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. 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 303: Classical Sociological Theory

    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 conflict orientation, functionalist orientation, and the interpretive orientation to social reality.

  • SOCL 340: Social Movements

    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.

  • SOCL 365: Contemp Sociological Theory

    The course introduces students to the main traditions in sociological theory that developed in the 20th century. Students will evaluate functionalist theory, conflict theories, and microsociological theories.