Environmentalism in Popular Culture
Gender, Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of the Natural
Although there are other books that examine questions of culture and environment, this is the first book to employ a global feminist environmental justice analysis to focus on how racial inequality, gendered patterns of work, and heteronormative ideas about the family relate to environmental questions. Beginning in the late 1980s and moving to the present day, Sturgeon unpacks a variety of cultural tropes, including ideas about Mother Nature, the purity of the natural, and the allegedly close relationships of indigenous people with the natural world. She investigates the persistence of the “myth of the frontier” and its extension to the frontier of space exploration. She ponders the popularity (and occasional controversy) of penguins (and penguin family values) and questions assumptions about human warfare as “natural.”
The book is intended to provoke debates—among college students and graduate students, among their professors, among environmental activists, and among all citizens who are concerned with issues of environmental quality and social equality.
“If environmentalists—and by this I mean all of us who live on the planet and rely upon nature for our very survival—can take these criticisms to heart and try to imagine a more sustainable social and ecological future, then this book’s seemingly grim assessments will have paid off.”—Scott Slovic, author of Going Away to Think: Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility