Explores the underlying assumptions of environmental studies and the need for a new paradigm for understanding our world.
Transforming the Dream challenges American mainstream culture's obsession with unlimited economic and industrial growth. Drawing on works by Roy Morrison, Murray Bookchin, Daniel C. Maguire, Paul Taylor, C. A. Bowers, and others, Bednar critiques the ideological status quo, offering an alternative ecological economics, political economy, ethics, and pedagogy. This new outlook on humankind's relationship to the environment is, he argues, better positioned to address critical issues of the twenty-first century, including the ecological and social limits of economic growth, the social and economic requisites for authentic democracy, the ethics of human interaction with the natural environment, and the educational curricula and practices required to promote ecological literacy. Bednar's perspective provides the opportunity to develop economic and political institutions that permit a sustainable relationship with the environment and offers a socially richer and more fulfilling life for the individual than the "American Dream" promised by the current system.
Charles Sokol Bednar is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Muhlenberg College.