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Landscape (and) Sociology

Class at Faculty of Arts |


The connections between society and the landscape go beyond descriptive sociological perspectives of biophysical landscapes. Holistically, landscape sociology incorporates philosophical, cultural, anthropological and ecological interactions between man and nature, and between social and ecological systems. European, and particularly Czech, landscapes represent ecological as well as sociocultural heritages. Human experiences with landscapes, social and cultural constructions and transformations of landscapes, and the ways in which we bring meaning to landscapes are the main topics of this course.

A primary aim of landscape sociology is to show landscape both as a geo-ecological phenomenon and as a sociocultural construction. The development of basic knowledge of ecological and cultural constructions of the Czech and European landscapes thus requires us to discuss a range of topics, including contemporary environmental and ecological issues, globalization and the landscape, and orientations in pan-European landscape typology based on the integration of landscape formation actors as a regionally differentiated geography, morphology and scenery on the one hand and regional culture, habits and history on the other.

Landscape Sociology usually focuses on the interaction of social groups (represented largely by rural communities and urban environmentalists) and the complex of the environment constructed as the

“landscape” on the macro-level. In this course, an overall objective and context for our lectures is the movement away from productivity as the sole or dominant mode of conceiving the value of rural landscapes, and the movement towards ideas about how to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability