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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010150

Clan in Transition: Societal Changes of Villages in China from the Perspective of Water Pollution

1
School of Public Administration, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
2
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the University of Queensland, 4067 Brisbane, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract

Societal relations in rural areas have entered into a new stage of adjustment over the past decade. However, the adjustment, which might bring about profound societal changes in countryside as well as in China as a whole, have not been paid much attention and very few studies have been conducted from the perspective of ecological resource crises. We use the case of a village as an example to show how water pollution, as one of the contributory factors, possibly affect the transition of clans and societal changes in Chinese villages. Through observation and interviews, we find that there is an apparent rise of “New Clanism” within clans, which gradually abandons the tradition of supremacy of clan interests and places family or individual interests at top priority. We also find that clan boundaries get increasingly obscure since the integrity of clans is undermined by the rise of new interest groups across clans, but the boundaries remain relatively clear due to the consistency (albeit incomplete) of clan interests. Some new clan élites and representatives of new interest groups get involved in village governance, which indicates that their goals have shifted from natural resources to social or political capital. The significance of our findings is that they provide not only a unique perspective for the interaction between society and resources, but also some new ideas for the future study of rural China at the environment-social interface. View Full-Text
Keywords: clan in transition; societal changes; water pollution; ecological resource crises clan in transition; societal changes; water pollution; ecological resource crises
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Huang, Q.; Xu, J.; Wei, Y. Clan in Transition: Societal Changes of Villages in China from the Perspective of Water Pollution. Sustainability 2018, 10, 150.

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