Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Chair

James Kauffman

Committee Chair Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 2

Amy Miller

Committee Member 2 Department

Anthropology and Sociology

Committee Member 3

James Flanagan

Committee Member 3 Department

Anthropology and Sociology


Environmental justice literature challenges the disparity and oppression regarding the quality of life associated with residential environments among communities of color. Recent disasters, such as hurricane Katrina, the Tennessee coal sludge disaster (December 2008), and the BP Oil Spill (2010) have garnered visibility for environmental issues, particularly in the south. Nevertheless, the topic has largely been ignored in Mississippi among academia, many advocacy groups, and at the state level despite the emergence of several community based grassroots environmental groups throughout Mississippi in recent years. From Columbia, to Crystal Springs, to Hattiesburg, a coalition of environmental groups is forming with Hattiesburg at the center of the emergent movement. The success and longevity of the Forrest County Environmental Support team, in particular, led me to ask the following question: In terms of grassroots environmentalism, what techniques and strategies do community based groups in Hattiesburg use to mobilize and sustain collective action? This thesis provides a qualitative, applied ethnographic study carried out using a multi-theoretical approach informed by political ecology and frame analysis in order to explore grassroots environmentalism in south Mississippi.

Included in

Sociology Commons