Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 November 2020
As with any edited collection, when planning the Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Sociology we imagined who would be using the text, and when they would be using it. We considered a researcher, starting on a new project and looking for approaches to better understand a complex environmental problem; a student, having been exposed to environmental sociology, excited by some ideas and looking to become better oriented with the field; a teacher, looking for readings to assign to students in the upcoming semester; or a practitioner, whose interest lies somewhere in that liminal space straddling town and gown. We thought of the purpose of handbooks, in a world where a quick search on the Internet can generate an article to answer any question, and sometimes an article to seemingly support just about any belief. In this context, a handbook can act as a reliable reference point that includes a broad, but not boundless, survey of ideas and a quick, but not superficial, snapshot of some of the empirical work that supports and elaborates those ideas.