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Climate Change and Society


A video lecture that discusses how the social sciences have evolved to address issues of climate change by D. Parthasarathy. This video lecture is part 1 of a 2-part lecture series titled ‘Climate Change and Society: Culture, Politics, And Social Dynamics’ of a MOOC. This MOOC has been developed by the National Resource Center on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. The lecture focuses on the threat and vulnerability of the human population to climate change viewed through the lenses of the social sciences and climate sciences. This lecture discusses how social vulnerability is understood in the social sciences as “vulnerability and adaptation as representing the set of socio-economic factors that determine people’s ability to cope with stress or change” and how it is understood in the climate sciences as “vulnerability is the likelihood of occurrence and impacts of weather and climate related events, and capacity of population groups to reduce vulnerability”.

The video further discusses how the social sciences have contributed to the understanding of vulnerability by discussing concepts of social inequalities like caste, religion and social status. It also highlights the impact of climate change in developing countries. Additionally, the lecture discusses the need for a transdisciplinary approach and how the social sciences can further contribute to the understanding of climate change and societal impacts. These include:

  1. Ethnographic insights: Studies that could discuss cultural values and political relations that influence climate related knowledge and the perception of climate change. This could help formulate better adaptation policies
  2. Historical perspective: History can be used to understand traditional mechanisms of adapting and coping and understanding societal collapse, survival and sustainability.
  3. Holistic view: Studies that discuss the changing forms of consumption and production and their consequences such as migration and refugee crises.

Students will learn about understanding climate risk and vulnerability from the perspective of the social sciences. They will also learn about climate change threats and vulnerability and social inequalities such as caste, religion and social status. Students will further learn about how culture influences societies to adapt, survive, and mitigate the risks of climate change.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Discuss the role of the social sciences in understanding climate change risks and vulnerability
  2. Discuss the social inequalities can contribute to climate change induced vulnerability in developing countries
About Tool
Tool Name W10 CO7 LO1 Climate Change and Society: Culture, Politics, And Social Dynamics Lecture 01 
Discipline Social Sciences  
Topic(s) in Discipline Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Social Inequalities, Caste, Religion, Vulnerability, Culture, Public Policy, Human Migration
Climate Topic Climate Literacy, Climate and Society, Policy, Politics and Environmental Governance
Type of tool Video (52 mins)
Grade Level Undergraduate, Graduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Indian Institute of Science Education and Research , Pune, India
Hosted at YouTube
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic

Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13


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