• Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds

    Pages: 424
    Illustrations: 35 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
    Series: Experimental Futures
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  • Preface  ix
    Acknowledgments  xiii
    Introduction. An STS Analysis of Natural Gas Development in the United States  1
    1. Securing the Natural Gas Boom: Oilfield Service Companies and Hydraulic Fracturing's Regulatory Exemptions  19
    2. Methods for Following Chemicals: Seeing a Disruptive System and Forming a Disruptive Science  41
    3. HEIRship: TEDX and Collective Inheritance  64
    4. Stimulating Debate: Fracking, HEIRship, and TEDX's Generative Database  86
    5. Industrial Relations and an Introduction to STS in Practice  115
    6. ExtrAct: A Case Study in Methods for STS in Practice  137
    7. Landman Report Card: Developing Web Tools for Socially Contentious Issues  165
    8. From LRC to WellWatch: Designing Infrastructure for Participatory and Recursive Publics  191
    9. WellWatch: Reflections on Designing Digital Media for Multisited Para-ethnography of Industrial Systems  219
    10. The Fossil-Fuel Connection (with coauthor Len Albright)  247
    Conclusion. Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds: A Call for Industrial Embodiment  279
    Notes  305
    References  333
    Index  383
  • “Sara Ann Wylie tells both a sobering story about industry practice and government negligence and an inspiring story of how gas patch residents, artists, civil servants, NGO activists, and health, environmental, and social scientists have responded to fracking. The political implications of this impressive and important book will be far-reaching.” — Kim Fortun, author of, Advocacy after Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders

    “Operating at the borderlands of anthropology and science studies, Sara Ann Wylie offers a compelling account of the relations between the production of knowledge and forms of regulatory accountability. She also outlines how alternative modes of scientific practice can yield new and innovative results while giving a rich depiction of the intersection of how forms of participatory democracy enroll the online world. Tackling a hugely important topic from an original angle, Fractivism could very well make a splash.” — Michael Watts, coeditor of, Subterranean Estates: Life Worlds of Oil and Gas

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  • Description

    From flammable tap water and sick livestock to the recent onset of hundreds of earthquakes in Oklahoma, the impact of fracking in the United States is far-reaching and deeply felt. In Fractivism Sara Ann Wylie traces the history of fracking and the ways scientists and everyday people are coming together to hold accountable an industry that has managed to evade regulation. Beginning her story in Colorado, Wylie shows how nonprofits, landowners, and community organizers are creating novel digital platforms and databases to track unconventional oil and gas well development and document fracking's environmental and human health impacts. These platforms model alternative approaches for academic and grassroots engagement with the government and the fossil fuel industry. A call to action, Fractivism outlines a way forward for not just the fifteen million Americans who live within a mile of an unconventional oil or gas well, but for the planet as a whole.

    About The Author(s)

    Sara Ann Wylie is Assistant Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Health Sciences at Northeastern University.
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