The Environment…. • The environment in a broad sense is a boundary that houses life. The advent of humans and their progression to current development has had profound effects on the environment…. • To understand issues involved in the creation of this particular social problem, one must consider the reasons and conclusions of….
The Environment…. • Human’s have a belief that problems can be solved, fixed, heeled by our intellectual capabilities. That somehow invention and technology fueled by science will come to the aid of societies. • The environmental problems brought about by human endeavor can be objectified and quantified. Habits of consumption and creation become a right.
The Environment…. • The environmental problems brought about by human endeavor can be objectified and quantified. Habits of consumption and creation become a right. • The notion that human society must survive at any expense is justified by the logic of sustaining life. What is produced is a will to live. • Your readings will acquaint you with efforts by particular societies and their governments to deal with social problems.
Social Dilemmas: Cooperating for the Common Good…. • Self-interest or egoistic motivation is a powerful force. In some facets of life, being concerned primarily for one’s own well-being seems natural and even makes sense: the reasoning goes that it is a competitive, dog-eat-dog world, so looking out for number one may be the key to survival. • But there are also situations in which a narrow focus on one’s own short-term rewards can be counterproductive. In these situations, individual, competitive motives conflict with group, cooperative motives.
Social Dilemmas: Cooperating for the Common Good…. • What is called for is cooperation: collaborative behavior with other people that takes into account both one’s own interests and the interests of the others. • A social dilemma is a situation in which individual interest conflict with interests of the group. All social dilemmas are characterized by two features: (1) selfish choices produce better immediate outcomes for the individual than do cooperative choices, but (2) long term outcomes for everyone will suffer if everyone behaves selfishly.
Tragedy of the Commons…. • Here the meaning is how shared but fixed resources can quickly become depleted if everyone seeks to maximize their own outcomes. • The tragedy of the commons not only includes pastures, but also the world’s oceans are a common; and overharvesting of fish and whales to the point of driving many species to extinction. • Environmental pollution is another example: the garbage, sewage, and carbon monoxide contributed by one person is hardly enough to cause noticeable harm to the environment, but the sum of many small individual contributions can add up to irreparable harm to all. Thus, the short-term pursuit of self-interest and maximization of self-benefits creates a long-term cumulative and collective loss.
Tragedy of the Commons…. • People’s actions in social dilemmas depend on their perceptions of what behavior is appropriate in the situation. These perceptions of appropriate behavior can be influenced by social norms, actions of other people, and communication with other individuals. There are also individual differences in people’s cooperativeness in social dilemmas, which have been labeled social value orientation. • Three social value orientations are typically distinguished: individualists are primarily concerned with a maximizing their own interests and outcomes, competitors are primarily concerned with maximizing their outcomes relative to others’ outcomes, and pro-socials are primarily concerned with maximizing the total outcomes of everyone in the setting. • What is necessary? Social support networks which become active in right the wrongs to the environment brought on by humans.
Solutions to Social Dilemmas…. • Social dilemmas can be solved or at least reduced in several ways. Some sociologists and economists argue that privatization is the best solution…. • Establishing communication among individuals is another way in which the negative effects of social dilemmas can be reduced….
Solutions to Social Dilemmas…. • Another solution is centralized control of resources usually by the government. • Another is setting up union “closed shops,” meaning that to work in a company an employee must join the union and pay union dues. • What is necessary? Social support networks which become active in right the wrongs to the environment brought on by humans.
Conclusion…. • Environmental sociologists note the complex interplay among people, social structure, and natural resources as previously undeveloped territories are settled. • Even when new areas are developed for food production, environmental damage often occurs.