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Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care$
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Jane Banaszak-Holl, Sandra Levitsky, and Mayer Zald

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388299.001.0001

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Shadow Mobilization for Environmental Health and Justice *

Shadow Mobilization for Environmental Health and Justice *

(p.171) 11 Shadow Mobilization for Environmental Health and Justice*
Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care

Scott Frickel

Oxford University Press

Frickel describes how professionalization in environmental health and justice (EHJ) has been occurring under the radar through “shadow mobilizations”—semi‐formal networks of health scientists and medical professionals that flexibly intersect with activists. Using data from thirty‐two in‐depth interviews with scientists, medical professionals, and EHJ organizers, this paper defines and develops the concept of shadow mobilization as an alternative route to movement professionalization. Movements for environmental health and justice are commonly described as grassroots phenomena but are different from more mainstream environmental and health movements, in which professional advocacy has centered in large organizations staffed by legal, scientific, and public health experts. The paper considers the role that invisibility, secrecy, and temporality play in the formation of loosely coupled networks of expert activists. These networks span knowledge institutions and sectors (university, state, and industry) as well as the cultural and class divisions ostensibly separating experts and at‐risk communities.

Keywords:   environmental health and justice, environmental movement, resource mobilization, professional role, social networks, social movements

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