Dissertation Research: Race, Class, and Human Ecological Factors in the Spatial Distribution of Manufacturing Emissions

  • Lee, Barrett Alan (PI)
  • Leicht, Kevin T. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


9623747 Leicht A growing number of social movements, government officials, and the media have claimed that disadvantaged communities are disproportionately exposed to environmental pollution, yet there has been little empirical research examining this claim or its importance for social stratification. This research combines data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 1990 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) with Census data to examine the relationship between the racial and economic composition of places and toxic air releases from manufacturing. This project will compare results from a nationwide, county-level analysis with census tract level analysis of selected communities that have unusually high levels of manufacturing pollution. The project will use Geographic Information Systems technology and spatial analysis techniques to model the dispersion of toxic releases in a more sophisticated manner than used in most studies of environmental justice and stratification. This research will contribute significantly to the sociological understanding of how pollution from manufacturing is distributed across social groups by (1) shedding light on debates about the appropriate geographic units of analysis for environmental justice research; (2) improving estimates of levels of toxic air pollution by using GIS technology, and; (3) exploiting the spatial nature of geographic data by testing observed relationships for the presence of spatial autocorrelation. ****

Effective start/end date8/1/966/30/98


  • National Science Foundation: $6,905.00


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