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Title: Environments of loss, disempowerment and distrust : Alutiiq stories of the aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill
Author: Connon, Irena Leisbet Ceridwen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 9285
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines Alutiiq stories of loss, disempowerment and distrust in the aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill crisis. It examines Alutiiq responses to the oil spill in relation to how, twenty-five years earlier, members of the same communities experienced the impacts of an earthquake crisis. The thesis describes how the 1989 oil spill crisis was associated with experiences of loss of cultural livelihoods, loss of cultural identities, environmental distrust, enhanced distrust of governments, and experiences of disempowerment, while, in contrast, responses to the earthquake were characterised by resilience and adaptability. Using evidence derived from discussions, interviews and participation in community life, as part of 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in two Alutiiq communities between September 2006 and September 2008, I argue that differences in Alutiiq responses to the two crises can be partly attributed to socio-political factors that characterised the aftermath of each of the disasters, in addition to the absence of culturally-specific knowledge and experientially-based adaptive strategies in the aftermath of the oil spill. Unlike earlier anthropological studies of the oil spill, this study compares Alutiiq responses to the oil spill with their responses to the earthquake crisis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland ; University of Aberdeen ; Forskningsradet Research Council of Norway
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Indigenous peoples ; Subsistence economy ; Oil spills