• Politics, ecology, and the new anthropology of energy: exploring the emerging frontiers of hydraulic fracking

    Special Section: Energy, environment, engagement: encounters with hydraulic fracking, edited by Anna Willow and Sara Wylie

    Politics, ecology, and the new anthropology of energy: exploring the emerging frontiers of hydraulic fracking

    Authors: ,

Abstract

This article reviews recent literature relevant to the ongoing shale gas boom and introduces the Journal of Political Ecology's Special Section on hydraulic fracking. We highlight the need for ethnographic studies of the tumultuous social and physical transformations resulting from, and produced by, an unfolding frontier of energy production that unsettles social, economic, and ecological landscapes. We examine how intercommunity connections are vital to recognizing the shared structural conditions produced by the oil and gas industry's expansion, through examining the roles played by the oil field services industry, the sequestration of information and agnotology (the deliberate production of ignorance), divide and conquer tactics, and shared experiences of risk and embodied effects. Summarizing the contributions of the five articles included in the Special Section, we offer recommendations for further inquiry. We examine how social science studies of hydraulic fracking are producing new and innovative methodologies for developing participatory academic and community research projects.

Keywords: digital media, embodiment, energy, hydraulic fracturing, oil field services industry, shale gas

How to Cite:

Willow A. J. & Wylie S., (2014) “Politics, ecology, and the new anthropology of energy: exploring the emerging frontiers of hydraulic fracking”, Journal of Political Ecology 21(1). p.222-236. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/v21i1.21134

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Published on
30 Nov 2014
Peer Reviewed