Chapter One: Introduction

Introduction

 

         In this chapter, I discuss the main anthropological issue and provide a brief structure for how the issue will be examined. Next, I will introduce this project and the research questions that drove this project. I will proceed to give details about the specific case that was studied as a part of this research and that will include some of the background of the area, the demographics, and the history of the conflicts in the community. In addition, I will discuss the theoretical positions that are important to the understanding of this research. From there, I will discuss the gap in the scholarly literature this project will address and then summarize the remaining chapters in this thesis.

           

Main Anthropological Issues

 

Concerns of environmental injustice are inherently social issues yet are embedded in scientific assessments and these two facets are often not aligned. How that scientific, quantitative data is collected, communicated and understood in a governmentally generated risk assessment is often done ignoring the cultural context in which that knowledge has been obtained and is distributed while also neglecting the experiences of those impacted by the hazard (Lejano and Stokols 2010:108). Considering this inherent conflict of perspectives, this project addressed the anthropological issue of how stakeholders - including scientists, politicians, and residents - construct environmental health risk messages. Scientists included those that identified as environmental scientists in academia, public health, or consultants. Politicians are those elected to public office or are non-scientists that work for a governmental agency. Residents are those participants that reside in South Brooksville.

This was examined by looking at the following: