Delta State University

SOC 422/522 COD 522

Spring Semester 2004


Study Questions, Week 14


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Topics for the Week:


Sustainable Development


Readings for the Week:


Herremans, Irene M. and Robin E. Reid. 2002. Developing awareness of the sustainability concept. Journal of Environmental Education 34(1):16–20.


Cernea, Michael M. 1993. The sociologist’s approach to sustainable development. Finance & Development 30(4):11–13.


Schnaiberg & Gould, ch. 8




(1)  What is meant by sustainability?  By sustainable development?  How have sociologists contributed to our understanding of these concepts?


(2)  Is environmental education a viable tool for increasing sustainable resource use?  Why or why not?  What are some benefits or drawbacks of environmental education as a means of achieving sustainability?


(3)  What is meant by modernization theory?  What were some of the successes and failures of policies based on modernization theory?


(4)  What has been the effect of the “treadmill of production” (broadly conceived) on nations of the south?  How has the treadmill affected their environment?  How has the treadmill affected their development?


(5)  Explain E.F. Schumacher’s argument in his book Small is Beautiful.  Is Schumacher’s economic vision feasible for modern industrial societies?  For developing countries?  Why or why not?


(6)  Are all nations of the Earth destined to adopt the treadmill of production?  What alternatives exist?  What barriers do nations attempting alternative paths face?  Illustrate with concrete examples.


(7)  What is meant by appropriate technology?  Does this definition differ by context?  What role does appropriate technology play in development?  In environmental protection?


(8)  Is development a unidimensional process?  What problems result from conflicts in development goals?


(9)  What are some of the environmental justice ramifications of modernization?  Explain, using a concrete example.