Masters Thesis

Birth control, borders and the bomb: an intersectional feminist genealogy of Sierra Club population discourse

Population discourse has been woven throughout the Sierra Club rhetoric and evolved into an internal, yet public debate over the Sierra’s Club’s immigration policy. This debate generated moments that reproduce systems of power as well as spurred anti-immigration environmentalism. This research is an intersectional feminist genealogy of population discourse that reveals how rhetoric and representation get articulated through the Sierra Club. This genealogy is informed through the investigation of public artifacts generated from the Sierra Club. Rigorous content analysis of this discourse brings attention to an ideology that objectifies and seeks to control bodies of color, particularly women. By focusing on fertility and the ‘other,’ the actual detrimental root causes of ecological degradation goes missing. This thesis is an attempt to provide a moment of resistance in a dominant discourse that maintains and reproduces racism and sexism, as well as other forms of oppression, within United States environmentalism.

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