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The construction of environmental justice: Warren County, North Carolina

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Title: The construction of environmental justice: Warren County, North Carolina
Author(s): McGurty, Eileen Maura
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Steelwater, Eliza K.
Department / Program: Urban and Regional PlanningUrban and Regional Planning
Discipline: Regional Planning
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): History, United States Political Science, General Sociology, Social Structure and Development Environmental Sciences Urban and Regional Planning
Abstract: By seeking to ameliorate environmental problems while also working to alleviate poverty and oppression, the construct of environmental justice has transformed environmental activism and altered the national environmental agenda. The controversy over the Warren County landfill is seen as the birth place of the environmental justice movement. Despite the importance assigned to Warren County, there has been no thorough analysis of the events. In this study, I analyze the Warren County events using a social movement theory which integrates issues of strategy and identity. I show that when the mostly white opposition changed their strategy to direct action and needed assistance from seasoned civil rights activists, the political and cultural context of Warren County created the necessary ingredients for this unlikely alliance. As a result of the alliance, the collective action frame changed from "Not In My Backyard" (NIMBY) to "environmental racism." The fear of loosing local control over a land use decision was the conceptual link between the broad injustice frame of environmental racism and the earlier, more narrow, NIMBY frame. Environmental racism was the catalyst to the more elaborative master frame of environmental justice which brought into question the entire hazardous waste policy.
Issue Date: 1995
Type: Text
Language: English
Rights Information: Copyright 1995 McGurty, Eileen Maura
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9624433
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9624433

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