Nature and Social Theory

Alex Franklin,

Nature and Social Theory
 
 
`Written with clarity and sophistication, it is not just an original argument about relationships of nature and culture, but also a useful text′ - Keith Tester, Professor of Sociology, University of Portsmouth

Is humanity and society separable from nature? Modern accounts emphasised the difference between humanity and nature and set up independent sciences for each domain, but was this separation ever properly achieved? This book contends that fabricated boundaries between nature and culture have been breached both in practice and in new theoretical accounts.

Throughout, Franklin develops upon his premise that nature and culture interpenetrate. The argument begins with a critical discussion of the Romantic idea of pure nature; of a nature unsullied by humanity, marginalized, fragile and in need of protection. The argument is developed by examining more recent discourses that identify nature with environment, and cast humans in the role of polluter and destroyer.

The author documents contemporary views about nature which suggest that humanity and nature have never been separate but have always co-existed. Humanity is not only more involved with non-human natures, but also seeks persistently to embed itself in the natural world through embodied, naturalised modes of engagement. This book reveals the staggering depth of this engagement in the ordinary spaces and everyday lives of contemporary societies.

Thorough and insightful, this book will be of use and interest to students of sociology, environmental studies and cultural studies.



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