The purpose of this study is to gain insight into the personal and ideological motivations behind activists becoming involved in the campaign against hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a natural gas drilling process that has been linked to ground water contamination, wellhead explosions, and toxic air emissions to name a few. It has become environmental justice issue, as it is perceived by many citizens as having adverse effects on the people and communities where drill sites have been placed. Through the methods of participant observation, in-depth interviews, and surveys this study aims to understand and learn about the reasons that activists are taking a stance of opposition. Some areas of motivation that will be explored during the study include external (demographic) factors and internal factors (i.e. values). The study will also identify barriers that may prevent individuals from engaging in responsible environmental behavior. Furthermore, as hydraulic fracking is an environmental justice issue, this study will serve as a model to explain trends of activist motivations for participating in other environmental justice campaigns within the United States.


Adams, Abigail


Sociology and Anthropology


Other Sociology | Place and Environment


hydraulic fracturing, environmental justice, activism, motivations, pro-environmental action

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2013 Emma Gates Kornhauser