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Introduction

Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective

ISBN: 978-0-85724-183-2, eISBN: 978-0-85724-184-9

ISSN: 0196-1152

Publication date: 6 September 2010

Abstract

The environmental justice perspective represents a significant reframing of the traditional environmental discourse. Although few scholars in the environmental field pay attention to environmental framing, it is extremely important in the field. Environmental activists, policymakers, government, politicians, and business have long perceived, contextualized, and battled over environmental issues by establishing frames of reference. Framing refers to the process by which individuals and groups identify, interpret, and express social and political grievances. It is a scheme of interpretations that guides the way in which ideological meanings and beliefs are packaged by movement activists and presented to would-be supporters. Beliefs are important because they can be defined as ideas that might support or retard action in pursuit of desired values, goals, or outcomes. Social movement collective action frames are injustice frames because they are developed in opposition to already existing, established, widely accepted ideas, values, and beliefs. However, the social movement frames are intended to identify, highlight, and/or define unjust social conditions. Activists trying to develop new frames have to overcome the hurdle that many people (including would-be supporters) might accept the established or hegemonic frame as normal and/or tolerable. Collective action frames deny the immutability of undesirable conditions and promote the possibility of change through group action. Hence, social movement activists become potential social change agents in charge of their own destiny. They feel empowered to alter conditions (Goffman, 1974; Snow & Benford, 1992, 1988; Snow, Rochford, Worden, & Benford, 1986; Turner & Killian, 1987; Piven & Cloward, 1979, p. 12; McAdam, 1982; Gamson, 1992; Gamson & Meyer, 1996).

Citation

Taylor, D.E. (2010), "Introduction", Taylor, D.E. (Ed.) Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0196-1152(2010)0000018003

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited