Study Questions

Schnaiberg and Gould, Chapter 1


(1)  What is meant by the term “sustainable development?”  What are some dimensions of this term?  Is the U.S. society currently practicing sustainable development?  The global society?  What are some indicators you can point to that support your answer?


(2)  What are the two principles of ecological organization, and how do they affect ecosystems?  How do they affect society?


(3)  What is an ecosystem?  What functions do ecosystems serve?  How do ecosystems change in a “natural” (i.e. without human intervention) setting?  How have human activities altered ecosystems?


(4)  What do Schnaiberg and Gould mean by “ecological disorganization?”  What produces ecological disorganization?


(5)  Identify and explain some of the social implications of ecological disorganization.


(6)  What are two general dimensions of social concern about ecological disruption?  What are two aspects of each dimension?  Explain how these interact.


(7)  Why is it imperative that sociologists and other social scientists have a role in shaping the environmental debate and policy solutions?


(8)  What are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)?  What effects do CFCs have on the environment?  Why has it been so difficult to slow the production and use of CFCs?