12 November 2019

Henri Lefebvre’s Marxian ecological critique: recovering a foundational contribution to environmental sociology

The online version of the first in a series of articles we are writing describing Henri Lefebvre's use of Marx's theory of metabolic rift and its potential in developing a geographical perspective on the same was just published in Environmental Sociology. As the title suggests, the focus of this article is on Lefebvre's potential contribution to environmental sociology. Here are the details:
DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2019.1670892

John Bellamy Foster, Brian M. Napoletano, Brett Clark & Pedro S. Urquijo

French Marxist sociologist, Henri Lefebvre, was one of the foremost social theorists of the twentieth century, celebrated for his critiques of everyday life, urban revolution, and the production of space. We argue here that his mature work also encompassed a theory of ecological crisis, drawing directly on Marx’s theory of metabolic rift. In this conception, the dialectics of nature and society were subject to alienated capitalist accumulation, giving rise to metabolic rifts, epochal crises, and new historical moments of revolutionary praxis aimed at the metamorphosis of everyday life. Lefebvre thus ranks as one of the foundational contributors to environmental sociology, whose rich theoretical analysis offers the possibility of a wider social and ecological synthesis.

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