Shale gas extraction and collective trauma
Simona L. Perry analyses some of the short-term changes in the lives of rural communities as a result of Marcellus shale gas development in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. She documents how local residents likened the arrival of the gas industry on their doorsteps to an occupation and an invasion. As a result of these resource extraction projects, they were forced to question and sometimes, quite abruptly, completely alter the entrenched perceptions that they held about their neighbours, communities and governments. This often left the people suffering from severe stress and feelings of anxiety and despair. Shale gas extraction, as Perry documents, had a lasting and deeply-felt impact on how local residents thought about their land, their family histories, the past and their aspirations for the future. Perry’s ethnographic research also shows that the social and psychological impacts occurring as a result of shale gas development reveal similar patterns to the impact of bullying and other types of abusive relationships as well as the consequences of environmental and human-caused disasters.
Perry, S. L. (2012). Development, Land Use, and Collective Trauma: The Marcellus Shale Gas Boom in Rural Pennsylvania. Culture, Agriculture, Food & Environment, 34(1), 81–92.