GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 149-8
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


GREINER, Patrick, Department of Sociology; Department of Public Policy Studies, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37212 and MCGEE, Julius Alexander, Department of Sociology, University of Oregon, 1304 Tremont St, Nashville, TN 37212

Recent years have been characterized by a notable increase in both the regularity and intensity of social and ecological crises such as wildfires, civil unrest, hurricanes, racialized violence, and floods–– among others. The dynamic organization of social relationships and built environments has unfolded such that these are more than passing events, but productive of social and economic disasters that range from the seemingly extraordinary, to those that might strike one as everyday and mundane. The relationship between the dynamics that underlying climatological events, typical patterns of social and economic organization, and the historical actions of powerful public and private institutions has led many to extend the concepts of environmental justice –– the disproportionate distribution of socio-ecological hazards–– to climatological geographies and temporalities. The result is a burgeoning field of study concerned with climate justice–– the distribution of the socio-ecological hazards that are productive of and produced by climate change. Here we argue 1) that the study and pursuit of climate and social justice would benefit immensely from an understanding of how racial violence and ecological disruption come together to produce necro-ecologies –– and 2) that the use of these concepts elucidates the ties between climate change, contemporary struggles for racial justice, and the historical development of social and economic relations through colonization and enslavement.