This study explored the long term impact of white collar environmental crime, i.e., illegal disposal of toxins by ALCOA and GM foundry, on Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. Specifically this study focused on whether toxic contamination was perceived by Akwesasne residents as a chronic stressor, and how residents appraised and coped with the long term consequences of contamination. Data were collected from retrospective interviews using a non random targeted snow ball method. Lazarus's theory of stress and emotion was used to analyze the responses of 47 residents of Akwesasne about environmental contamination. Respondents who were aware of the contamination appraised it as a harmful threat. The respondents expressed negative emotions when speaking of the contamination. The contamination and the related threats to the environment had an impact on both the residents‘ health and the Nation's economic base of agriculture/fishing. Over time, reappraisals by the respondents of the threats posed by contamination have become focused on the negative repercussions on health, cultural knowledge, and the economy (i.e., urbanization and monetary pursuits). In response to the threat posed by the contamination, respondents described changing their lifestyle, cultural practices, and economy. Reappraisals of what could be done discussed by the respondents focused on the residents' concerns about cultural revival, moving, or acceptance of conditions. The respondents spoke of using hope based on the Mohawks' cultural tradition of looking ahead seven generations as a way of coping.
Contamination of Akwesasne has produced long term adaptational outcomes. Social/work functioning was affected by the changing economic base from agriculture/fishing to capitalism. Chronic stress and post traumatic stress-like symptoms were described by the respondents in what can be interpreted as somatic reactions. Based on comments of fearing the worst but looking forward for future change, I assessed the morale of the respondents at medium level. In the aftermath of the formal acknowledgement of the presence of toxic contamination of their territory19 years ago, the residents of Akwesasne continue to deal with the negative long term consequences of this diluted disaster.
|Advisor:||Bailey, Frankie Y.|
|Commitee:||Duffee, David, Grinde, Donald, Johansen, Bruce, Toch, Hans|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/05, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, Chronic stress, Cognitive appraisals, Contamination, Lazarus, Mohawk|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be