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Social Responses to Environmental Degradation in Northwest Rural China

By A. Leung, E. O'Donnell, S. Moore and H. Travis


This article joins the debate over factors which affect sustainability in China’s rural areas at both the village and individual level. It assesses gender-based differences in response to environmental problems, effects of farmer innovation circles on village sustainability, and development of environmental consciousness. We find that both sexes have low environmental consciousness, but women are more likely to be environmentally aware. Despite an increase in labor from agriculture reforms, women’s status does not increase within the family, limiting their ability to act on their environmentalism. Education, income, and age are additional demographic factors related to environmental consciousness. Villagers feel the village is most responsible for environmental protection. The importance of governmental sources of agricultural information was highlighted, as was the impact increasing wealth has on environmental consciousness. In the future women must be vital participants in future sustainability programs, due to high incidence of male migrant city workers, and women’s deep connectedness and dependence on the land

Topics: Gender studies, Environmental science, Sustainability, Environmental degradation--Social aspects, Land use, Rural--Environmental aspects, China, Northwest, Sex differences
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.7916/D8Z89C2B
OAI identifier:

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