Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

the individual is seen as the key unit of analysis

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: marketplace. Government ownership and control of 226 CHAPTER SEVEN natural resources, it is held, are the principal obstacles to sound management of natural resources. . . . Well-specified private property rights to all resources and an unrestrained market, FME argues, are the essential preconditions for wise custodianship of the environment. . . . The individual is seen as the key unit of analysis and as the critical agent of social change.28 At the international level of free trade, the anti-sustainable development conservative position favors free-trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now under the World Trade Organization), as long as they do not impose restrictions on corporations. This differs from a managerial approach that favors the agreements as long as they would “include environmental and social safeguards” so there would be an even playing ground in which trade would be less environmentally damaging.29 A pro-sustainable development flank of conservatives places the power of social change largely in the hands of individuals’ voluntary behaviors. This group is hopeful that individuals, through green consumerism and boycotting harmful products (voting with one’s dollar), can pressure producers to change environmentally harmful processes, thus changing corporate behavior. Proponents of this perspective also favor lifestyle changes. “Voluntary simplicity,” for example, is the ideology of many such individuals and groups who do not believe that governments or corporations can be relied upon to enact significant changes. The proponents believe, instead, that everyday citizens transform culture by putting their beliefs into action through commitments to ideals such as “sustainable consumerism.” These groups have numerous strategies to aid individuals to consume less, among other things, and to develop a way of life that is “outwardly simple, inwardly rich.”30 The manageria...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online