Putting the town on the map: Power struggle over fracking in Denton
The main focus in this study is to use the theoretical frameworks of value-conflict (Fuller and Myers 1941) and social construction of social problems (Best 1995) to scrutinize the power struggle of two groups (Frack Free Denton and Denton Tax Payers for a Strong Economy) over fracking in Denton. To be able to explain this phenomenon, I accumulated data from in-depth interviews, newspaper articles, letters to the editor, and campaign advertisements. Since the election resulted in a fracking ban in Denton, this dissertation assumes that the anti-fracking grassroots group reached out to the citizens to generate local consciousness of constructing fracking as a social problem. This study focused on the campaign of the two groups on each side of the debate. I examined the stages of awareness, policy determination, and reform (Fuller and Myers 1941) concerning fracking by observing “claims,” “claims-makers,” and “claims-making activities” as defined by Spector and Kitsuse (1977). Merging the theoretical frameworks of value-conflict and social construction of social problems helped to elucidate how each of these two groups have challenged the claims-making activities and goals of their adversaries.