Pariah, Florida: Helplessness in the Face of Bureaucracy

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Comparative Sociology

First Advisor's Name

Berry Levine

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dennis Wiedman

Third Advisor's Name

James Huchington

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. William Vickers

Date of Defense



This thesis is a case study of a small agricultural community located along the eastern edge of Everglades National Park, The purpose of this study was to document the way land use decisions have been made and how these decisions have affected this community and the Everglades ecosystem. This research demonstrated that decisions made by the involved agencies have negatively affected both the community of Pariah, Florida and the Everglades ecosystem. Research methods included extensive document research, participant observation and formal and informal interviews. It appears that public concern over “saving the Everglades” has been used to provide a legitimating framework for the achievement of a plurality of personal goals and unstated agency agendas that have little or nothing to do with either the Everglades or the environment in general.



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