Rachael Shwom, Chair-Elect for the American Sociological Association's Environmental Sociology facilitated the sessions going online this year. While disappointed to not be meeting face to face with our colleagues and friends, many of our program session presenters are enthusiastically prepared to present in real time or pre-record their papers to broadcast during programmed times.
The Environmental Sociology Section’s day was Monday August 10th this year with a wonderful slate of speakers in three main sessions. The first environmental sociology session was “A Comparative Approach: Environmental Politics in a Time of Populism, Nationalism and De-Globalization.” This session interrogated the bi-directional relationships between the rise of variants of populism and nationalism and environmental issues and featured papers on China’s environmental authoritarianism, Europe’s yellow vest movement, and Brazil’s anti-environmental leadership.
The second session “Creating Knowledge for Equality and Empowerment” took on the question of how research can be done to ensure that environmental sociology research advances equality and empowerment? This session featured researchers and practitioners using innovative approaches to create knowledge that empowers marginalized groups to achieve more just outcomes. Papers featured a range of approaches such as sustainable participatory action research, decolonization method, environmental justice training, science democratization, co-production, and the intersection of scientific engagement with social movements.
The third session “Social Change for Sustainability” focused on making explicit dimensions of social change in advancing a sustainable society. The presentations presented diverse approaches to social change such as social tipping points, understanding diffusion and adoption of solar technology, the dynamics between social movements and corporations and government in creating change, and the role of emotions in social change.