Society for East Asian Anthropology
Anthropology And Environment Society
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
China’s air pollution crisis has recently attracted a great deal of scientific and media attention both domestically and internationally. While official statistics and government pronouncements have been widely circulated and discussed via social media, the perceptions and reactions of people who deal with air pollution on a daily basis remain poorly understood. How do people in urban and rural China perceive air quality? How do they understand and cope with air pollution in the context of their daily lives? How do they think about air pollution in relation to other social and environmental problems? What role does public participation play in air-quality governance? In this presentation, I draw upon recent research in one urban area (Tangshan, Hebei Province) and one rural area (Panzhihua, Sichuan Province) to address these questions. I discuss the research findings in the context of emerging literature on the rise of environmental consciousness in China, and consider the implications for the control of air pollution in China today.