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Better City, Better Life? A study of attitudes regarding ecology, urban development and risk among university students in Shanghai

Kvist, Anna LU (2011) SOCM11 20102
Sociology
Abstract
Background: The People’s Republic of China is one of the world’s largest countries, whose
approximately 1.3 billion citizens make it the most populous nation state on Earth. It is also
one of the world’s most powerful and booming economies, and biggest polluters. As such, the
PRC’s actions aimed at continuing industrialization and urbanisation play a key role for future
ecological development all around the globe. In attempts to promote sustainable development
and environmental awareness among China’s vast population national campaigns and NGOs
alike target the young. What are the environmental attitudes of China’s youth and how do
they view the future?
Aim of thesis: To study the opinions and attitudes regarding ecology, urban... (More)
Background: The People’s Republic of China is one of the world’s largest countries, whose
approximately 1.3 billion citizens make it the most populous nation state on Earth. It is also
one of the world’s most powerful and booming economies, and biggest polluters. As such, the
PRC’s actions aimed at continuing industrialization and urbanisation play a key role for future
ecological development all around the globe. In attempts to promote sustainable development
and environmental awareness among China’s vast population national campaigns and NGOs
alike target the young. What are the environmental attitudes of China’s youth and how do
they view the future?
Aim of thesis: To study the opinions and attitudes regarding ecology, urban development and
risk in a group of university students from China’s largest and most populous city Shanghai,
and view these findings against the theory of world risk society as presented by sociologist
Ulrich Beck. Is Beck’s view of contemporary society as a risk society and the view that this
society is culturally rooted in individualism, diversity and scepticism applicable to nonwestern
groups?
Conclusion: Beck’s theory of world risk society is found to be too deeply rooted in Western
concepts of society and the welfare state to be readily applied to explain the attitudes and
experiences of the group of studied individuals. In fact, attitudes of interviewees participating
in this study showed great discrepancies with the risk society worldview presented by Beck –
with interviewees relating the power of action to groups rather than individuals, portraying
high levels of belief in expertise and technology, and trusting the national government to
make the right investments for the future and to bring about change. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Kvist, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A Minor Field Study August – November 2010
course
SOCM11 20102
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
students, Shanghai, ecology, urban development, Ulrich Beck, risk society, Minor Field Study
language
English
id
1859192
date added to LUP
2011-03-31 12:55:04
date last changed
2011-05-12 15:48:37
@misc{1859192,
  abstract     = {Background: The People’s Republic of China is one of the world’s largest countries, whose
approximately 1.3 billion citizens make it the most populous nation state on Earth. It is also
one of the world’s most powerful and booming economies, and biggest polluters. As such, the
PRC’s actions aimed at continuing industrialization and urbanisation play a key role for future
ecological development all around the globe. In attempts to promote sustainable development
and environmental awareness among China’s vast population national campaigns and NGOs
alike target the young. What are the environmental attitudes of China’s youth and how do
they view the future?
Aim of thesis: To study the opinions and attitudes regarding ecology, urban development and
risk in a group of university students from China’s largest and most populous city Shanghai,
and view these findings against the theory of world risk society as presented by sociologist
Ulrich Beck. Is Beck’s view of contemporary society as a risk society and the view that this
society is culturally rooted in individualism, diversity and scepticism applicable to nonwestern
groups?
Conclusion: Beck’s theory of world risk society is found to be too deeply rooted in Western
concepts of society and the welfare state to be readily applied to explain the attitudes and
experiences of the group of studied individuals. In fact, attitudes of interviewees participating
in this study showed great discrepancies with the risk society worldview presented by Beck –
with interviewees relating the power of action to groups rather than individuals, portraying
high levels of belief in expertise and technology, and trusting the national government to
make the right investments for the future and to bring about change.},
  author       = {Kvist, Anna},
  keyword      = {students,Shanghai,ecology,urban development,Ulrich Beck,risk society,Minor Field Study},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Better City, Better Life? A study of attitudes regarding ecology, urban development and risk among university students in Shanghai},
  year         = {2011},
}