Patrick Geddes: Founder of Environmental Sociology

M Studholme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


On the basis of a close reading of two early articles by Patrick Geddes, which form the basis of his later approach to sociology, it is argued that Geddes should be reclaimed by sociologists from the geographers and the town planners, as the founder of a distinctive environmental sociology in Britain at around the turn of the last century. Certain of Geddes' arguments are seen to be comparable with those of Durkheim, in particular, and Marx to a somewhat lesser extent. Moreover, his work contains a distinctively sociological account of the 'structuring' of social (and environmental) reality via the creative agency of human beings actively working in a variety of environments. Geddes' naïve optimism may make him as much Utopian as sociological, but does not invalidate his contribution to the development of a classical environmental sociology.
Translated title of the contributionPatrick Geddes: Founder of Environmental Sociology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441 - 459
JournalSociological Review
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


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