Contaminated Communities

Coping With Residential Toxic Exposure, Second Edition


Michael R Edelstein

Second Edition • August 1, 2003 • 352 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813336473 • $52.00 USD$47.50 CAN

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In this wholly revised Second Edition, Michael Edelstein draws on his thirty years as a community activist to provide a much-expanded theoretical foundation for understanding the psychosocial impacts of toxic contamination. Informed by social psychological theory and an extensive survey of documented cases of toxic exposure, and enlivened by excerpts drawn from more than a thousand interviews with victims, Contaminated Communities presents a candid portrayal of the toxic victim’s experience and the key stages in the course of toxic disaster. The Second Edition introduces dozens of new cases and provides expanded considerations of environmental justice, environmental racism, environmental turbulence, and environmental stigma, as well as a fully articulated theory of lifescape. The new edition moves past the well-charted role of reactive environmentalism to explore issues for a proactivist approach that employs a third path of social learning, sustainable innovation, consensus building, and community empowerment.

Michael Edelstein is professor of Environmental Psychology at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where until recently, he convened the Environmental Studies major. Since 1979, he has conducted a continuous program of research on the psycho-social impacts of environmental contamination. He is the co-author of Radon’s Deadly Daughters, as well as co-editor of Radon and the Environment. Dr. Edelstein’s research has also involved the impacts of environmental change on indigenous peoples and the practice of environmental impact assessment. In recent years, he has become involved in environmental exchanges with Russia, serving as a project director for two grants from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

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