Study Questions

Schnaiberg and Gould, Chapter 3


(1)  Explain Schnaiberg & Gould’s “industrial logic.”  Who are the different actors/entities in an industrial system?  How do these actors/entities interact or relate to each other?


(2)  How do the conditions differ in the “low-regulation scenario” versus the “high-regulation scenario?”  Why do Schnaiberg and Gould present these two scenarios?


(3)  What is meant by the term “externalities of production?”  How do they fit into the ordinary calculations that firms make in their operations?


(4)  Explain the logic of competition.  Why do firms compete?  How do firms compete?  How does competition lead to resource scarcity?


(5)  Given the logic of industrial expansion, what options are open to people concerned about environmental protection?  How have the concerns of environmental social movements been institutionalized into government policy?  Explain two perspectives on this process.


(6)  Which set of paradigms, those offered by Buttel or those offered by Catton & Dunlap, offers the best fit to the two competing perspectives that Schnaiberg & Gould describe beginning at the bottom of p. 55?  Explain.


(7)  How do the restrictions imposed by government regulation differentially affect primary, secondary, and tertiary industries?  In what ways do government regulators impose costs on these different types of industries?  In what ways do firms impose costs on themselves related to environmental regulations?


(8)  In what ways do firm managers resist the actions of government regulators?  Why do managers do this?


(9)  What is meant by the “bubble concept” of pollution control?  Explain how this concept is put into practice.