Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

Tamara Venit-Shelton

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© 2015 Ratik Asokan


Though mainstream environmentalism, both in the U.S. and India, was initially rooted in social justice, it has, over time, moved away from this focus. The Environmental Justice Movement consequently arose to reunite social and environmental activism. In this thesis, I trace the historical relationship between the mainstream environmentalism, the Environmental Justice Movement, and marginalized communities. After providing this general overview, I examine two case studies – in Los Angeles and New Delhi respectively – where marginalized communities have been involved in Environmental Justice activities. My analysis reveals that marginalized communities often act in an ‘environmentalist’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ manner, without defining their actions as such. That is, their socio-political activism often is or becomes environmental because of the contexts it operates within.