Office Hours

  • Tues  1:00-2:00pm
  • Thurs 1:00-2:00pm
  • and by appointment

Paul McLaughlin

Associate Professor of


Bailey Hall 211
1 College Circle
Geneseo, NY 14454


Paul McLaughlin has been a faculty member of Geneseo since 2008.

Faculty Information


  • Ph.D., Cornell University
  • M.S., University of Chicago

Research Interests

Dr. McLaughlin's primary interest is in tracing the parallels between the Darwinian revolution and changes currently occurring within various subfields of the social sciences. He has also done empirical research in organizational ecology, including studies of the cooperative movement in Saskatchewan, Canada and the U.S. environmental movement. His current research is focused on the use of evolutionary models to understand the dynamics of vulnerability to climate change and other natural hazards.

Publications and Professional Activities

  • McLaughlin, Paul. 2012. "The Second Darwinian Revolution:Steps Toward A New Evolutionary Environmental Sociology." Nature and Culture 7 (3): 231-258.
  • McLaughlin, Paul. 2012. "Ecological Modernization in Evolutionary Perspective." Organization and Environment 25 (2): 178-196.
  • McLaughlin, Paul. 2011. Climate Change, Adaptation and Vulnerability:Reconceptualizing Societal-Environment Interaction within a Socially Constructed Adaptive Landscape. Organization and Environment 24(3):269-291.
  • McLaughlin, Paul and Thomas Dietz. 2008. "Structure, Agency and Environment: Toward an Integrated Perspective on Vulnerability." Global Environmental Change 18:99-111.
  • McLaughlin, Paul. 2001. "Towards an Ecology of Social Action: Merging the Ecological and Constructivist Traditions." Human Ecology Review 8(2):12-28.
  • McLaughlin, Paul and Marwan Khawaja. 2000. "The Organizational Dynamics of the U.S. Environmental Movement: Legitimation, Resource Mobilization and Political Opportunity." Rural Sociology 65(3):422-439.
  • McLaughlin, Paul. 1998. "Rethinking the Agrarian Question: The Limits of Essentialism and the Promise of Evolutionism." Human Ecology Review 5(2):25-39.
  • McLaughlin, Paul. 1996. "Resource Mobilization and Density Dependence in Cooperative Purchasing Associations in Saskatchewan Canada." Rural Sociology 61(2):326-348.
Spring 2016 Classes

SOCL 265:
Classical Sociological Theory

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    Students will become familiar with the basic theoretical position and concepts of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. Students will develop critical reasoning skills so that they can distinguish between the co
    nflict orientation, functionalist orientation, and the interpretive orientation to social reality. Prerequisites: SOCL 100 or permission of instructor.
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SOCL 318:
Environmental Sociology

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    This course provides an overview of the field of enviornmental sociology. Participants will become acquainted with major contemporary environmental problems as well as the various theoretical perspect
    ives--human ecology, political economy, constructivism, political ecology, ecological modernization, feminist ecology--employed by enviornmental sociologists to interpret their origins, dynamics and potential resolution. The course will also examine several deeply rooted Western assumptions about nature that are hindering the construction of a more integrated perspective on human-environment interactions. Offered every year
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SOCL 340:
Social Movements

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    Both elementary forms of collective groups and varieties of social movements that affect social change are analyzed. The focus is on structural and normative considerations. Prerequisites: Any 100-l
    evel Sociology course or permission of instructor. Offered every year
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