By Lorenzo Natali
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Edward Elgar Publishing, Jan 1, 2013 - Nature - 288 pages
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Extra info for A Visual Approach for Green Criminology: Exploring the Social Perception of Environmental Harm (Palgrave Studies in Green Criminology)
34 A VISUAL APPROACH FOR GREEN CRIMINOLOGY from a wider perspective what has been observed up close. Of course, research, even if it follows well-deﬁned strategies and methods, rarely turns out to be anything but “neat, logical, unmessy” (Becker 1998: 9). On the contrary, it feeds on the continuous returns and on the unceasing steps between these different levels of observation. Finally, if “the ﬁeld” is the location where the events take place and link with other events, it is important to pay attention and listen to what happens within it because it is right there that one can discover, take note of and, ﬁnally, understand the characteristics of the “ground”: You relate the events which you have seen and are still seeing in the ﬁeld.
Thus, the decisions of the image-maker had profound consequences for the kinds of sociological (and criminological) statements that resulted from the images produced (see also Ferrell and Van de Voorde 2010: 41). In this context, the photographs helped weave the circular process between the reality investigated and the progressive construction of an emergent theoretical perspective (see also Pauwels 2010: 559–562). In fact, the gathering and analysing of the photographic images taken at the site of the environmental harm that I was investigating promoted continual revisiting of the initial hypothesis until a satisfactory reﬁning of the concepts was reached (see also Suchar 1997).
From the early years of the industrial development, life for the inhabitants of Huelva—and the very image of the town itself—started to change dramatically. While the industrial complex created jobs, thereby affording the inhabitants material comforts, over time, destructive and irreversible consequences—both to the environment and to public health—began to take hold and to darken the promise of prosperity brought by the factories. This critical situation, dominated by the presence of industrial activities that, almost immediately, began releasing efﬂuent into the Río Tinto, was further aggravated when some of the facilities started discharging “fosfoyesos” (phosphogypsum)—a waste product of the phosphoric acid production process that contains concentrations of uranium series radionuclides.