NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ869470
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 96
ISSN: ISSN-0036-0112
A Sociological Look at Biofuels: Ethanol in the Early Decades of the Twentieth Century and Lessons for Today
Carolan, Michael S.
Rural Sociology, v74 n1 p86-112 Mar 2009
This article develops a broad sociological understanding of why biofuels lost out to leaded gasoline as the fuel par excellence of the twentieth century, while drawing comparisons with biofuels today. It begins by briefly discussing the fuel-scape in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, examining the farm chemurgic movement, New Deal agricultural policies, mechanization trends within agriculture, and, finally, the invention of leaded gasoline. The second half of the article applies insights from that historical analysis to the biofuel craze currently under way. By employing a political-economy interpretation of the socioeconomic context combined with a path-dependency-informed analysis of the technological trajectories, the article reveals the social forces that structured the trends and outcomes in biofuel innovations across the two eras. (Contains 4 footnotes.)
Rural Sociological Society. 104 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-7040. Tel: 573-882-9065; Fax: 573-882-1473; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States