William R. Freudenburg conceived “the double diversion” as the simultaneous process of diverting environmental resources or rights shared by all to a small group of social actors, which was made possible by a second diversion – the acceptance of the taken-for-granted assumption that environmental harms benefit the common good. In doing so, Freudenburg was among the first to note the importance of looking at not only the distribution of environmental harms but also environmental privileges. In this chapter, we extend the conceptualization of the double diversion to include an instance where rather than framing environmental harm as being a public good, environmental action is framed as benefiting the public writ large, while larger issues of environmental injustice are ignored. In particular, we look at the disproportionate distribution of the urban tree canopy in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the framing of the mitigation of the environmental threat of the Asian Longhorned Beetle as a problem for the commons. Through an analysis of media, we demonstrate that organizations and social actors who have tried to address the effects of this particular ecological threat have nonetheless ignored previous disproportionalities in the environment–society relationship.
Cheyenne Harvey, D. and Varuzzo, A. (2014), "“Double Diversion” and the Environmental Good: Framing a Disproportionate Solution to An Ecological Threat as a Problem for the Commons", William R. Freudenburg, A Life in Social Research (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 73-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0196-1152(2013)0000021009Download as .RIS
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