This study researches the tactics and rhetoric used by oil and gas companies and pro-fracking organizations to promote the industry in the face of well-publicized anti-fracking discourse. There have been a small number of studies on the effects of fracking in communities which have emphasized both the advantages and threats to having the industry in your backyard, however there has been little mention of the actual discourse or tactics used by either side, in particular the supporters of the industry, in order to combat concern over potential risks. Interviewing employees of pro-fracking organizations, as well as performing content analysis of oil and gas company websites completed the study, and the data was analyzed using the theoretical frameworks provided by Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society and Karl Marx’s The Commodity. This study argues that pro-fracking discourse involves maintaining that the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to fracking and arguments made correspond with both theoretical frameworks provided. They coincide with Beck’s theory by exemplifying how the producers of risk and average citizens contribute and respond to the modern risk society, and coincide with Marx by making a natural resource a commodity and promoting a financial relationship between the companies and community members.


Matsuzawa, Setsuko


Sociology and Anthropology


Place and Environment | Rural Sociology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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