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Growth vs. integrity : environmentalism and localism in a changing community : one citizen’s participatory glimpse

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Title: Growth vs. integrity : environmentalism and localism in a changing community : one citizen’s participatory glimpse
Author: Rudd, Jennifer Lynn
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Anthropology
Copyright Date: 1996
Subject Keywords Municipal government -- British Columbia -- White Rock; Environmental policy -- British Columbia -- White Rock
Abstract: This is a case study undertaken in White Rock, a postindustrial, oceanside town of 16,000 on Canada's southwest border. The participant-observation research was undertaken between 1989 and 1993 when the author was politically active in the community. Noting a challenge to an encrusted city council from a loosely affiliated group who soon became members or supporters of the "White Rock Residents' Association", the participant intervened to explore theories about the instability of post-industria1 society and the emancipatory power of new social movements. Believing that the environmentalist social movement could attract broad public appeal and was conducive to grassroots progressive politics, the participant utilized the power of environmental ideology by publically prioritizing environmental issues while seeking a council seat as a political newcomer in a town where local elections were often uncontested. Although unsuccessful and subject to countervailing gender politics, the author placed seventh on a ballot of 11 for six council positions, outperforming several long-term and influential residents of the community. Chapter One provides a brief, overview of the research project, with further methodological discussion in Appendix A. Chapter Two gives a comparative discussion of environmentalist and localist ideologies, suggesting how they pertain to the White Rock community. Chapter Three offers a profile of the community of White Rock as it undergoes certain changes while facing environmental problems. The final chapter considers changing political and power relations between local and senior governments as they respond to environmental regional problems. During the period of intervention, new political party provincial and federal governments were elected, and in White Rock a member of the White Rock Residents' Association became the city's provincial member of the legislative assembly, while an active Reform Party member became federal member of Parliament. As well, the Boundary Board of Health won a power battle with city council to eliminate swimming at White Rock's polluted west beach, demonstrating the newly won influence of the provincial government. In exploring and comparing environmentalist and localist politics, both the research and literature review indicate that environmentalist ideology and political practice can lead to a reformation of traditional localist politics, resulting in greater influence and prestige for environmental organizations.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/4698
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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