Paul McLaughlin

Associate Professor of Sociology
Bailey Hall 211
(585) 245-6200

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


Office Hours

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Cornell University

  • M.S., University of Chicago

  • B.S. Union College


  • McLaughlin, Paul. 2023. "Durkheim’s Failed Darwinian Encounter: Missed Opportunities on the Path to a Post-exemptionalist Environmental Sociology." Sociological Perspectives 66 (1), 173-196

  • 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.

Research Interests

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


  • SOCL 318: Environmental Sociology

    This course provides an overview of the field of environmental sociology. Participants will become acquainted with major contemporary environmental problems as well as the various theoretical perspectives--human ecology, political economy, constructivism, political ecology, ecological modernization, feminist ecology--employed by environmental 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.