Approaches to Difference in the US Environmental Movement: Classification Schemes, Hegemonic Definitions, and Singular Motivations
Attention to the environmental movement does not guarantee a sense of respect for its diversity, so this chapter is dedicated to a study of the limitations inherent in various approaches to the study of environmentalism(s) in the United States. The argument here is that many examiners are more interested in building explanatory models than in understanding the diversity of environmentalism; hence, many models are built on a foundation of exclusion. The chapter first takes a brief look at the limits of standard histories of the environmental movement. It goes on to critically examine the current state of the literature on the environmental movement by investigating methods of classification of variety, the attempt to forge an environmental vanguard (hegemonic progressivism), and the myriad claims to unlocking the motivations of environmental actors. All of these approaches are described as having a tendency to exclude evidence, examples, or categories that do not fit the proposed model.
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