Bringing the Natural Environment Back In: Concepts and Models for the Understanding of Macro Social Changes

By Domenico Maddaloni.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 30, 2015 $US5.00

In the “postmodern” context of an increasingly pluralistic social science, we are witnessing the revival of some approaches related to the materialist perspective developed by the Enlightenment, evolutionism, and historical materialism. New theoretical perspectives can push social scientists to refocus on the relationship between human populations and the natural environment as a basic infrastructure for the emergence and change of cultures and social systems. Thus, these proposals can bring the natural environment back in to the process of theory-building in the field of social sciences. The aim of my paper is to discuss some of these proposals: more specifically, I will try to show that concepts such as those of environmental circumscription and environmental depletion can usefully have a part in the building of theoretical models aimed at the understanding of macro social changes – the making of the State, macro historical revolutions, or societal collapses. In turn, this could give us some important lessons for the world of today.

Keywords: Social Theory, Materialism, Social Change

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 30, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 403.475KB)).

Prof. Domenico Maddaloni

Associate Professor, Department of Political, Social, and Communication Sciences, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy