Environmental Ideology

An Environmental Ideology in Relation to Bell, Dunlap Views

The interrelationship between nature and the livelihood of humankind has always been precise until the contemporary era, where society members have relinquished their value for the environment. Our ecology is nature-centered rather than human-centered, although people have confused that lately. Due to the technological advancement of the recent times, people have sought to overlook the intertwinement between their lives and the conditions of their ecology. My ideology is that nature is an essential part of the human livelihood. More to that, it serves as a way, through which society members understand their personality, their relationship patterns as well as their social tendencies.

In his analysis of environmental sociology, Dunlap defines the human exemptionalism paradigm where he resents on the manner, in which sociology has developed a set of assumptions that presume that the physical world is irrelevant to modern as well as industrialized societies. According to Dunlap, modern sociologists advance on the issue of environmental sociology influenced by these assumptions, although they are not made explicit. They consequently represent the fundamental paradigm that is used to view the world. Dunlap additionally argues that the paradigm is anthropocentric un-ecological and technologically optimistic. His argument advances my ideology that people as well as researchers and, in this case, sociologists are overly optimistic about the ability of technology to separate them from ecological relations. According to Dunlap, the developed paradigm blinds the people from depicting the significance of the environmental problems that their ecology encounters, suggesting that the Homo sapiens, unlike other species, are no subject to ecological constraints.


The effects of the environmental problems are not only unequally distributed across communities but social inequality is also a significant cause of these problems. This is the argument made by Bell, where he describes social inequality to be both a cause and a result of the environmental problems, namely global warming, risky technology, resource depletion, habitat loss, overconsumption, pollution, and even rapid growth of the populations. In line with my ideology, environmental problems are significant to the livelihood of human beings, although people consistently ignore them. Bell introduces the existing debate between realists and constructionists, in which realists imply that the environmental problems cannot be internalized unless through the study of the threats posed by the organizations of society in relation to ecology. On the other hand, constructionists emphasize how our conceptualization of the environmental problems is influenced by our social life. Realists are materialists, while constructionists are majorly idealists. Bell consequently gives the analogy of the ancients Chinese of yin and yang, Taijitu. The analogy depicts the interrelationship between the yin and the yang, which creates a unity of the ideal and the material. In his illustration of the analogy, Bell displays a situation of the ideal on one side of the moon and the material on the other shape and then the practical aspect at the center. The practical is the indication of the interaction and interchange between the two extremes. The ideal is able to shape the material and vice versa through the practical aspect. The illustration depicts the connection between human livelihood and the environmental problems, and that there is no separation between the two. The ecology shapes society and society shapes the ecology through practical and actual happenings in the ecosystem. Society members ought to realize that the human species similar to the other species is subject to ecological constraints. Bell implies my ideology as he analyzes the issue to deal with the sustainability of energy, the emerging issue of global warming, which raises many discussions, the prevailing dilemma of the depletion of ozone layer, the increase of acid rains as well as the threat to land and water.

Views on Nature and Environment Constructed Socially and Culturally in Relation to Social Processes and Landscapes

The understanding of our world and the consciousness of the objects in nature as well as the direct experience with the environment form a basis of the human shared assumptions about reality as well as the depiction of nature in relation to culture. Consequently, landscapes happen to be the symbolic creation of human actions of giving the environment a definition from an angle and a perspective of their values and beliefs. As we develop from our childhood to adulthood, our orientation to the environment is married together with the people we grow up with and the culture that we adopt. The article written by Greider and Garkovich describes a scenario, where land is depicted differently among societies. To the farmers of the native people of Alaska as well as the American West, their meaning, and understanding of land is that it is a commodity, and thus, they readily welcome the idea of oil, gas, and coalmines among other developments. Their view is similar to that of the business entrepreneurs who depict land as a commodity as well as an opportunity for making profits. However, to the ranchers, land happens to be a bit expansive to include the values of vistas, physical isolation, disapproval of trespass, open spaces, and other related values into the meaning of land. They have a concern towards energy developments, expressing the advance and harmful effects of these developments on land. To them, land happens to have an inclined value as compared to the farmers and entrepreneur. In that line, my views of nature and the environment are that each society creates its own meaning of the nature, depending on their relation to it and their cultures. The environment has multiple meanings, and the denotations are a reflection of the societal definitions of themselves. A society leaving on a beach may depict their environment as a habitat as well as a source of income. Similarly, a business person with a restaurant at a beach defines the sea shore as a commodity ready to be exploited for his benefit. At the same time, to a visitor, the beach is a place for relaxation and pleasure that they visit occasionally. A similar environment is defined differently due to differing culture as well as social activities. As such, these societies are in a similar environment but they perceive it individually and differently based on the derivation that they get from the particular landscape.

