The current globalization of the world is resulting on entire regions suffering sudden structural reconfigurations through the re-organization of economic activities of industrial towns and agrarian landscapes. Contemporary Western societies have seen industries and its associated values move away to cheaper locales, replaced by a services economy focused on providing leisure to these urban dominated societies. Postindustrial landscapes, characterized by economic decay, depopulation, and abandonment, followed by reinvestment, resettlement, and rejuvenation, are not unique to the last century. But what marks out the last thirty years of the twentieth century is the technological revolution in travel and communication, accompanied by the rise of modern environmentalisms.
This introduction and the essays that it prefaces are taking forward a growing debate on how to re-theorize the concept of social nature, by reflecting upon it under the specific light of postindustrial social formations. They look at how nature is imagined and pursued as an aesthetic, a moral compass, and as diverse locations inside and outside the cultural and material separations already made in the social construction of industrial space. The emergence of distinct postindustrial social imaginaries, where divisions like folk and rational thought are not only questioned but also newly remade, is of particular interest to this collection of essays.