Sociology of Development and Sustainability - 2nd semester


1. Ability to put the study of environmental problems within the context of sociology;
2. Knowledge and understanding about development processes and their impacts on societies and the territory in a pluridisciplinary way;
3. Ability to deepen the understanding of the relationships between the environment, the territory and society;
4. Ability to critically reflect on the process of globalization and its environmental impacts;
5. Sound knowledge on the concept of sustainable development and its potential contributions to a new development paradigm;
6. Ability to collect data and use indicators to operationalize the concept of sustainable development at different geographical scales;
7 Ability to relate micro and macro scales in the analysis of problems;
8. Ability to communicate knowledge, procedures and arguments in a meaninful and accurate way.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Emily Lange, Iva Miranda Pires


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



To have accomplished a minimum of 48 ECTS credits


Assadourian, E. (2010). The rise and fall of consumer cultures. In Transforming cultures from consumerism to sustainability: State of the World 2010. Worldwatch Institute.
Atksison, G., Dietz, S. & Neumeyer, E. (2007). Handbook of sustainable development. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Beck, U. (1996). World risk society as a cosmopolitan society? Ecological questions in a framework of manufactured nncertainties. Theory, Culture & Society, 13 (4) pp. 1-32.
Jackson, T. (2009). Prosperity without growth: The transition to a sustainable economy. SD Commission, UK.
Soromenho-Marques, Viriato (1998). O futuro frágil: Os desafios da crise global do ambiente. Lisboa: Publicações Europa- América.
Stiglitz, J. (2006). Making globalization work. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Strange, T. & Bayley, A. (2008). Sustainable development: Linking economy, society, environment. Paris: OCDE.
WCED (1987). Our common future. World Commission on Environment and Development, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Teaching method

The teaching methodology has to consider the content and how to teach, in relation to the number of students and their qualities and competences in the first year. Per week students must attend one lecture and a practical classwork which allows combining teaching models.
Thus, lectures have an more expositive/explanatory/problematizing approach but essentially centered on the teacher. In practical classwork students have texts and documents of various kinds available on the Moodle platform that serve as motive to the thematic discussions and serves as motivation and development of critical thinking, curiosity and expositive training.
In class teaching.

Evaluation method

The formal evaluation includes:
- A group or individual essay , its discussion in the classwork, and subsequently delivered in the form of a written report (30%)
- An individual written test, which covers all the contents taught in the discipline (70%).

Subject matter

Module I
1. 1. The interaction od societies (social systems) with the environment (ecosystems)
2. The modernity and postmodernity as development paradigms in contemporary societies
Module II
4. Globalization and Environment
3. Environmental problems in the context of the risk society
5. The example of climate change
5.1 Anthropogenic processes leading to climate change
5.2 Impacts of climate change on the environment, the economy and society
5.3 Mitigation and adaptation solutions
6. (In) sustainable consumption and its impacts
Module III
7. The concept of Sustainable Development
7.1 The background to the concept
7.2 The concept and its diverse interpretations, namelly the strong and weak sustainable development
7.3 40 years of World Summits for Sustainable Development
7.4 Sustainable development at different geographical scales: from micro to global scale


Programs where the course is taught: