• Of Information Highways and Toxic Byways: Women and Environmental Protest in a Northern Mexican City

      O'Leary, Anna Ochoa; Pima Community College, Department of Social and Cultural Studies (University of Arizona, Mexican American Studies and Research Center, 2002)
      Women’s involvement in collective struggles for environmental quality has surged in recent years, as has research focusing on this phenomenon. Consistent with this research, a feminist lens is useful in revealing a model of community struggle that features women’s activities and strategies to expose environmental insult. I use a case study of community protest in Hermosillo, a city in the Mexican state of Sonora, to feature social networks as a means of politicizing the placement of a toxic waste dump six kilometers outside the city. A feminist perspective reveals these social networks to be more than a way to mobilize resources. It allow us to see the ways in which gender interacts with globalized relations of power, political ecology, and environmental policy, and to validate a creative way in which women can out-maneuver the gendered constraints to political participation. An analysis of how social networks served in this particular struggle suggests that they are an important component in the process through which women gained voice and authored oppositional discourse in contexts where these have been previously denied, and ultimately deconstructed the political authority that sanctioned the dump.