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Palgrave Macmillan

Ecology, Soils, and the Left

An Ecosocial Approach

ISBN 9781137358219
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Environmental Politics and Theory

Conventional explanations about soils and their degradation contain fundamental flaws. In standard approaches, social relations of domination are mystified, while much leftist theorization falters by disregarding soil dynamics. Soil degradation is both an occurring process and a political construct; therefore, it must be addressed as both a biophysical and social process. By developing and applying an ecosocial perspective, this volume improves on soil science and leftist approaches to environmental degradation to develop an understanding of environmental degradation that counters prevailing tendencies for decontextualization or reductionism.

Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro is an Associate Professor of Geography at SUNY New Paltz, where he works, presents, and writes on soil degradation. He received a MSc degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Physical Geography specialising in soils, and a PhD in Geography at Rutgers University (2000), focusing on the impact of social processes on soil use and quality.

1. Muted Everyday Disasters
2. Soils and Their Classification: Ecological Processes and Social Struggles
3. Soil Properties and the Political Aspects of Soil Quality
4. Soil Degradation: Overview and Critique
5. Capitalism-Friendly Explanations of Soil Degradation
6. Leftist Alternatives and Failures
7. Towards an eco-social approach to environmental degradation


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