Environment and Community

A central concern with land often defines both environment and notions of community. Members of the Environment & Community cluster contribute to an understanding of the relationships between built and human communities within natural environments. While the cluster maintains a core focus on environment and community, scholars in this area use their expertise to study a range of subjects including civic engagement in climate action and other social movements, the relationship between land use, community, and policymaking in urban centres and the nature of human-environment relationships.

Catherine Corrigall-Brown

  • Chewinski, Max and Catherine Corrigall-Brown. 2022. “Penalty or Payoff? Diversity of Tactics and Resource Mobilization Among Environmental Organizations”.  American Behavioral Scientist. 66(4): 7-30. 
  • Chewinski, Max and Corrigall-Brown, Catherine. 2020. “Channeling advocacy? Assessing how funding source shapes the strategies of environmental organizations.” Social Movement Studies. 19(2): 222-240.
  • Corrigall-Brown, Catherine. 2016. “What Gets Covered? An Examination of Media Coverage of the Environmental Movement in Canada.” Canadian Review of Sociology. 53(1): 72-93. 

Qiang Fu

  • Fu, Qiang. 2022. “Too Big to Succeed: Mega Neighborhoods, Depression, and Actually Existing Urban Governance.” Cities 126: 1-13.
  • Fu, Qiang, Yufan Zhuang, Yushu Zhu, and Xin Guo. 2022. “Sleeping Lion or Sick Man? Machine Learning Approaches to Deciphering Heterogeneous Images of Chinese in North America.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers. DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2022.2042180
  • Gu, Jiaxin, Yue Yuan, Xin Guo, Yushu Zhu, and Qiang Fu. 2022. “Detecting Temporal Anomalies with Pseudo Age Groups: Homeownership in Canada, 1981 to 2016.” Population, Space and Place 28(1): 1-18.

Emily Huddart Kennedy

  • Kennedy, Emily H. 2022. Eco-Types: Five Ways of Caring About the Environment. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Baumann, Shyon, Emily H. Kennedy, and Josée Johnston. 2022. Moral and Aesthetic Consecration and High-Status Consumers’ Tastes: The “Good” Food Revolution. Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.poetic.2022.101654 
  • Kennedy, Emily H. and Parker Muzzerall. 2022. Morality, Emotions, and the Ideal Environmentalist: Toward A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Political Polarization. American Behavioral Scientist. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027642211056258

Tom Kemple

  • Kemple, Thomas. 2022. Simmel. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. [Discusses Simmel’s concept of natures/cultures and later reception]. 
  • Kemple, Thomas. Forthcoming. Marx’s Wager: Das Kapital and Classical Sociology. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. [Discusses Marx’s ecological concept of metabolism and later reception]. 

Sean Lauer

  • Lauer, S. (In Press). Cosmopolitan social infrastructure and cross-ethnic friendship. Current Sociology.
  • Lauer, S.R. & Yan, M.C. (2022). Social infrastructure and social capacity development among newcomers to Canada: The role of neighborhood houses in Vancouver. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 23, 911-029.
  • Lauer, S., Yan, M.C. (2021). Canadian immigrant youth and co-ethnic friendship group change. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 44, 4, 639-658.
  • Yan, M.C., Lauer, S. (2021). Neighbourhood houses: Building community in Vancouver. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Nathan Lauster

Ethan Raker

  • Raker, Ethan J. 2020. “Natural Hazards, Disasters, and Demographic Change: The Case of Severe Tornadoes in the United States, 1980-2010.” Demography 57(2): 653-674.
  • Arcaya, Mariana, Ethan J. Raker, & Mary C. Waters. 2020. “The social consequences of disasters: Individual and community change.” Annual Review of Sociology 46: 671-691.
  • Raker, Ethan J. & James R. Elliott. 2018. "Attitudes toward mass arrivals: variations in racial, spatial, and temporal distance to incoming disaster evacuees.” Social Science Quarterly 99(3): 1200-1213.

  • SOCI 510A (Population, Community, and Demography)
  • SOCI 599D (The Demography of Disasters)
  • SOCI 599C (Sociology of the Environment)
  • SOCI 599B (Urban Sociology)
  • SOCI 560/STS 502 (Culture and Knowledge)


  • SOCI 354 (Sociology of Community)
  • SOCI 364 (Built Environments)
  • SOCI 425 (Urban Sociology)
  • SOCI 430 (Global Citizenship)
  • SOCI 480 (Urban Ethnographic Field School)


  • SOCI 230 (Shopping, Society & Sustainability)
  • SOCI 360 (Sociology & Natural Resources)
  • SOCI 464 (Social Movements)
  • SOCI 420 (Sociology of the Environment)
  • SOCI 423 (Sociology of Food)
  • SOCI 599D (The Demography of Disasters)

About this research area:

UBC sociologists studying climate action and other social movements focus on the effects of mobilization on social and environmental outcomes, identify networks of both pro- and anti-environmental movements and examine polarization over climate change.

Land use is central to distinguishing urban from rural and fundamentally bound up with the organization and “we feeling” of community as well as the ins and outs of municipal policymaking. UBC Sociologists are actively engaged in studying urban policies, community, and relationships to the land.

Since its inception, those involved in environmental sociology have been motivated to understand and describe the relationships between humans and the non-human environment. UBC sociologists continue to advance this central topic by focusing on individuals’ orientation to the environment as well as how organisations respond to and shape environmental outcomes.

From a comparative and temporal perspective, UBC sociologists try to explore: 1) how meanings, experiences, and identities are constructed and contested in urban communities; 2) how urban social structures are embedded in and reproduced by actions; and 3) how social actions are in turn informed by discursive and social processes in global cities.