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Book part
Publication date: 12 December 2007

Robert D. Bullard

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…

Abstract

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.

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Equity and the Environment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1417-1

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Handbook of Transport and the Environment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-080-44103-0

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Book part
Publication date: 31 October 2017

Darren McCauley

Injustice is perceived, experienced and articulated. Social movements, and their constitutive parts, frame and re-frame these senses of injustice. Two often-overlapping…

Abstract

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.

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Environmental Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-377-9

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Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2021

Joshua A. Basseches, Kaitlyn Rubinstein and Sarah M. Kulaga

At a time when the US federal government failed to act on climate change, California's success as a subnational climate policy leader has been widely celebrated. However…

Abstract

At a time when the US federal government failed to act on climate change, California's success as a subnational climate policy leader has been widely celebrated. However, California's landmark climate law drove a wedge between two segments of the state's environmental community. On one side was a coalition of “market-oriented” environmental social movement organizations (SMOs), who allied with private corporations to advance market-friendly climate policy. On the other side was a coalition of “justice-oriented” environmental SMOs, who viewed capitalist markets as the problem and sought climate policy that would mitigate the uneven distribution of environmental harms within the state. The social movement literature is not well equipped to understand this case, in which coalitional politics helped one environmental social movement succeed in its policy objectives at the expense of another. In this chapter, we draw on legislative and regulatory texts, archival material, and interviews with relevant political actors to compare the policymaking influence of each of these coalitions, and we argue that the composition of the two coalitions is the key to understanding why one was more successful than the other. At the same time, we point out the justice-oriented coalition's growing power, as market-oriented SMOs seek to preserve their legitimacy.

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2021

Elle Turnbull

The purpose of this study is to explore Islamic contributions to discussions on climate change action and environmental justice. The author argues that Islamic approaches…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore Islamic contributions to discussions on climate change action and environmental justice. The author argues that Islamic approaches to this issue provide a unique cultural and religious perspective which can effectively address the issue of climate change.

Design/methodology/approach

Beginning with a discussion of the concepts central to this essay, the author moves to discuss why she has chosen to move away from approaches founded in criminal law, instead of arguing that it is important to focus on culturally specific approaches to environmental justice. The author then explores some of the approaches taken by mainstream Muslim organisations working towards environmental justice. In particular, the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change and responses from Islamic Relief Worldwide, considering both the benefits and flaws of these approaches.

Findings

The author concludes by arguing that Sharīʿah has potential for developing Muslim environmental justice further, using Islamic legal rulings from Indonesia as an example. In this way, Islamic contributions can further aid global environmental justice. The author finds that culturally specific approaches to climate change, founded in legal mechanisms such as the Islamic juridical process (fiqh), have vast potential in securing environmental justice across the globe.

Originality/value

Islamic contributions to climate change are often relegated to the background, while approaches from the perspective of legal mechanisms and criminal law have been favoured. The author believes that an Islamic approach is not only a starkly different approach, but also one which can provide an impetus for change. This is particularly true for the contributions of Islamic jurists.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2010

Dorceta E. Taylor

The environmental justice perspective represents a significant reframing of the traditional environmental discourse. Although few scholars in the environmental field pay…

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).

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Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-183-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Michael J. Lynch and Paul B. Stretesky

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

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Handbook of Transport Geography and Spatial Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-615-83253-8

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Dionna Williams and Catherine Zeman

Environmental health disparities case studies are explored through a combination of lens including the naturome/nurturome, exposome [nature vs nurture] and multiple…

Abstract

Purpose

Environmental health disparities case studies are explored through a combination of lens including the naturome/nurturome, exposome [nature vs nurture] and multiple exposure-zone [place as predictor of health and wellbeing] concepts. This work places the educational program and experience within a theoretical framework using all these grounding theories. This provides an approach to experiential and transformative education in environmental equity/sustainability that we are calling transformative, trans-theoretical equity education, T2E2. This paper aims to describe this model, its grounding theories and provide real-world examples of this model in action through PIEER.

Design/methodology/approach

The University of Northern Iowa’s environmental equity internship, Panther Initiative for Environmental Equity and Resilience, PIEER, engages students on multiple levels to view sustainability from an equity perspective. The experience seeks to immerse the student in an understanding of equity while also having a tangible impact in the community. Systems analysis of issues, through formal systems thinking approaches, inculcating practices that allow students to work through difficult equity and social justice implications, high vs. low context communication and leadership styles are discussed.

Findings

Findings of the first evaluation of program impact indicate long-lasting benefits to this immersive experience. Findings of an evaluation survey of current and past PIEER interns (N = 30, n = 22/21; response ∼0.73/72) indicate that participants consistently rank the experience in the upper 25th percentile of benefit for their personal growth in understanding equity and environmental issues. They also note that the experience has led them to be more likely to engage in behaviors supporting both social justice and environmental concerns.

Research limitations/implications

This evaluation consists of a small sample size which prevents the use of a mixed methods approach to evaluate the consistencies among the data.

Practical implications

If society is to truly achieve equitable sustainability, we must accomplish this through both transformative theory and transformative experiences.

Social implications

Providing both transformative theory and transformative experiences to students is an important foundational step in achieving equitable sustainability.

Originality/value

The University of Northern Iowa has a unique environmental equity internship which is training students to revision sustainability from an equity perspective.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Tina M. Kruger, Nicholas McCreary, Brandon L. Verhoff, Virgil Sheets, James H. Speer and Stephen P. Aldrich

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by a non-random sample of students.

Practical implications

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.

Social implications

Universities might adopt policies and curricula that address these areas of ignorance.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to identify specific areas of college students’ lack of understanding about sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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