Book ID: CBB411809870

Fighting King Coal: The Challenges to Micromobilization in Central Appalachia (2016)


Bell, Shannon Elizabeth (Author)

The MIT Press

Publication Date: 2016
Physical Details: 344
Language: English

An examination of why so few people suffering from environmental hazards and pollution choose to participate in environmental justice movements. In the coal-mining region of Central Appalachia, mountaintop-removal mining and coal-industry-related flooding, water contamination, and illness have led to the emergence of a grassroots, women-driven environmental justice movement. But the number of local activists is small relative to the affected population, and recruiting movement participants from within the region is an ongoing challenge. In Fighting King Coal, Shannon Elizabeth Bell examines an understudied puzzle within social movement theory: why so few of the many people who suffer from industry-produced environmental hazards and pollution rise up to participate in social movements aimed at bringing about social justice and industry accountability. Using the coal-mining region of Central Appalachia as a case study, Bell investigates the challenges of micromobilization through in-depth interviews, participant observation, content analysis, geospatial viewshed analysis, and an eight-month “Photovoice” project―an innovative means of studying, in real time, the social dynamics affecting activist involvement in the region. Although the Photovoice participants took striking photographs and wrote movingly about the environmental destruction caused by coal production, only a few became activists. Bell reveals the importance of local identities to the success or failure of local recruitment efforts in social movement struggles, ultimately arguing that, if the local identities of environmental justice movements are lost, the movements may also lose their power.

Reviewed By

Review Ryan Driskell Tate (2018) Review of "Fighting King Coal: The Challenges to Micromobilization in Central Appalachia". Environmental History (pp. 199-201). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Kristina Lyons
Myers, Samuel
Tironi, Manuel
Fiske, Amelia
John C. Inscoe
Conohar Scott
Environmental History
Social Studies of Science
Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society
Environment and History
University of Washington Press
Oxford University Press
Utah State University Press
University Press of Colorado
University of West Virginia Press
The MIT Press
Political activists and activism
Environmental degradation
Environmental justice
Science and politics
Carson, Rachel Louise
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
19th century
United States
Appalachian region (North America)
Love Canal
West Virginia (U.S.)
Friends of the Earth
Tennessee Valley Authority
University of Pennsylvania

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