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Title:Meeting the Energy Crisis: A Case Study of Wyoming Energy Resource Producers
Author(s):Throgmorton, David Hugh
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, General
Abstract:This is a study of the work worlds of energy resource producers in the State of Wyoming. It is based on he assumptions that (1) what people perceive as real influences their behavior in the social world, (2) conflicting behavior among groups of people can frequently be traced to conflicting perceptions of social reality, and (3) energy resource development can best be understood as a social process involving groups with differing perceptions of reality.
Several research questions are addressed, primarily: (1) How do energy resource developers perceive the social world and their place within it? (2) How are these perceptions manifest in the work of energy resource developers? (3) How do the developers resolve apparent internal contradictions and external criticism which attends energy resource development?
These questions were addressed by (1) examining the history and extent of energy development in Wyoming, (2) examining the literature and other material used by developers to perform their work and to represent that work to potentially unsympathetic groups outside the industry, and (3) conducting 37 unstructured interviews with top energy development executives in Wyoming.
It was determined that energy resource developers perceive their work, and their place in the social order, differently from those not involved in energy development. They view themselves, in a very real sense, as the last bastion of free enterprise. This view lends itself to an automatically antagonistic stance toward those who question the process of energy development as conducted by the industry. The energy developers do not recognize internal contradictions in the process of energy development and have developed a repertoire of responses to defuse critics or criticism.
The process of energy resource development is currently undergoing a crisis of legitimation, with both developers and critics attempting to gain consensus on a particular definition of social reality. This struggle for the dominant definition of reality, and hence for the power to determine the direction of energy development, has led to a fragmented approach to energy resource development in Wyoming which is detrimental to the social and physical environments.
Issue Date:1983
Description:309 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8324658
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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