ERIC Number: EJ784270
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 37
Contested Environmental Hazards and Community Conflict over Relocation
Shriver, Thomas E.; Kennedy, Dennis K.
Rural Sociology, v70 n4 p491-513 2005
The majority of the literature on contaminated communities indicates that environmental hazards lead to conflict and dissension. In this paper we examine the salient dimensions of conflict and factionalism in a rural Oklahoma community. The community is heavily contaminated from 80 years of commercial mining operations and was one of the first sites designated on the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund List in 1983. Despite two decades of remediation efforts, the community remains polluted with lead and other heavy metals. Based on in-depth interviews with community residents, observation, and document analysis, we find that the community has splintered into two competing groups over the environmental controversy. One faction of the community supports a federally sponsored relocation campaign, while the other has organized to oppose relocation. The results of our study indicate that the contentious split is centered around the ambiguity of harm associated with the contamination, conflicting economic concerns, and variations in community attachment.
Descriptors: Community Characteristics, Physical Environment, Hazardous Materials, Conflict, Citizen Participation, Environmental Standards, Environmental Influences, Pollution, Relocation, Rural Environment, Political Issues, Social Problems, Interviews, Mining, Health Conditions
Rural Sociological Society. 104 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-7040. Tel: 573-882-9065; Fax: 573-882-1473; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.ruralsociology.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma