William Catton

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William R. Catton, Jr. , Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Washington State University, participated in WSU’s Environmental Science Program and has taught human ecology there and elsewhere. He has also taught sociology at Reed College, University of North Carolina, Oberlin College, University of Alberta (in Canada), University of Canterbury (in New Zealand), and University of Wyoming, and has given invited lectures at several universities in Europe and Australia.

After World War II service in the U.S. Navy, he received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington. A sociological research interest in wildland recreation patterns led to his later focus upon ecological concepts and principles.

He has served as Vice President of the Sociological Association of Australia and New Zealand, and president of the Pacific Sociological Association, which gave him its 1985 Distinguished Scholarship Award for articles in its journal expanding on themes from his book, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change. His other publications include more than a hundred journal articles and contributed book chapters, plus several dozen book reviews.

Since retiring he has continued writing on ecological issues and has been studying the societal functions and dysfunctions of modern division of labor, leading to his latest book: Bottleneck: Humanity's Impending Impasse, just published.

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