Polluted Perspectives: Environmental Troubles and Popular Opinion in China
This PhD project studies associations between inequality and popular perspectives on air pollution in China.
PhD Fellow Hedda Flatø
Based mainly on national survey data, it investigates how popular perspectives related to air pollution are distributed across different population groups in China. Living in the most polluting country in the world, Chinese policymakers and the general public are facing painful incongruities and trade-offs between environmental risk, on the one hand, and economic and social priorities, on the other.
It is often assumed that air pollution is mainly a concern for the urban middle classes in China; on the other hand, ethnographic studies describe considerable environmental awareness in underprivileged, highly polluted rural communities. This project will examine nationwide distributions of popular evaluations of air quality and its damage to health, as well as its associations with demands from and trust in government.
Statistical assessment is the main method of analysis, but qualitative interviews will also be conducted to strengthen interpretation of results. Data comes mainly from the 2014 China National Survey of Inequality and Distributive Justice.