Working on Earth: Class and Environmental Justice (Paperback)
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This collection of essays examines the relationship between environmental injustice and the exploitation of working-class people. Twelve scholars from the fields of environmental humanities and the humanistic social sciences explore connections between the current and unprecedented rise of environmental degradation, economic inequality, and widespread social injustice in the United States and Canada.
The authors challenge prevailing cultural narratives that separate ecological and human health from the impacts of modern industrial capitalism. Essay themes range from how human survival is linked to nature to how the use and abuse of nature benefit the wealthy elite at the expense of working-class people and the working poor as well as how climate change will affect cultures deeply rooted in the land.
Ultimately, Working on Earth calls for a working-class ecology as an integral part of achieving just and sustainable human development.
About the Author
Christina Robertson earned her PhD in literature and the environment at the University of Nevada, Reno. She teaches environmental literature, ethnic studies, and composition.
Jennifer Westerman is assistant professor of sustainable development at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She specializes in environmental literature, working-class studies, and environmental justice.
“Working on Earth is a significant contribution to the literature on class, labor, personal history, and environmentalism. Indeed, it is one of the first volumes of its kind to explain the ways in which class and the environment are powerfully, and sometimes tragically, entwined.” —Kathleen Newman, Associate Professor of English and cultural studies, Carnegie Mellon University, and blogger for the Center for Working Class Studies
"[Working on Earth] is useful for scholars and students who wish to encounter a wide variety of stories, history, and argument about working-class relationship to nature so often and easily overlooked or suppressed in the board sweep of environmental studies . . ."—Western American Literature
“Working on Earth is essential reading for anyone interested in environmental justice, political ecology, sustainability studies, and labor studies, and its narrative essays would be perfect to use, collectively or individually, in undergraduate and graduate courses.” —Utah Historical Quarterly