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Essay on the environmental justice movement. The environmental justice movement has emerged over the last two decades as a result of an increasing awareness of the high impacts of environmental pollution on economically and politically disadvantaged communities. It was the product of the intersection between the civil rights and environmental movements. The movement brought together issues of social, economic, and political marginalization of minorities and low-income communities, and concerns over pollution in neighbourhoods and in the workplace. Hence, we should wonder how a social movement based on environmental justice upraises. What are the conditions that have to be gathered and above all what are the obstacles that the environmental justice movement has to cope with in order to be visible and effective on the public scene? First of all, Stella Capek offers us a concrete frame to environmental justice movement as a claims-making activity. Then, Blowers and Leroy focus on the concept of peripheralisation in order to denounce environmental racism that, in turn, gives birth to environmental justice demand.


[...] Indeed, Capek is trying to conceptually clarify the emergent environmental justice frame as a claims-making activity that contains specific rededications and then, the connection between this background and the process of mobilizing for change. Actually, resource mobilisation theory and power and conflicts dynamics help us understand the difficulties to construct and to diffuse environmental justice. As the movement is much more political and social than scientific (due to the lack of access to real statistics), the traditional social movement repertoire that rested on effective symbolic framing is still effective in those cases. [...]

[...] Moreover, it could be surprising to discover that environmental justice movement face the same difficulties and use the same tools that whichever movement. We could have waiting for original forms of participation, insofar as environment is a new field empowered by sociology and social actors. However, it could have been intellectually useful to focus on environmental racism and how it leads to environmental concerns and social actions. II. Bringing into focus environmental inequalities: the concept of “peripheralisation”; Environmental racism could also be understood through the concept of “peripheralisation”. [...]

[...] LULUs tend to be located in those regions that are already physically remote in terms of “distance or accessibility from metropolitan centers”, economically and politically uncontrolled on the local level, but on the contrary, manipulated by a wider world. Moreover, those communities are already associated with polluting and risk creating industrial activities. Then, we observe an environmental racism that is triggered off by those characteristics. The consequence is that these marginal areas may bear a disproportionate share of the burden of environmental degradation or risk resulting from industrial processes. Furthermore, they depends on their neighbor regions that have the capacities to resist LULU’s. [...]

[...] Then, after having gathered themselves into a concrete action group (CTCAG), a prompt, respectful and unbiased hearing must be reached in order to raise their claims to the public scene. Media play a leading role in beaming conferences and marches. Democratic participation is also a step to solidarity: local movement could rely on national ones to become more visible, more influent. Pragmatism and moral are also involved in environmental justice frame. Finally, a right to compensation is demanded on behalf of justice. [...]

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Date de publication
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3 pages
grand public

Informations sur l'auteur Camille I. (étudiant)

Grand public
Etude suivie
Ecole, université
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