On Working Class Environmentalism Summary

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The journal article that the reviewer will discuss is entitled “On Working-Class Environmentalism: A Historical and Transnational Overview”. This journal was written by Stefania Barca, a senior researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. The journal was published in November 2012 which the major discussion was basically about social movements, notably social movements which are affected by environmental and ecological problems.
Barca’s journal was discussing about problems and issues in the aspect of labor/workers and environmentalism which arose due to the emergence of economic growth and industrialization of the nature, mostly
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In the journal, she mentioned about social theory of Social Costs (Kapp: 1950). The theory was basically focusing on human and environmental health: damage to workers’ health, air and water pollution, depletion of animals, depletion of energy resources, soil erosion, and deforestation . The theory of Social Costs was also discussing about how capitalistic system has contributed the environmental degradation. The massive industrialization in the search for more capital and profit in some countries has indeed affected the environment, as it polluted the water, air, and soil by its waste. Fred Magdoff mentioned that the other aspect – beside economy - which will be affected by a relentless pursuit of profits in the capitalism is the environment .
Beside Social Costs theory, there was also mentioned in the journal, the eco-Marxist theory which emphasize on Political Ecology. The eco-Marxist theory set out the relationship between work and environment. The coalition of social movement in that theory is possible and is one of the forms of struggle at the political level. The theory were used by the author as it could explain the relation of the journal with three connected aspects, namely occupational, environmental, and public
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By explaining the concept of working-class environmentalism, she is standing on the argument that beside concerning on economic development, the government should also concern about the risks of their policies towards the environment which will affect the livelihood of those lowest-paying-highest-risks job takers. On the other hand, by acting as the proponent of workers’ rights upon environmental issues, Barca also promoted the importance and safety of the environment itself as it is a place for human beings and other species live, like what the ecocentrists have hold
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