In recent developments, technology has significantly influenced the reliance on the environment for various needs. The article questions the sustainability of landscape, the understanding of the relations of the human-natural environment among society members in the changing times in regards to economy, technology, and other changes. The introduction of taxation, for instance, indicates the shared conviction among the communities of what is important for their system. New technologies additionally form a voluntarily introduced change into the livelihood of society members. The meanings of these newly introduced components are negotiated within the context of the formation of the beliefs that these people use to define themselves. These changes depict how society manages to create their personal definition of the existing environment factor based on their specific culture and social existence.

I presumed that all human beings had a similar depiction of various places given the normal generalizations. The article’s denotation of the environment being socially and culturally defined advances my view on leisure and recreation to be a cultural definition, in which humans choose what is leisure to them and what is recreation to them. The environment requires being preserved in excellent condition given that its condition is a reflection of that of our own. Every society poses its values and views in relation to the environment. However, it is crucial that a uniform virtue of preservation as well as sustainability be adopted so as to ensure a uniform progression from the current generation to future generations.

Hydro: Power to Make the American Dream Come True

Economic resource mobilization is a determinant factor to the effectiveness of discursive society in realizing its goals. The video “Hydro: Power to Make the American Dream Come True” displays the ability of society to manipulate nature for its own benefits. There are various social values dominant in the acceptance of hydro as the way of the future.

The theory of human exemptionalism paradigm depicts social value dominant in the video. The paradigm is optimistic on the social changes that would place society in its desired position rather than acknowledge the possibility that the ecology might influence modern societies. The paradigm argues that any limitations and constraints to the development of human societies had to be social and not physical. Hydro was consequently adopted as a way of society defining its own course.

Protection of the future generations as well as control of calamities is a social value dominant in the acceptance of the dam. One of the reasons for the construction of the dams was the control of floods. Significant employment would also be created through power production thus the future generations had hope. A contract of 20 years was also signed, in which power was to be supplied at lowest prices. This indicates the desire by the current generation to protect future generations.

Economic development forms the third aspect in the adoption of the hydropower in that the production of hydroelectric power would see the supply of electricity to a large population who would use it to develop their businesses and other related activities. Reclamation would also lead to land for cultivation offering economic development.

Enhancement of infrastructure is the fourth social aspect dominant in the acceptance of the hydropower adoption. Navigation was improved after the harnessing of the water and movements were enhanced. There was the development of radio stations as well as communication lines that saw the interaction of the people get faster and easier.

In the period of the 1930s, around 15 million Americans were unemployed; hence, there was need for a change and desire for employment creation. There had been the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 as well, which caused the desire to curb future floods. It was during the same period that the USA suffering an economic depression, and this called for the need of action in revenue creation as well a power as a motivator for the development of the economic conditions. This period called for the utilization of the environmental resources to upgrade the livelihood of all Americans. The creation of the hydropower consequently brought about significant changes with enhanced security, with opened opportunity for new inventions and advanced industries. The floods are controlled and the water animals are preserved, thus the reflection of the above-discussed aspects of the social context of the USA in 1930.

In today’s society, the call for liberalization is parallel to the adoption of hydropower creation, where society members aim for economic advancement at the expense of the environmental preservation. Trade liberalization, as well as economic development, acts as a precursor for environmental degradation. The adoption of the hydropower was evidently beneficial to society through the elevation of economy and the creation of employment. However, its impacts on the environment were also significant in that the developed industries would produce pollutants harmful to the environment. Similarly, trade and economic liberals argue that society needs to utilize resources maximally as long as there is revenue gain from the exploitation. Therefore, jobs and profits are more important than the environment.

Environmental Movements

To understand the Environmental Movements of the USA, the perspective of resource mobilization analysis is one approach that is to be applied. The approach focuses on the promotion of various environmental agenda through the economic resources available to the society. What strikes me as interesting in this approach is that the movements act as structures that are unpredictable to facilitate mobilization. They consequently pattern their strategies, thus enabling them to influence their success. The approach focuses on the ability of movements to acquire resources and mobilize society members to achieve the goals of the movements.

The ability of society members to achieve their goals is a familiar aspect present in this approach. Internalizing one’s desire as well as objectives forms a perfect base for achieving those goals. The approach is new to me in line with environmental movement having been oriented at the historical approach and the discourse analysis that focuses on popular worldviews. The approach is very useful for the current times in that it leads to the mobilization of society members to achieve maximum at the minimum costs. It also proposes the funding of the movements under the control of the nonprofit making organization, which has a preservationist frame.

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