Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Do You See What I See? Advocates' and Authorities' Social Constructions of Air Pollution in California's San Joaquin Valley
by Garoupa White, Catherine, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2016, 170; 10165863
Abstract (Summary)

This research examines how clean air advocates and authorities at the regional air pollution control district conceptualize and communicate about air pollution and environmental injustice in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Philosophies of justice, framing, and social movement building strategies were analyzed through two case studies of campaigns that produced changes at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District aimed at advancing public health and environmental justice. Research methods included archival analysis, semi-structured interviews, and auto-ethnographic accounting of the researcher’s involvement in the campaigns.

Findings demonstrate that despite varying social constructions of the San Joaquin Valley’s air pollution problems by advocates and authorities in terms of philosophies of justice, framing, and some of the strategies promoted to create clean air, these two groups cited several examples of how these case studies have resulted in emissions reductions for impacted communities and advanced environmental justice. Both groups also critiqued the political economy of the Valley, demonstrating how deeply rooted and pervasive air pollution and environmental injustice are in the region. These shared critiques and successes reveal that although these groups and individuals have notably divergent approaches on many issues, common ground can still be found through creatively harnessed conflict and negotiation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: London, Jonathan K.
Commitee: Hardina, Donna, Sze, Julie
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Environmental Justice, Public policy
Keywords: Activist scholarship, Auto-ethnography, Environmental justice, Geography, San joaquin valley, Social movements
Publication Number: 10165863
ISBN: 9781369202397
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