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Energetic Theories of Society: An Evaluative Review

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Sociological Inquiry, Number 53, p.152-178 (1983)



Energy is a crucial social variable and has sporadically been of interest to sociologists. Recent world events and trends have revived interest and concern. This review traces key themes and arguments in the sociology of energy and critically evaluates the literature. The discussion is organized into four sections: energetic theories of society, macrosociology of energy, microsociology of energy, and energy policy and other special topics. A concluding section assesses the state of the field and speculates on its future directions.