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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/su8010010

The Anthropocenic Turn: Theorizing Sustainability in a Postnatural Age

Área de Ciencia Política, Facultad Derecho UMA, University of Málaga, Campus Teatinos s/n., Málaga 29071, Spain
Academic Editor: Md Saidul Islam
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 29 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [211 KB, uploaded 24 December 2015]

Abstract

So long as sustainability represents the attempt to pacify the relationship between societies and their natural environments, the concept must remain attentive to any findings about the character of such relation. In this regard, the rise of the Anthropocene cannot be ignored by environmental sociologists if a realistic understanding of sustainability is to be produced. The Anthropocene is a scientific notion, grounded on geology and Earth-system science, that plausibly suggests that human beings have colonized nature in a degree that has irreversibly altered the functioning of planetary systems. As a result, social and natural systems have become “coupled”. This paper tries to elucidate the consequences that an “Anthropocenic turn” would have for sustainability studies. To such end, it will explore the related notions of hybridity and relational agency as key aspects of a renewed view of nature. Correspondingly, it argues that cultivated capital (rather than natural or manmade) must be the most important unit for measuring sustainability and devising sustainable policies in a postnatural age. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; environmental sociology; Anthropocene; nature; conservation; hybridity; socioecological metabolism; technology sustainability; environmental sociology; Anthropocene; nature; conservation; hybridity; socioecological metabolism; technology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Arias-Maldonado, M. The Anthropocenic Turn: Theorizing Sustainability in a Postnatural Age. Sustainability 2016, 8, 10.

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