Traditionally, the last blog post of summer research is supposed to sum up the summers work. Content wise, a lot of that has been covered in the past two blog posts. In those posts I discuss the theoretical meat of my project in greater detail. However, I want to take this opportunity to share some of the more personal lessons that I’ve learned working on my project this summer.
Leitner et al. (2008) describe five main aspects of spatiality that should be accounted for in any analysis of a social movement or instance contentious politics (e.g. resistance): place, scale, networks, positionality and mobility. In keeping with their wishes to avoid anointing a master frame, I shall take this opportunity to describe how each of these concepts have appeared in relation to the case and in particular, my guiding research question: how does the materiality of of coal fired power plants affect the spatial distribution of resistance?
One of the prevailing trends first identified in the case literature (e.g news articles) and supported by initial interviews is the role of local government and their bullseye-esque disposition to the Cypress Creek Power Station project. Since the announcement of the project in Late 2008, many of surrounding local jurisdictions have formally declared concern, both officially and provisionally. According to the environmental group Wise Energy For Virginia, the Cities of Norfolk, Williamsburg, and Virginia Beach, along with Isle of Wight and Southampton counties have expressed some manner of concern about the project. Conversely, Surry and Sussex (the alternate site) counties have approved permits for construction to be built. Geographically speaking, what has occurred is that the prospective downwind localities either by their own volition or with the prompting of local residents and outside organizations have declared opposition while the host location is in favor of the plant– thus a sort of bulleye has been created. The center is a different color (disposition) than the surrounding ring.
Since I’ve started my research, I’ve come across numerous reports, stories and articles related to coal, and thus my project. Today, I figured I would share one of the more recent pieces as a blog post.
While I was off splunking through Central America on the WM Social Entrepreneurship Study Abroad Program, Professor Kaup was hard at work (I assume) doing a feasibility assessment on our project. Using a fairly large sample size of ~150 cases (out of 225+), the initial analysis suggest that some variables of interest have little to no statistical effect on our DV, that is, whether or not a power plant is/was constructed. The only variable that seemed to have an effect was the number of jobs a plant would create, although that relationship was weak. Suffice it to say, we’re in a bit of a pickle, at least in regards to our original method. As such, Professor Kaup and I have decided to approach our project from a different angle.