By Manuel González de Molina, Víctor M. Toledo
Over this final decade, the idea that of Social Metabolism has won status as a theoretical device for the necessary research, to such an volume that there are actually dozens of researchers, countless numbers of articles and a number of other books that experience followed and use this idea. even if, there's a good deal of kind when it comes to definitions and interpretations, in addition to various methodologies round this idea, which prevents the consolidation of a unified box of recent wisdom. the basic goal of the ebook is to behavior a evaluate of the prior and current utilization of the idea that of social metabolism, its origins and heritage, in addition to the most currents or faculties that exist round this idea. whilst, the stories and discussions incorporated are utilized by the authors as beginning issues to attract conclusions and suggest a conception of socio-ecological transformations.
The theoretical and methodological suggestions of this publication contain a contrast of 2 forms of metabolic strategies: tangible and intangible; the research of the social metabolism at various scales (in house and time) and a concept of socio-ecological swap overcoming the only “systemic” or “cybernetic” nature of traditional ways, giving detailed protagonism to collective action.
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Additional info for The Social Metabolism: A Socio-Ecological Theory of Historical Change
Environmental History is hence supported on the principle of social and ecological coevolution. The work of Norgaard (1994)—to whom the foundation as a principle of Environmental History is due–emphasizes that people’s activities transform ecosystems and these in turn, set scenarios for individual and social acts. Thus, Environmental History considers society within nature, with which human beings establish material relationships of exchange of energy, materials, and information. The concept of social metabolism has been adopted to refer to this multiple determinant relation, as we will see below.
Social History, second in importance, found its meaning in the corroboration of an evolutionary process towards evermore complex social models as an expression of the progressive social division of labor linked to economic growth and the material welfare of societies. Complexity was, henceforth, an expression of the growing rationalization of social organization. Political History was assigned to a secondary role consisting in measure the degree of political modernization of societies based on an abstract model concocted from the past experiences of the more affluent Occidental societies in which democracy and National states had been enthroned as the most efficient political organizations.
Le Roy Ladurie (1967) showed that continued rainfalls between 1646 and 1651 were coincident with profound economic and social problems eventually leading to the Fronde confrontation, and although no causal relation between climate and the insurrection exists the climatic alteration generated a critical scenario. Earth has witnessed climatic periods related to modifications of the zonal flow of air masses. The first land clearings that ended Prehistory were made in a favorable temperature climatic phase; the following cooler phase had an opposite effect, favoring the growth of forests and natural vegetation; again between the ninth and twelfth centuries, a temperate phase was coincident with the peaking of agriculture in Western Europe; and subsequently therefore.