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Fighting King CoalThe Challenges to Micromobilization in Central Appalachia$
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Shannon Elizabeth Bell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034340

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034340.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Identity and Participation in the Environmental Justice Movement1

Identity and Participation in the Environmental Justice Movement1

(p.75) 4 Identity and Participation in the Environmental Justice Movement1
Fighting King Coal

Yvonne A. Braun

The MIT Press

Chapter 4 examines the second micro-level factor influencing social movement participation: identity. Of the small proportion of local citizens who are involved in the coalfield environmental justice movement, an even smaller proportion are men. This chapter presents an interview study conducted with local environmental justice activists to examine the reasons for local men’s low levels of involvement in the movement relative to women. The analysis of the data suggests that the differing rates of environmental justice activism among women and men may be related to how readily their gendered identities are able to align with the collective identity of the coalfield movement. The findings suggest that, despite the tremendous declines in coal employment in Central Appalachia over the past sixty years, the hegemonic masculinity of the region is still closely tied with coal production. This coal-related masculine identity creates a barrier to local men’s ability to achieve what Snow and McAdam (2000) call “identity correspondence” with the collective identity of the environmental justice movement, in effect removing a major segment of potential social-movement participants from the pool of potential recruits.

Keywords:   Men, Hegemonic masculinity, Interviews, Activists, Environmental justice movement, Identity correspondence, Collective identity, Central Appalachia, Gendered identities, Gender

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