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Resigned ActivismLiving with Pollution in Rural China$
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Anna Lora-Wainwright

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036320

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036320.001.0001

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Situating the Study of Rural China’s Environmental Health Activism

Situating the Study of Rural China’s Environmental Health Activism

(p.1) 1 Situating the Study of Rural China’s Environmental Health Activism
Resigned Activism

Anna Lora-Wainwright

The MIT Press

Chapter 1 situates the book vis-à-vis relevant literature on social movements, environmentalism, environmental health and these areas as they relate to China. In the first part, it suggests that environmentalism may take very diverse forms and it is powerfully shaped by its cultural, social, political and economic contexts. These contexts in turn affect the ways in which locals value environment, health and development and the extent to which they may be uncertain about pollution’s health effects. In light of this, the chapter presents “resigned activism” as a conceptual tool for bridging analyses of activism and resignation, and for showing how they merge across a wide range of villagers’ attitudes and everyday practices. In the second part, it outlines some of China’s environmental challenges and burgeoning environmentalism. It argues in favour of looking beyond the obvious environmental agents (NGOs) and strategies, towards less visible environmental subjectivities.

Keywords:   Social movements, Environmentalism, Environmental health, China and environmentalism, Resigned activism, Agency, Environmental consciousness, Environmental justice

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