There is a branch of environment sociology that started from agriculture and the rural world. Various sociologists that focused on the rural aspects gained interest in environmental issues, being that both areas shared the same object of study. Agriculture remains the main point of mediation between human activity and the environment. In this paper, such mediation is first developed historically, identifying three phases in the relationship between rural and socio-environmental studies (indifference, contestation, cooperation). A typology of social groups involved in land use (users, residents, landowners and farmers) is then proposed, and their more or less virtuous actions towards the environment are outlined.