Environmental racism in the sunbelt? A cross-cultural analysis

Jeanne Nienaber Clarke, Andrea K. Gerlak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Sociologist Robert Bullard challenged the prevailing paradigm of environmentalism as a consensual issue in the United States by developing the concept of environmental racism. As he claims, ethnic minorities have been put 'at greater environmental risk' than has the Caucasian majority in most areas of the country. This study of the Tucson metropolitan area examines this proposition by utilizing data from several sources: interviews with elected officials and other opinion leaders, GIS-generated socioeconomic data, articles in the press, and a literature review. We conclude that Bullard's concept has validity for this metropolitan area but that there also exist widely divergent differences of opinion on the subject. We explain why this is so. We further conclude that the allegation of 'environmental racism' made by the Hispanic community in the 1980s and 1990s has had a transformative effect on local politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-867
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • County government
  • Environment
  • Equity
  • Garbage dumps
  • Justice
  • Pollution
  • Racism
  • Tucson

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution


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