This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Homegrown Environmentalism: An Analysis of Natural Resource-Based Civic Groups Across Alabama




Zinnat, Farzana

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



In Alabama, local grassroots groups have emerged as important players in building community capital, fostering community engagement, and providing cost-effective solutions. Despite popular beliefs about environmental politics and the South, the state is home to hundreds of civic and environmental organizations that are often overlooked as potential partners for collaboration and sources of community capital. This study examines numerous natural resource-based civic groups and non-profit environmental organizations in Alabama, with a focus on resource mobilization theory. The study analyzes the relationship between collaboration formation strategies and their impact on shared collaboration, while also investigating challenges and perceived barriers to successful collaboration. A mixed-methods design was employed, with a qualitative analysis of mission statements from 195 civic groups, and a web-based survey gathering quantitative data from participants between June 6th and July 17th, 2023. The results showed that Alabama's environmental groups have a predominance of "localism," with water being the main issue focus for the civic environmental groups. Lack of government action, ineffective environmental enforcement regulations, and insufficient funding are the challenges to building natural resources protection in Alabama. Participants also noted that collaboration is time-consuming, and a lack of resources is a barrier to successful collaboration.