Essays24.com - Term Papers and Free Essays
Search

The Contribution Of Sociology To Our Understanding Of Environmental Problem

Essay by   •  May 1, 2011  •  1,281 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,186 Views

Essay Preview: The Contribution Of Sociology To Our Understanding Of Environmental Problem

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

Environmental problems have been growing alongside with human’s development for centuries, and the impact of human on the environment is getting greater by the matter of new inventions and technologies that keeps evolving to replace labor. When it gets to the point that we [human] realize that we cause those problems and are the one who is suffering from the consequences, we also realize that environmental problems is our problems. Because it is undeniable that human kind exists, or in the matter of fact, crucially relies on the nature world.

Then we realize that in order to solve environmental problems, it require serious social change, and that is where sociology steps in, because solving environmental problem cannot be done without prior understanding of how society works. Therefore, it is clear that environmental problems are in a matter of fact, social problems.

Many sociologists have analyzed aspects of the issue and come up with theory and concept that could explain this nature social relationship and how we contribute to the environment degradation problem. Such as ecological modernization theory which analyze how contemporary industrialized societies deal with environmental crisis, or the World-System theory.

The theory that will be discuss in this paper will be the Treadmill of Production theory which was developed and introduced around the same time as the ecological modernization but unlike ecological modernization which look into the transformation features in organizations and society which are paralleled by physical changes in tendencies of environmental degradation and material flows, and the change in role of science in science and technology which plays greater role in causing environmental problems and preventing those problems, the treadmill of production theory is about the economic Ð"©lites that are increasingly dominate all aspects of society and the environment and will keep being that way unless they are restrain by grassroots social movements.

What is Treadmill of Production?

The treadmill of production is a theory that Schnaiberg introduced in 1980. It is a theory that basically combining the work of O’Connor (1973) which state that the accumulation and legitimacy of concepts that form the functions of the state, together with the competiveness of private and public sectors and the endemic state fiscal crisis, all of which brought up contradictions in various issues that involves the capitalism ideology. To the idea of “limits to growth” and also relating to the idea of neo-Malthusianism which is a principle indicating that the imbalance between population and the limited resource is responsible for the poverty and is limiting economic growth.

The core of the theory is that the corporation that wants to attract investment in order to survive in the competitive market will be force to “grow” in order to gain higher profit. And with that aim, and with the growing capital available for investment, the capital was being use to replace production labor with new technologies. However, such technologies require more energy and chemicals to replace labor, and by this, it requires more natural resources.

When the aim of growth set is achieved, it accelerates the need for further growth. Because According to Schnaiberg (1980), the key force that is driving the treadmill is the nature of competition and the capital forces that is so concentrate in the modern world. , because the manager of the organization have no choice but to reinvest more and more profit in order to make even more profit.

And this growth require more and more resources, hence the growth-environmental degradation relationship. So this process is contradicting itself, economic growth is obviously socially desired but the consequence, which is environmental degradation, will negatively affect the economy in the long-run.

There is also the term of withdrawal and addition. Withdrawal being the withdrawal of raw materials; such as water, logs, minerals and oil from the ecosystem stocks, to be converted by capitalists through markets exchanges into profits. Then, as mentioned above, the profit that was converted is reinvest into the production process; i.e., new technology upgrade or other production resources. So as this goes on, withdrawal is increase and the amount of addition is increase as well. The addition usually comes in form of pollution that is the result of the new technology in the production process.

According to Schnaiberg (1980), the key force that is driving the treadmill is the nature of competition and the capital force that is so concentrate in the modern world. Also, in this theory consumer are seen as ineffective compared to the producer, which some how seems a bit unrealistic considering that the consumer is the one who set the demand for the producer to produce.

This kind of growth is in reality extremely harmful

...

...

Download as:   txt (8.1 Kb)   pdf (105.9 Kb)   docx (11.4 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on Essays24.com
Citation Generator

(2011, 05). The Contribution Of Sociology To Our Understanding Of Environmental Problem. Essays24.com. Retrieved 05, 2011, from https://www.essays24.com/essay/The-Contribution-Of-Sociology-To-Our-Understanding-Of/47487.html

"The Contribution Of Sociology To Our Understanding Of Environmental Problem" Essays24.com. 05 2011. 2011. 05 2011 <https://www.essays24.com/essay/The-Contribution-Of-Sociology-To-Our-Understanding-Of/47487.html>.

"The Contribution Of Sociology To Our Understanding Of Environmental Problem." Essays24.com. Essays24.com, 05 2011. Web. 05 2011. <https://www.essays24.com/essay/The-Contribution-Of-Sociology-To-Our-Understanding-Of/47487.html>.

"The Contribution Of Sociology To Our Understanding Of Environmental Problem." Essays24.com. 05, 2011. Accessed 05, 2011. https://www.essays24.com/essay/The-Contribution-Of-Sociology-To-Our-Understanding-Of/47487.html.