Part IV, section D introduction: Environmental identities
Pages 54

The four chapters in this section examine how social subjectivities are shaped through, and reflect, differential access to and control over nature. Focusing on gender, race, class, indigeneity, and other forms of embodied difference, the chapters exemplify political ecology’s long-standing concern with the ways identity and difference are socially constituted through struggles over natural resources. They also illustrate political ecology’s more recent acknowledgment of the complex influences of nature’s materiality on social difference. The section opens with a pair of chapters that outline the extensive contributions made by feminist political ecology to problematizing questions of identity. The opening chapter by Rebecca Elmhirst considers the growing internal differentiation of feminist political ecology, as it has evolved from an initial concern with gendered struggles over resource access to an interest in how gendered identities are produced as part of multiple and complex subjectivities. This chapter illustrates how feminist political ecology’s openness to diverse theoretical influences has proven to be a significant strength in understanding the social constitution of difference.