An Examination of Ideology and Subject Formation Among Elite and Ordinary Residents in the Bakken Shale, North Dakota, 2015-2016
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The US shale energy boom of the late 2000s and 2010s has brought both economic growth and negative externalities to communities undergoing extraction. Building on previous research on fracking landscapes – as well as geographies of energy and natural resources and case studies of environmental subjectivity in extractive zones – this dissertation employed a suite of qualitative methods to examine the discourses and ideology used to support and oppose fracking-led development in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. The dissertation consists of three substantive chapters. The first employs key actor interviews and participant observation to examine how pro-oil ideology is advanced by economic and political elites in North Dakota. This chapter concludes that elites frame support for oil as an extension of existing conservative ideologies prevalent in the state. The second substantive chapter consists of content analysis of coverage of oilrelated events in state-level newspapers, specifically concentrating on a 2014 conservation ballot measure and the Keystone XL pipeline. This chapter concludes that pro-oil writers are more effective in their messaging due to focusing on economic and emotional appeals. The final substantive chapter uses interviews and focus groups to gauge fracking opinions of residents of Minot, a key city in the Bakken Shale. This chapter concludes that residents find cultural changes related to oil and gas development of greater consequence than political or economic changes.
Loder, Thomas Andrew (2018). An Examination of Ideology and Subject Formation Among Elite and Ordinary Residents in the Bakken Shale, North Dakota, 2015-2016. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from