Environmental Sociology and Communication Issues

This course aims to deal with the social dimensions of Environmental Issues, in particular Climate Change (CC).
Special attention is reserved to issues of a communicational nature that have recently made CC such a crucial political issue.
We intend to inform on the different aspects of the scientific work developed in this field crisscrossing both
theoretical and empirical dimensions. In overview we will focus:
- Perception of climate change and its effects on social behaviors.
- The building of lay and scientific knowledge;
- Media coverage of the topic and its impact on public opinion
- New public policy implementation strategies with focus on different territorial scales .
- Public participation and decision making processes in contexts of urgency and complexity:
Also to equip students with:

i) the understanding of the role of Social Sciences in Environmental Issues and CC, and
ii) supply the necessary methodological toolkit to allow for independent research on the covered issues.

1. Environment, Environmentalism and Society – historical framework of environmental issues
2. Environmental Sociology – fundamental debates: Constructivism/Realism; Development Policies/Human
Ecology; Ecological Modernisation/ Limits to Growth
3. Themes, Problems and Research on Climate Change – causes and Impacts of Environmental Issues and
Risks; Practices and Environmental Values; Public Participation; Scientific, Political and Ethical Controversies
4. Environment and Global Media – modern world communication
5. Media Studies, Environment and Climate Change – the rise and flow of Climate Change in the Media
6. Environmental Policies, Climate Change and Governance Environmental reform, institutional and legal
frameworks; public information systems and participatory models; change and blockade factors;
7. Climate Change and Sustainability – Knowledge (Scientific and Common); civic mobilization and decisionmaking in the face of urgency and complexity.