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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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Becoming, and Un-Becoming, an Activist

Becoming, and Un-Becoming, an Activist

(p.231) 10 Becoming, and Un-Becoming, an Activist
Fighting King Coal

Shannon Elizabeth Bell

The MIT Press

There were five non-activist Photovoice participants who, during the course of the Photovoice project, became involved with the environmental justice movement. Chapter 10 reveals the events and interactions that led to these women’s participation in the movement, and, in the cases of three of the five women, how their personal networks, coupled with the changing collective identity of the movement, eventually caused their disassociation from the environmental justice organizations with which they had aligned themselves during the project. This chapter reveals how the influx of non-locals into the movement, the involvement of celebrities, and the high-profile protest tactics they used prompted these women and others in their community to feel a disconnect between their own personal identities and the collective identity of the social movement (i.e. a lack of “identity correspondence”). This chapter reveals how, despite the local origins of the movement and the fact that local residents are still at the center of the struggle, there is a perception among many in the coalfields that the environmental justice movement is a movement of outsiders. This chapter argues that this perception may have damaging consequences for environmental justice groups’ ability to recruit new local participants into the movement.

Keywords:   Photovoice, Environmental justice movement, Networks, Collective identity, Celebrities, Social movement, Identity correspondence, Outsiders, Activist, Coalfields

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