Paul McLaughlin

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

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

Paul McLaughlin

Office Hours

  • Tues/Thurs  1:00-2:00pm
  • By appointment

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Cornell University

  • M.S., University of Chicago


  • 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.


  • HONR 203: S/HnrSemSocSc:2nd DarwinianRev

    This seminar offers an introduction to a topic or set of topics of social relevance as addressed by the social sciences. Typical subtitles might be: Nature versus Nurture, Intepreting the Bell Curve, or The Trap of Poverty. As a core course, it should engage all students and will not assume any prior knowledge of the discipline(s) involved. As a seminar, the class will focus on a lively discussion and analysis of the issues. May be repeated more than once only with permission from director of the Honors Program. Prerequisites: HONR 202 or permission of program director. Offered once per year

  • SOCL 265: 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. Prerequisites: SOCL 100 or permission of instructor.

  • SOCL 318: Environmental Sociology

    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 perspectives--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