Study Questions

Schnaiberg and Gould, Chapter 6


(1)  What are some general ways that college students can become involved in solving environmental problems?  To what extent are these a matter of choice?  What sacrifices might result from a decision to take environmental conditions into consideration in your daily choices?


(2)  How might your choice of career affect the environment?  Is this only pertinent if you choose a career that deals directly with the environment (e.g. environmental educator)?


(3)  What is the relationship between debt, credit, and the environment?  Is this only a matter of personal choice, or are there social costs as well?  How does the national debt mimic individual debt, and how are the two different?


(4)  What is meant by the term “durable goods?”  Why might manufacturers have a prejudice against durable goods?  Generally speaking, are durable goods good or bad for the environment?  Why?


(5)  Schnaiberg and Gould observe that at the same time people have become concerned about the environment, they have also become concerned about physical fitness.  What factors might explain this correlation?  How is the “physical fitness” craze damaging to the environment?  What might be done to change this?


(6)  In what ways does recycling damage the environment?  How can we implement recycling programs that make them truly environmental?


(7)  Schnaiberg and Gould assert that “only when social and political resistance become more organized, in some collective forms of resistance, will the environmental and social equity agendas come into some serious conflict with the dominant group” (p. 139).  How would you respond to their subsequent question: “what does this imply for you as an individual?”