NASW Research Library: Environmental Justice

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Below you'll see just a sampling of resources you’ll find in the Research Library on the topic of environmental justice. 

NASW members have unlimited access to more than 25 international databases with thousands of documents from leading research institutions, think tanks and advocacy groups.


Emotional impacts of environmental decline: What can Native cosmologies teach sociology about emotions and environmental justice

Authors: Norgaard, Kari; Reed, Ron
Source: Theory & Society, December 2017
This article extends analyses of environmental influences on social action by examining the emotions experienced by Karuk Tribal members in the face of environmental decline. Grief, anger, shame, and hopelessness associated with environmental decline serve as signal functions confirming structures of power. Taking seriously the experiences of Native people and the importance of the natural environment offers an opportunity to extend sociological analyses of power and to move sociology toward a more decolonized discipline.


Reparative justice, environmental crime and penalties for the powerful

Author: Rob White
Source: Crime, Law & Social Change, March 2017
Environmental harms are frequently part and parcel of ordinary commercial practice. Powerful social interests not only perpetuate great harms, they also obscure and mask the nature of the harm production. Unless substantial penalties are put into play, there is little deterrent. This paper proposes that reparative justice, with an emphasis on repairing harm within a generally more punitive context, would be more appropriate and effective.


Brownfields to Greenfields: Environmental Justice Versus Environmental Gentrification

Authors: Juliana A. Maantay, Andrew R. Maroko
Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol 15, Iss 10 (2018)
Gentrification is a growing concern in many urban areas, due to the potential for displacement of lower-income and other vulnerable populations. This process can be accelerated when neighborhood “greening” projects are undertaken via governmental or private investor efforts, resulting in a phenomenon termed environmental or “green” gentrification. Vacant land in lower-income areas is often improved by the existing community through the creation of community gardens, but this contributes to these greening efforts and paradoxically may spur gentrification and subsequent displacement of the gardens’ stewards and neighbors. “Is proximity to community gardens in less affluent neighborhoods associated with an increased likelihood of gentrification?”


Challenging Race-Based Environmental Conflicts

Authors: DeMond Shondell Miller, John Thomas Mills
Source: Peace Review, Oct-Dec 2016
This paper examines the role of environmental justice movements in accelerating changes in social policies, as well as the development of social justice. It also examines whether potential of environmental justice can address environmental degradation and racial discrimination against communities of color.


The Environmental Cost of Inequality

Author: James K. Boyce
Source: Scientific American, November 2018
The article discusses the relation of economic inequality in the U.S. on the impact of environmental degradation on poor people. Topics include research on the relation between social power and environmental degradation, the relation of political power to economic resources, and the impact of environmental injustice on the health of children.


Advancing Global Environmental Justice through Environmental Networks

Author: Zerrin Savaşan
Source: Acta Universitatis Danubius: Relationes Internationales, Vol. 10, Issue 2
This article aims at studying on the global environmental justice paradigm arising as a new priority subject in the field of environmental studies. It focuses on environmental networks and their impact on advancing environmental justice, and scrutinizes the relationship between environmental justice and networks.



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Social Justice Priorities

NASW has chosen to focus on five social justice priorities for 2018-2019.

Learn about our social justice priorities