I just published my thesis at Northern Illinois University in the cultural anthropology program. My research is part of an emerging trend of thesis writers that have opted to publish in ProQuest’s PQDT Open Publishing format. Open access publishing is a new service that provides the full text of dissertations and theses free of charge and without having to “sign-up” or register.
My thesis tells the story of how Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) also known as “Factory Farms” are rapidly expanding in rural Illinois. The research explores the political power linkages between county boards and corporate entities in four Illinois counties. Sterling’s hypothesis is that collusion and impropriety within county board politics and CAFO expansion in rural Illinois are attributed to stakeholder influence and power at the local county government level. Sterling’s research has revealed a connection between ownership of CAFOs, county board political power, and endorsement of expansion. The research analyzed and compared two CAFO inundated counties (Pike and Adams) with two less affected counties (LaSalle and Peoria).
Click on the link below for the full thesis, and the PQDT Open Access Full Text-PDF link reader.