Resistant place identities in rural Charleston County, South Carolina: Cultural, environmental, and racial politics in the Sewee to Santee Area

  • Authors: Johnson, Cassandra Y.; Halfacre, A.C.; Hurley, P.T.
  • Publication Year: 2009
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Human Ecology Review 16(1):1-16

Abstract

The cultural and political implications of landscape change and urban growth in the western U.S. are well-documented. However, comparatively little scholarship has examined the effects of urbanization on sense of place in the southern U.S. We contribute to the literature on competing place meanings with a case study from the rural “Sewee to Santee” region of northern Charleston County, SC. Our research highlights conflicting cultural, environmental, and racial politics and their roles in struggles over place meanings. Using focus groups, interviews with elected officials, and participant observation, we document initial African American resistance and eventual compliance with the prevailing anti-sprawl discourse and associated sense of place promoted by the Charleston County Planning Commission and others. Our research suggests that dynamics driving development in the rural, U.S. South are similar in kind to those in the Third World where natural resource decisions are informed by class, cultural, and racial politics.

  • Citation: Johnson, Cassandra Y.; Halfacre, A.C.; Hurley, P.T. 2009. Resistant place identities in rural Charleston County, South Carolina: Cultural, environmental, and racial politics in the Sewee to Santee Area. Human Ecology Review 16(1):1-16.
  • Keywords: sense of place, rural gentrification, political ecology, South Carolina Low Country, environmental decision-making
  • Posted Date: November 6, 2009
  • Modified Date: March 23, 2017
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.