Video/Microlecture: Teaching Climate Change in the Sociology Classroom

A video lecture by Andrew Szasz, University of California, Santa Cruz titled ‘A Sociology of Climate Change’ that discusses how climate change can be taught in the Sociology classroom.  This video lecture includes discussions on the following:

  1. Societal causes of climate change
    1. Causes identified in the “green” updating of Classical Theory 
    2. Causes identified in the contemporary Environmental Sociology
  2. Climate impact on society 
    1. Extreme weather events
    2. Food
    3. Water
    4. Health and Illness
    5. Economic impacts, at the level of the nation (U.S)
    6. Political impacts
    7. Unequal impacts, globally, among nations
    8. Unequal impacts, in the U.S., by State and by region
    9. Unequal impacts, in the U.S., by race and class
    10.  The potential for catastrophic impacts
  3. Societal responses to climate change
    1. The science; discovery; communicating; activism
    2. Climate activism, the social movements
    3. Climate denial, the counter-movement
    4. Private sector actors, pro and con
    5. Non-environmental “civil society” actors, pro and con
    6. Traditional media-print (newspapers), network television
    7. Online media- websites, blogs, social media
    8. Public opinion
    9. Policy- international; other nations
    10. Policy- federal (US)
    11. Policy- State, local (US)
    12. Technological innovation (clean, renewable energy); green cities
    13. “Plan B”: geoengineering

Students will understand the importance of the Social Sciences and the discipline of Sociology in understanding climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does society contribute to climate change?
  2. What are some of the impacts climate change has and may have on society?
  3. How has society responded to the threat of climate change?

About the Tool 

Tool NameA Sociology of Climate Change
DisciplineSocial Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview
Climate Topic Climate Literacy; Climate and Society
Type of tool Video/Microlecture (51 mins)
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
Developed byAndrew Szasz
Hosted atYouTube
Computer SkillsBasic
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