A drill by any other name: social representations, framing, and legacies of natural resource extraction in the fracking industry

Dylan Bugden, Darrick Evensen, Richard Stedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

How do people interpret ambiguous and uncertain events? This study explores this question in the context of unconventional oil and gas development, or ?fracking?, with implications for natural resource extraction generally. Drawing on the theories of social representations and framing, we test the hypothesis that legacies of natural resource extraction--conceptualized here as collective schemata of interpretation--shape perceptions and actions toward new forms of energy development. Based on an analysis of survey data from the ?Twin Tiers? regions of New York and Pennsylvania (n=590), we find that negatively perceived legacies of past resource dependence, net of other factors, lead to opposition and political behaviors related to unconventional oil and gas development. Our findings suggest that regional legacies of natural resource extraction act as a sense making tool, working to translate the ambiguous, novel phenomenon of unconventional oil and gas development into something understandable in light of past experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Volume29
Early online date19 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Fracking
  • Shale gas
  • Public perceptions
  • Framing

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