perspectives to the task of sociological and anthropological analysis;
6. demonstrate appreciation of the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of different and competing social scientific, historical, and philosophical perspectives.
Personal and Key Skills7. reflect on, and examine critically, taken-for-granted social, cultural and ethical assumptions, beliefs and values;
8. analyse, evaluate, and communicate, clearly and directly, a wide range of explanatory and interpretive theoretical perspectives; assess evidence, marshal facts and construct arguments