Beating a Small Town Goliath: A Social History of Citizen Resistance to Wal-mart Development

Open Access
Wynosky, Kevin Joseph
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Gary Scott Cross, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael James Milligan, Honors Advisor
  • Wal-Mart
  • Land Use
  • Zoning
  • Development
  • Social Activism
  • Citizen Resistance
  • Social Elitism
This thesis provides a historical take on the phenomenon of citizen resistance movements to Wal-Mart store development. The thesis attempts to answer two key questions: what precipitates local citizen resistance to Wal-Mart, and what differentiates successful resistance from unsuccessful resistance. In doing so, the thesis adopts a case study approach, studying two suburban committees in Eastern Pennsylvania, Trexlertown and Manor Township, where resistance was unsuccessful and successful, respectively. Through this analysis, the thesis concludes that the answer to these questions lies at the intersection of numerous social factors (including socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic considerations), as well as structure and function of the local political environment.