In the face of complex, interwoven, planet-scale problems, many cite the need for more integrated knowledge-especially across the natural and social sciences. Excessive specialization, they argue, gets in the way of knowing what we know, much less being able to use it to address urgent socio-environmental crises. These concerns, it turns out, go back centuries. This book picks up where most leave off, exploring the history of how we got here and proposing a way forward. Along the way, readers find that the synthesis long called for depends on theoretical advancements in social science. Fortunately, the author argues, we have everything we need to achieve those advancements, thanks largely to the contributions of Norbert Elias. Integrating his insights with history, science, sociological theory, and more, this book neatly packages the upgraded paradigm we need to be able to meaningfully address complex socio-environmental problems and more intentionally shape humanity's collective future.
Debbie V.S. Kasper is a sociologist and Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Hiram College, in northeast Ohio. She specializes in sociological theory, environmental sociology, community resilience, and social change and teaches a wide variety of courses related to these themes.
PART 1. BACKGROUND
Chapter 1. The Crisis of the Librarian
Chapter 2. Moving Toward Synthesis
Chapter 3. A Science of Human Social Life? Present State, Future Prospects
Chapter 4. Mapping the Territory
PART 2. THE GROUND
Chapter 5. The Medium of Human Social Life
Chapter 6. The Human Condition
Chapter 7. Second Nature
Chapter 8. Actions and Reactions
Chapter 9. The Only Constant
Conclusion: Insights, Applications, and Possibilities