Refusing Death

Taking an intersectional approach to environmental policy, this week's review reveals the stories of Asian and Latina immigrant women at the forefront of the environmental justice movement in LA.

Refusing Death: Immigrant Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice in LA

Kim, Nadia Y. Stanford, 2021
384p bibl index, 9780804792660 $90.00, 9781503628175 $28.00, 9781503628182

Refusing Death: Immigrant Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice in LA book cover.

Refusing Death captures the emergence of an immigrant- and women-led grassroots movement for environmental and social justice in Los Angeles. Kim (Loyola Marymount Univ.) engaged in long-term field work, including interviews with activists and youth leaders and participant observation at community-based organization meetings with regulatory agencies and representatives from industry. This academically rigorous ethnographic study captures the mobilization efforts of Asian and undocumented Latina immigrant women who challenge polluting industries while also contending with their children’s neglected schools, fear of deportation, and political marginalization in a hyper-hazardous corner of Los Angeles. The author poignantly conveys how aware these women are that pollution in their community is assaulting their bodies and emotions and leading to death. One of the book’s major strengths is the respectful and culturally sensitive manner in which Kim employs mixed methods and intersectional approaches to detail how the women-led act of embodied citizenship—emotional support of one’s neighbors against the assault of “bioneglect”—constitutes a key resistance strategy (p. 33). This is an excellent resource for policy makers and students in women’s studies, sociology, political science, urban planning, and environmental policy. The author’s extensive bibliography and detailed research notes are noteworthy.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty; professionals.
I. Coronado, Arizona State University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Asian and Asian American Studies, Environmental Studies, Latin American & Latina/o Studies, Urban Studies, Women’s & Gender Studies
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Sociology
Choice Issue: Apr 2023

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