This chapter chronicles some of the early years of the author growing up in the racially segregated South Alabama and its influence on his thinking about race…
This chapter chronicles some of the early years of the author growing up in the racially segregated South Alabama and its influence on his thinking about race, environment, social equity, and government responsibility and his journey to becoming an environmental sociologist, scholar, and activist. Using an environmental justice paradigm, he uncovers the underlying assumptions that contribute to and produce unequal protection. The environmental justice paradigm provides a useful framework for examining and explaining the spatial relation between the health of marginalized populations and their built and natural environment, and government response to natural and man-made disasters in African American communities. Clearly, people of color communities have borne a disproportionate burden and have received differential treatment from government in its response to health threats such as childhood lead poisoning, toxic waste and contamination, industrial accidents, hurricanes, floods and related weather-related disasters, and a host of other man-made disasters. The chapter brings to the surface the ethical and political questions of “who gets what, why, and how much” and why some communities get left behind before and after disasters strike.
Injustice is perceived, experienced and articulated. Social movements, and their constitutive parts, frame and re-frame these senses of injustice. Two often-overlapping…
Injustice is perceived, experienced and articulated. Social movements, and their constitutive parts, frame and re-frame these senses of injustice. Two often-overlapping accounts of social movements are in focus in this chapter. Human geography has been flooded with movement-based analyses of environmental justice (EJ). Sociology (more appropriately political sociology) has provided insight into social movements in the form of ‘contentious politics’ (CP). Building on both sets of literature, this chapter seeks to advance thought in human geography through a detailed exploration of master and collective action framing. It argues, firstly, that framing analysis challenges activist researchers to retain ‘spatial constructs’ as their central focus, rather than discourse. It calls, secondly, for us to unbind injustice as much as justice in our analysis of framing. And lastly, it demands a multi-spatial perspective on framing beyond simply scalar accounts.
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).
The purpose of this paper is to draw upon concepts in community‐oriented policing in order to explore the distribution of citizen water‐monitoring organizations and their…
The purpose of this paper is to draw upon concepts in community‐oriented policing in order to explore the distribution of citizen water‐monitoring organizations and their role in community environmental policing, in order to address the issue of environmental justice. The empirical portion of the analysis examines the distribution of these organizations across states, and the relationship of this distribution to social inequity.
This study design is cross‐sectional in nature and examines the distribution and density of 1,308 citizen water‐monitoring organizations across states. Ordinary least squares regression is used to examine the relationship between the density and social disadvantage while controlling for environmental enforcement patterns, rates of non‐compliance, water quality, region of the country, water area, and coastal states.
Race and ethnicity are negatively correlated with the density of water‐monitoring organizations across states. Median household income is positively correlated with water‐monitoring organizations across states.
This paper suggests that community environmental policing is a response to ecological disorganization. More specifically, in the case of citizen‐led water‐monitoring organizations it is critical that states with relatively large proportions of low income, black and Hispanic residents help provide resources to encourage the development of these community groups.
This paper is the first to draw upon the ideas found in the community‐oriented policing literature to examine water‐monitoring organizations. While the literature suggests that collaborative efforts between state law enforcement agencies and water‐monitoring organizations may help combat ecological disorganization, it is also the first study to suggest that environmental injustice could be an unintended drawback of community environmental policing.
The purpose of this study was to explore college students’ understanding of sustainability and, specifically, the extent to which students see social justice as being…
The purpose of this study was to explore college students’ understanding of sustainability and, specifically, the extent to which students see social justice as being integral to sustainability.
Between fall 2015 and 2017, an online survey study was deployed to students at a Midwestern University in the USA to assess attitudes and concerns about environmental issues and awareness of the university’s activities related to these issues. This analysis included ten assessment items from a larger study, of which 1,929 participants were included in the final sample. A chi-square goodness-of-fit and variable cluster analysis were performed on the included items.
Items such as “recycling,” “economic viability” and “fair treatment of all” were identified as integral to the concept of sustainability, while items such as “growing organic vegetables” and “reducing meat consumption” had high levels of “not applicable” and “don’t know” responses, with differences arising across gender and class standing. Social justice-related items were seen as more distally connected to sustainability.
This study is limited by a non-random sample of students.
College students tend not to recognize the integral nature of social justice or the relevance of food to sustainability, providing an opportunity for universities to better prepare their students for a sustainable future.
Universities might adopt policies and curricula that address these areas of ignorance.
This study is among the first to identify specific areas of college students’ lack of understanding about sustainability.
Many megacities in the Global South have developed without any systematically regularized modernization processes. Therefore, urbanization is accompanied by the…
Many megacities in the Global South have developed without any systematically regularized modernization processes. Therefore, urbanization is accompanied by the inappropriate level of economic and social opportunities. This macro-structural constraint of urbanization contributes to frame the patterns and features of many location-based poverty and inequality.
Dhaka followed the similar trajectory of development without creating substantial opportunities for its underclass, poor, and marginalized citizens. This unequal pattern of development influences the disproportionate environmental burdens of the marginalized people, who have little or no voice in the urban decision-making process. People experience unequal environmental inequality through their differential exposures to poor housing and/or living conditions, along with a lack of access to safe drinking water, sewage, adequate waste disposal systems, and so on.
In this context of urban injustice, this environmental justice movement (EJM) is an evidence of demanding basic rights among the unprivileged citizens. To some extent, this is a response to the state’s structural failure to provide urban environmental services (and social justice) to majority of its poor citizens.
Evidence suggests that in context of fragile democracy, an EJM can generate opportunities for progressive urban politics as well as contribute to redistributive development opportunities for its poor and marginalized citizens. Most megacities in the Global South inherit urban governance from their colonial heritages, which were often criticized for its citizen-detached and top-down nature.
Dhaka is not an exception in this context. In the present socio-political condition, even though the environmental movement is not very welcomed by the government – more particularly from the ruling political party – it can have tremendous implications on redistributive urban politics. This chapter focuses on Dhaka, which is currently one of the world’s largest megacities in the Global South.
This chapter highlights the local patterns and process of the unequal environmental burdens and the subsequent mobilization, demanding environmental justice in that process, as well as how that movement contributes to redistributive urban politics. The discussions of this chapter also have the implications on public policy discourse focusing on environmental rights, movements, and citizens-centered politics in the megacities of the Global South, with renewed relationships between the state and its citizens.
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.
This chapter will discuss understandings of forms of sustainable political economy within the context of sustainability in the community. Essentially, it will examine the issues which emerge when a community favours a green economic model within the context of the now largely discredited neo-liberal framework that never valued notions of sustainability, and is now largely in crisis due to the market decline and ‘credit crunch’. In addition, the section will outline the significance of community-based political economy for the development of sustainable forms of justice. A sustainable form of political economy incorporates particular concerns, such as ‘the geographical scope of production for local needs, and the exposing and combating the institutions and power structures that lead to poverty and lack of local control’ (Kennet & Heinemann, 2006, p. 78). Under the neo-liberal system, a dichotomy existed between community development and the dominant, yet ultimately unsustainable, growth-based form of political economy.