ABSTRACT Disproportionality, defined by the late environmental sociologist William Freudenburg as the strikingly unequal patterns of privileged access to environmental rights and resources, is emerging as
a key feature of modern economies. Collins and Pulver present a theoretical framework, centered on disproportionality and illustrated through a longitudinal, quantitative analysis of toxic emissions by circa 40,000 facilities in the US manufacturing sector, from 1988 to 2012. The data show that disproportionality within and across industries is a defining and stable feature of toxic releases in the US economy over the past 25 years.
Simone Pulver is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Interdepartmental PhD Emphasis in Environment and Society at UC Santa Barbara. Her research focuses broadly on the intersection of economic action and environmental harm. Pulver holds a PhD in Sociology and an MA in Energy and Resources, both from UC Berkeley.
Mary B. Collins is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health in the Department of Environmental Studies at the State University of New York School of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her research focuses on the interdependence of social and ecological systems, disproportionalities in pollution production, and issues of equity and justice in the context of human health. Collins received her PhD in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012.