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Environmental Adaptation and Eco-cultural Habitats : A Coevolutionary Approach to Society and Nature
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There are two case studies illustrating the potential of a coevolutionary understanding of the society-nature nexus. In the first, rural and urban settlement structures are conceptualized as distinct paths of eco-cultural adaptation. It is shown that each of these paths is characterized by predictable spatial correspondences between dwelling technologies, modes of social reproduction, cultural preferences, and related patterns in energy consumption (i.e. social metabolism). The second case study deals with flood protection in liberal and coordinated eco, welfare, and production regimes, drawing on lessons from the Netherlands and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. As a contribution to theory in environmental sociology, the coevolutionary perspective developed provides deeper insights into the intricate interplay between physical and social nature.