Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Abstract

In response to the polluted condition of the Androscoggin River, an active debate emerged in the Lewiston-Auburn media between a local citizens’ group, called the Citizens for Conservation and Pollution Control (CCPC), and Maine industry leaders, organized as the Associated Industries of Maine (AIM), throughout the 1950s. This thesis examines how both the conservation movement and the pro-industry movement utilized identity-framing strategies in an attempt to expand their collective identity among the Lewiston public. This thesis engages statements made by both organizations in a qualitative content analysis in which data are coded to reveal each argument’s essence and consequently uncover each group’s central themes in the debate. Data have been collected from archives, legislative records, published pamphlets, interviews, and newspapers. Results of themes illustrate the applicability of each organization’s collective-action frames to the Lewiston-Auburn community, which including a large working-class population comprised of French Canadian immigrants and their descendants. In particular, this study explores the contrast between the social classes of Lewiston’s general population to the leaders of the two movements and how this difference affects framing-strategies. In addition, the study will consider how Lewiston’s location on the Androscoggin River leads to a conflict of perceptions as both a “mill town” and a place worthy of environmental protection. By exploring collective identity framing strategies through these two lenses—place-based identity and class-based identity—and telling an environmental history with an emphasis on social history’s classic themes of class and ethnicity, this thesis seeks to contribute to bridging the gap that tends to exist between social and environmental history.

First Advisor

Sonja Pieck

Date of Graduation

5-2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages

156

Share

COinS