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Gender and Environmental Justice in Louisiana: Blurring the boundaries of public and private spheres

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Abstract:

Many scholars have examined the implications and effects of a putative dichotomy between public-as-masculine and private-as-feminine spheres on community activism, and suggest that women's community activism blurs this ideological divide in numerous ways. This article draws on a case study of a siting conflict in St. James Parish, Louisiana, to examine how, in the process of blurring boundaries between gendered spheres of interest and activity, predominantly women environmental justice activists contended with differently gendered contexts. Concepts of performance and performativity shed light on how gendered hierarchies of public and private sphere activism both constrained and enabled the protest group's political practice.

Keywords: Gender; activism; environmental justice; performance; performativity

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09663690701439710

Affiliations: University of Georgia, Athens, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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