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Environmental Contamination, Empowerment and Stigma. Understanding the Social Impacts of Mercurialism in Idrija, Slovenia


Environmental Contamination, Empowerment and Stigma. Understanding the Social Impacts of Mercurialism in Idrija, Slovenia

Miller-Béland, Danielle (2020) Environmental Contamination, Empowerment and Stigma. Understanding the Social Impacts of Mercurialism in Idrija, Slovenia. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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The increase of anthropogenic activities is linked to a significant rise of large-scale environmental contaminations. As much as the environmental, the social and health impacts of these contaminations are raising serious concerns. Many studies, situated within the Environmental Racism or Environmental Justice paradigms, have demonstrated the long term negative social effects on communities’ social fabric. However, fewer studies have looked at how some communities were impressively successful in reducing these negative consequences and avoid the stigmatization and exclusion that plague other sites.
By focusing on the historical analysis of a small community built on the world’s second-biggest mercury mine, my M.A. underlines different social aspects of large-scale contamination and remediation. The town of Idrija, in Slovenia, has been recognized as one of the most naturally contaminated regions of the world. Combined with 500 years of large-scale mercury mining, this town initially suffered severe negative environmental and health effects. Although the mines closed relatively recently, in 1994, the town has experienced no harmful long-term social consequences from mercury mining, quite the opposite, being now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My M.A. aims to highlight some factors that influenced remediation in Idrija while ensuring this community’s sustainable development.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Miller-Béland, Danielle
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:April 2020
Thesis Supervisor(s):Warren, Jean-Philippe
ID Code:986735
Deposited On:26 Jun 2020 13:23
Last Modified:26 Jun 2020 13:23


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