American Sociological Association

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  1. From Waste to Resources? Interrogating ‘Race to the Bottom’ in the Global Environmental Governance of the Hazardous Waste Trade

    The rise of global environmental governance regimes allegedly contradicts the process of an environmental “race to the bottom” (RTB) that results from capitalist globalization. We examine new developments in this area through a qualitative case study of the Basel Convention. Here, we find that new regulations in toxic wastes governance are in fact being co-created with industry actors and aim to accelerate the flow of toxic “resources” to less-developed countries.

  2. Equifinality and Pathways to Environmental Concern: A Fuzzy-Set Analysis

    Studying how people understand and develop concern for environmental problems is a key area of research within environmental sociology. Previous research shows that numerous social factors have measurable effects on environmental concern. However, results tend to be somewhat inconsistent across studies on this topic. One possible explanation for this is because these social factors are typically examined as independent from one another. However, these factors are interrelated in complex ways, as shown by research on the moderating effects of race and political ideology on education.
  3. The Commons: Separating Tragedy and Triumph at a City Park

    Littering in a city park is often considered a capricious act of neglect associated with simple carelessness. Using Ostrom's model, Governing the Commons, this research finds that littering is correlated with specific park activities. This article advances our understanding of the Commons and littering by considering the concept of “pollution,” as well as understanding patterns of litter for a communal city.

  4. Do Green Behaviors Earn Social Status?

    Do green behaviors earn social status among liberals and conservatives? Although evidence shows that high-status consumers incorporate ecological concerns into their consumption choices, politically polarized views on environmentalism in the United States complicate the relationship between green behaviors and status. A vignette experiment shows that across political ideology, people grant status to green consumption. Results from semistructured interviews suggest that green consumers are seen as wealthy, knowledgeable, and ethical, although these status beliefs vary with political ideology.
  5. Do China’s Environmental Gains at Home Fuel Forest Loss Abroad?: A Cross-National Analysis

    The theory and empirical research on ecologically unequal exchange serves as the starting point for this study. We expand the research frontier it in a novel way by applying the theory to China and empirically testing if forestry export flows from low-and middle-income nations to China  are related to increased forest loss in the exporting nations. In doing so, we analyze data for 75 low-and middle-income nations using ordinary least squares regression and find support for our main hypothesis.
  6. Environmental Justice and Public Beach Access

    Beaches are an important recreational setting due to their provision of ideal open spaces for diverse water‐ and land‐based recreation opportunities. Despite the importance of assessing the environmental justice of public beach access, few empirical studies have been conducted in community recreation. Using an environmental justice framework, this study examined whether inequities exist for certain racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups with respect to the distribution of public beach access in the Detroit Metropolitan Area.

  7. As Disaster Costs Rise, So Does Inequality

    Across the United States, communities are experiencing increases in the frequency and severity of natural hazards. The pervasiveness and upward trajectory of these damages are worrisome enough, but equally disconcerting are the social inequalities they can leave in their wake. To examine these inequalities, the authors linked county-level damage data to a random sample of American households. The authors visualize the pervasiveness of natural hazards as well as their influence on racial wealth gaps over time.

  8. Latino Destinations and Environmental Inequality: Estimated Cancer Risk from Air Toxics in Latino Traditional and New Destinations

    Since the 1990s, Latino migration patterns have shifted from traditional destinations to new destinations away from the Mexico border. Scholars note disparities between destinations in housing, crime, and health care, yet no study has examined environmental inequalities. In this article we employ theories of spatial assimilation and environmental inequality to evaluate health risks across Latino destinations by asking the question, is there a difference in estimated cancer risk from air toxics among established, new, and nondestination locations?
  9. Not in Your Backyard! Organizational Structure, Partisanship, and the Mobilization of Nonbeneficiary Constituents against “Fracking” in Illinois, 2013–2014

    In the interest of enlarging their constituencies, social movements often broaden mobilization efforts beyond the directly aggrieved, beneficiary populations. The authors examine this process through an analysis of a movement against unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD or “fracking”) in Illinois. Using data on more than 37,000 public comments submitted during a regulatory review of fracking, the authors examine the composition of the antifracking movement’s constituency.
  10. Evolving Perspectives on Coastal Resilience

    Evolving Perspectives on Coastal Resilience