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Climate Change and Society: Speculation, Construction and Scientific Investigation

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Sociology, Volume 13, p.421- (1998)



This article traces the long intellectual history that seeks to understand the recursive relationship between variations in the Earth's climate and variations in social structure and cultural practices. Contemporary sociological investigations of this theme have evolved along two paths: the neoidealistic orientation of social constructivism and a neo-realist orientation comprising two complementary approaches. Both orientations are explicated and evaluated, leading to a conclusion that provides programmatic directions.