Voices of Sacrifice Zones: Oral History and Community-Engaged Research in Two Arizona Superfund Sites
AuthorMoreno Ramírez, Denise
AdvisorMaier, Raina M.
Ramírez-Andreotta, Mónica D.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractHow do people experience hazardous contamination? This dissertation research seeks to determine how individuals confronted with pollution deal with it through knowledge making, lived experiences, and government interventions. The project focuses on Tucson and Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, both towns that are developed around contaminating industries and are now considered sacrifice zones. Medical anthropology, environmental sciences, and oral history are combined to study the narrations of people living and working in these spaces from 2016 until 2019. I found that oral histories collected from individuals contain environmental observations that can supplement missing scientific data about the Superfund site or health outcomes. Specifically, I delineate the method of community-engaged oral history, that was applied in this project, and is a means for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to improve the tools at the disposable of community involvement personnel. I show the specific environmental observations that lead to boundary making around knowledge production and government interventions. To improve the qualitative tools available to environmental oral historian, I provide analytic lenses that are applied to read deeper into these narrations. The lenes of social heteroglossia and critical race theory offer new ways of approaching individuals such as knowledge brokers that function in these spaces and counter-stories that emerge and point to systematic inequalities that in the popular history. This project advances understandings in environmental racism, sacrifice zones, Superfund sites, risk perception, knowledge brokers, oral history, and ecogovernmentality. I am interested in: 1) how expert and non-expert knowledge production is negotiated in these spaces; 2) how oral history can preserve the stories of sacrifice zones and much more, and 3) how government interventions can improve by applying novel participatory oral history methodologies.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water & Environmental Science