Graduation Date

Summer 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Applied Anthropology

Committee Chair Name

Yvonee Everett

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Laurie Richmond

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

John Meyer

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


This research presents a case study of resistance to contamination from three large chemical plants by activists in the communities of Montague and Whitehall located on White Lake, Michigan. Although clean-up efforts have met state and federal guidelines for brownfield and Superfund sites, the people and community of White Lake have continued to be vigilant regarding environmental protection and harbor many concerns regarding their future and redevelopment of sites that are likely still contaminated.

The connection to place and sense of community that the residents of White Lake honor is the foundation of their resistance. Using data collected from semi-structured interviews and archival research, this study addressed the community’s resilience towards the generation of industrial pollution, the residents’ perceptions of place, concerns about their environment, and the role activists played in their community’s socio-ecological resilience. By sharing the narratives of local White Lake activists, my hope is that these stories of resistance and dissent will strengthen the socio-ecological resiliency of this community and other communities facing similar situations.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location