Thinking about the environment, its meaning, significance and value is as old as human society itself. However, it is clear that the present human generation is faced with a series of unique environmental dilemmas, largely unprecedented in human history. While the environment has been a perennial theme in human thought, the environment and how humans value, use and think about it, has become an increasingly central and important aspect of recent social theory. Environment and Social Theory provides a concise introduction to the relationship between the environment and social theory, both historically and within contemporary social theory. Written in an accessible and jargon-free way, Environment and Social Theory examines: * the historical relationship between social theory and the environment *pre-Enlightenment and Enlightenment social theory and the environment * twentieth century social theory and the environment * economic theory and the environment * the relationship between ecology, biology and social theory * recent theoretical approaches to the environment * the development of a green social theory The ideas and vies of key theorists including Hobbes, Locke, freud, Habermas, Giddens and Beck are discussed to provide comprehensive coverage of social theory for non-specialist readers.