Discourses of Race & Racism Within Environmental Justice Studies: An Eco-racial Intervention

Perlita R. Dicochea

Abstract


The social force of racism in relation to natural resources plays a prominent role in the development of environmental justice (EJ) studies within the United States. I contend that the dominant paradigm of environmental racism (ER) may encourage superficial applications of race and racism and colorblind approaches to EJ. I argue that race and racism are at times essentialized, which has in part to do with essentialized notions of the environment. The goal of this eco-racial intervention is to encourage more explicit engagement with the dynamic ways that society creates meaning around and makes use of race and natural resources in relation to each other, processes that may include and operate beyond conventional and critical approaches to ER. Spirited by critical ER and racial formation theory, I propose the construct ‘eco-racial justice project’ as part of an alternative framework for evaluating racialization within efforts to achieve environmental justice.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7227/ERCT.3.2.2

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Copyright (c) 2012 Perlita R. Dicochea