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GEOG 39.01 - Environmental Justice

This is a course guide for GEOG 39.01.

Course description for Environmental Justice

Around the world, people suffer because of environmental degradation, from sickening industrial pollution to unnatural disasters to disruptive climate change. This course examines how environmental harms are unequally experienced, as well as how communities organize to protect themselves. We will discuss the concept of “environmental justice” as it has developed through social movements in the United States and elsewhere. We will also explore it as an analytical category that (a) explains how inequality manifests environmentally and (b) enables critical thinking about concepts like the “environment” and mainstream environmentalism and environmental policy. Drawing from Anthropology, Geography, History, Sociology, and other disciplines, we will focus on the lived experiences of environment justice and injustice around the world.

[Source: ORC/Catalog, 09/26/2023]; Dist: SOC


The beliefs and practices associated with concern for the environment, particularly for the negative impacts of human activity on nature. Environmentalism covers a very broad range of ideas and actions, although they share the proposition that the environment is something apart from society and under threat from it. A helpful distinction was made by Tim O’ Riordan in Environmentalism (1976). He noted two polar types of environmentalism: technocentrism and ecocentrism. ...

Castree, N., Kitchin, R., & Rogers, A. (2013). "Environmentalism." In A Dictionary of Human Geography. Oxford University Press,. Retrieved 20 Jan. 2022

Environmental justice

A political claim that all people and communities have a right to safe, clean, and healthy environments. The environmental justice movement is closely bound up with campaigns against ‘environmental racism’, which challenges the unjust distribution of environmental harms along lines of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity.

Rogers, A., Castree, N., & Kitchin, R. (2013). "Environmental justice." In A Dictionary of Human Geography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 Jan. 2022

In the Library's collections

You can use one of these subject headings to start your research in the library's online catalog:

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book title(s)

Other library resource(s)

Films on environmental justice

Find more films on environmental justice in the library's online catalog.

Finding scholarly articles & journal title(s)

Our collection includes at least one journal which looks at Environmental Justice exclusively. A link is provided below. Because environmental justice can be very interdisciplinary, it might be easier to start your search with Academic Search Complete or Web of Science to find relevant articles.

Internet resource(s)

Citing and Tracking Your Bibliographic References

Use this guide to help you learn how to correctly cite and keep track of the references you find for your research.

Keeping up with Geography journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for all facets of Geography? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's, you can download and read the articles you want from the journals for which we have subscriptions.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's also available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.