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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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Photovoice in Five Coal-Mining Communities

Photovoice in Five Coal-Mining Communities

(p.147) 9 Photovoice in Five Coal-Mining Communities
Fighting King Coal

Shannon Elizabeth Bell

The MIT Press

Chapter 9 presents the story of what transpired in each of the five communities during the Photovoice project. It describes the significant events and micro-level interactions that took place during the Photovoice meetings and in the larger communities, providing an analysis of how those events and interactions influenced the likelihood that group members would publicly acknowledge their concerns about coal industry practices or become involved in environmental justice activism. This chapter provides important insight into the power dynamics in these small communities and the ways in which an “outsider stigma” can be applied to certain individuals–even local residents–as a way of discrediting their grievances about coal industry practices. This chapter also describes the way in which a number of the Photovoice participants who had expressed unhappiness with coal industry practices chose not to directly advocate for changes to the coal industry but instead decided to become involved in “non-contentious advocacy issues,” community problems–like poor road conditions or litter–that did not challenge the power structure but still gave these residents the satisfaction of taking action on behalf of their communities.

Keywords:   Photovoice, Micro-level interactions, Environmental justice activism, Coal industry, Power, Outsider stigma, Non-contentious advocacy issues, Taking action, Advocate

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