Date of Award:

2004

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Advisor/Chair:

Richard S. Krannich

Abstract

One of the greatest challenges to modem society is the management and disposal of hazardous by-products that have accompanied the industrial advances of the twentieth century. One of the most difficult by-products to deal with has been radioactive waste. Previous research has shown that due to the real and perceived risks associated with this type of waste, the burden of storing said waste has fallen on minority communities, including Native American groups. This research examines the proposed temporary nuclear waste storage facility to be located on the Skull Valley Indian Reservation in Utah. Using an ethnographic case study approach, this research examines the claimsmaking activities of opponents and proponents involved in this information campaign. Of specific interest is the rhetoric that each of these groups employ in an attempt to establish a regime of truth. This research focuses on the prominent rhetorical themes and tactics used by the stakeholder groups vying for supremacy and public acceptance.

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