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Environmental Inequalities

The concepts of “environmental racism” and “environmental justice” arose from a specific struggle by a community of African-Americans resisting the siting of a hazardous waste landfill in their community. From its beginnings as an original fusion of environmental and black Civil Rights rhetorics, the concept of environmental racism has continued to grow, expand. It soon embraced the experience of other racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, Native Americans, latinos and others. Expanding the concept further, the “environmental inequalities” perspective came to encompass gender and class dimensions, as well. The concept can be expanded fruitfully in both space and time: Environmental inequalities exist not only in the United States; all over the world, social and environmental inequalities are inseparable facets of a single process. Environmental inequality pervades not only contemporary society; at its very origins, modern society was made possible by acts of combined social and environmental injustices. In…

Environmental Justice & Crime

This specialized course emphasizes the role of socially structured hierarchies in the study of the production, distribution, regulation, and criminalization of environmental harms. Course materials are divided into five sections. Section one readings scrutinize the meaning of environmental justice, environmental equality, and environmental equity. Second section readings examine the history of demographic based evidence of environmental injustice (i.e., toxic releases, treatment, storage, and disposal facilities, Superfund sites, etc). The examination of the distributional injustice literature will also emphasize contemporary research and explore important questions that still need to be addressed. Section three readings evaluate the history of the environmental justice movement and non-profit environmental justice organizations. The fourth section readings describe the emerging area of “green criminology” and its relationship to environmental justice. Finally, the course will conclude by briefly examining political economy explanations of environmental injustice, with a specific focus on production. Dr. Paul Stretesky University of Colorado Denver…

Environmental Justice 3

This course will introduce you to the Environmental Justice (EJ) movement: its guiding l¡beliefs and philosophies, practices, approaches, past accomplishments and future potential. Environmental justice seeks fail’’’’ treatment of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, economic capacity, national origin, and education level with respect to environmental politics and their implementations. We will seek to understand the societal, cultural, and institutional factors underlying environmental decision-making using local, national, and international case studies, EJ offers a framework for examining issues of human rights and ecological health in the contemporary world, making connections between race, ethnicity, poverty, power, access, and environmental problems. This class approaches EJ issues from an ântlìropological perspective; we focus on the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of people involved in EJ whose voices are not often heard in academic settings. Dr. Flora Lu University of California Santa Cruz Syllabus

Geographies of Environmental Justice

This course examines issues of environmental quality and social justice. It takes as axiomatic the premise that all people have a right to live in a clean environment free from hazardous pollution or contamination, and to the natural resources necessary to sustain health and livelihood. In some cases, these resources are air, soil or water. In other instances they may include healthy fisheries, forests, or land to farm or graze animals on. With this as our starting point, we will question why, and through what social, political and economic processes, some people are denied this basic right. How is it that certain groups of people do not have access to basic resources, or are systematically burdened with pollution or environmental hazards to a greater extent than other groups? What are the social relations of production and power that contribute to these outcomes? What can be done? We begin by examining…

Introduction to Environmental Anthropology

Introduction to human/environmental interactions from various anthropological perspectives. Intellectual history of anthropological approaches to environment, emphasizing the mutual interconnectedness of people and nature. Survey of evolutionary models, cultural ecology, systems approaches, indigenous knowledge, ethnoecology, nature and the state, political ecology, ecofeminism, environmentalism, and environmental justice. Dr. Devon G. Peña Washington University Syllabus

Introduction to Environmental Justice

This seminar will examine the interplay of race, socio-economic status, and interest group politics and the formulation and implementation of U.S. federal and state environmental policy. It will involve an interdisciplinary examination of some fundamental environmental problems faced by individuals and communities of color. In particular we will consider the proposition that people of color and socio-economically disadvantaged individuals, whether residing in urban or rural communities, bear a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution and its health consequences. Studies suggesting that people of color have environmental burdens imposed upon them unfairly due to over-siting of industrial plants and landfills in their communities and from exposures to pesticides and other toxic chemicals at home and on the job will be reviewed and analyzed. Consideration will be given to the viewpoint that there exists within the United States, as well as globally, a pattern of environmental inequity, injustice and racism. Furthermore, we will…

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