The University of Arizona

From mourning to environmentalism: a Sicilian controversy about children's deaths, political apathy and leukemia

Gaetano Mangiameli


From a political ecology perspective, anthropogenic threats to the environment can be understood in terms of a lack of power by local people. By analysing discourses about the spread of leukemia in rural Eastern Sicily, the connection between 'toxic environments' and 'damage to human health' is mediated by a concern about democracy, meaning a condition that is to be attained and refreshed continuously through the active participation of citizens. In this case study, I argue that leukemia becomes a socio-political disease that stems from political apathy.

Keywords: Leukemia, Sicily, environment, apathy, children

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