Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Edward R. Carr


This dissertation seeks to illuminate the political dimensions of environmental change in Bluffton, South Carolina. In particular, I focus on regional debates, the ways discourses of environmental health and private property rights serve to legitimize these debates, and the uneven material outcomes that manifest from them. Thus I argue that politicians, planners, developers, and other active stakeholders utilize ideas from environmental health science and market environmentalism to facilitate a particular type of development-driven future in Bluffton. While these discourses often project a vision of coastal development that creates a healthy environment while boosting local economies, framing environmental change this way also obscures a set of class-based and race-based inequalities that are codified on the landscape as the outcome of regulations and land use changes. As these visions are put into material practice, the outcomes they advance tend to `squeeze' out existing residents and render alternative futures impossible.