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Exploring Ideology as a ‘Resource’ for Environmental Justice Activism: Reflections from the Anti-GMO Movement in France

Occupy the Earth: Global Environmental Movements

ISBN: 978-1-78350-697-2, eISBN: 978-1-78350-686-6

ISSN: 2051-5030

Publication date: 26 November 2014

Abstract

Environmental justice activism is increasingly globalized, multi-faceted and multi-scaled (Bickerstaff & Agyeman, 2009; Walker, 2009a, 2009b). The existence or perception of injustice triggers the development of social activism in increasingly diverse contexts. The present contribution seeks to assess the explanatory value of resources in understanding activism (Freeman, 1979). In place of justice, the under-studied social movement theory of resource mobilization is explored as a complementary and partly oppositional account of justice activism. The highly controversial anti-GMO movement in France is selected as an invigorating context for evaluating activism. The perceived injustice of lifting restrictions on the importation of GM maize into France inspired the mobilization of a nationwide movement. In sharp contrast to existing literature, ideology is considered as a resource that effectively promotes or hinders social activism. Significant conclusions are developed for environmental justice activism research around emphasizing instability, heterogeneity, cultural sensitivity and above all, the limitations of agency-centric arguments.

Keywords

Citation

McCauley, D. (2014), "Exploring Ideology as a ‘Resource’ for Environmental Justice Activism: Reflections from the Anti-GMO Movement in France", Occupy the Earth: Global Environmental Movements (Advances in Sustainability and Environmental Justice, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 171-193. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-503020140000015007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited