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dc.contributor.supervisorBailey, Ian
dc.contributor.authorKechagia, Magdalini
dc.contributor.otherFaculty of Science and Engineeringen_US

Despite growing national opposition, local resistance, and moratoriums in Scotland and Wales, successive UK governments have supported the use of fracking to exploit oil and gas from shale formations in England in response to declining North Sea reserves and concerns about geopolitical instabilities affecting energy security. Although scholars have examined technological, justice, and socio-psychological drivers of social attitudes to fracking in order to challenge ‘Not-In-My-Back-Yard’ explanations of perceptions and attitudes, existing studies have rarely examined these factors in an integrated way. The aim of this research is to investigate whether and how an integrated approach, combining insights from the factors identified above, can deepen understandings of host communities’ attitudes to fracking as a contentious energy technology. The investigation centred on Preston New Road (Lancashire) and Kirby Misperton (North Yorkshire), two sites in England where planning permission for fracking had been granted at the time the investigation was conducted. The study used a mixed-methods approach, combining postal and online surveys with individual and group semi-structured interviews to achieve broad and deep understandings of the factors shaping of how residents of the two areas rationalised their attitudes towards fracking. The study found that residents often prioritised one reason for their views on fracking but, for most, attitudes were informed by a complex amalgam of: their underlying worldviews on nature-society-technology relationships; their perceptions of the risks and benefits of fracking technology; perceptions of justice in shale-gas governance (encompassing trust in governing bodies and other stakeholders and the distributive, procedural and recognition dimensions of justice); and place-related factors, including spatial scale, location and distance, physical and social features of the area, and sense of place. These ideas were used to develop an integrated framework for understanding perceptions of shale-gas fracking as a way of deepening understanding of how attitudes to energy technologies are shaped, why responses are not cohesive between and within affected communities, and how different explanatory factors (or components thereof) are combined or prioritised differently by individuals. The thesis contributes theoretically, empirically, and methodically to the literature of public perceptions of shale-gas fracking by highlighting the value of seeing attitudinal influences relationally rather than regarding any single variable or set of variables as providing all-encompassing explanations for local attitudes towards new energy technologies. The flexibility of the proposed framework additionally has potential application in larger spatial scales and to other technological and social contexts which further enhance its contribution to the wider energy-siting literature.

dc.publisherUniversity of Plymouth
dc.subjectperceptions of frackingen_US
dc.subjectbeyond NIMBYismen_US
dc.subjectenergy transitionsen_US
dc.subjectenergy justiceen_US
dc.subjectsense of placeen_US
dc.titleTechnology Impacts, Justice, Place, and Worldviews: An Integrated Framework for Understanding Perceptions of and Attitudes towards Shale-Gas Fracking in English Host Communitiesen_US
dc.rights.embargoperiodNo embargoen_US

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