Summer Smith

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis


Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Xianghong Feng

Second Advisor

Megan Moore


Research has found that the inequality gap throughout China has been perpetuated by environmental degradation that has maintained and contributed to the various factors influencing inequality between urban and rural residents. In order to promote economic growth, institutions meant to regulate corporate enterprises have had less authority. This research focuses on the consequences and contributing factors of environmental degradation as well as its impact on the inequality gap between rural and urban the rise in infertility, the population burden, access to healthcare, access to education, the gender gap, political participation, occupational perceptions, and the international response. Secondary sources suggest that through the establishment of township enterprises and industrialization, the economy grew significantly in accordance with pollution, exploitation of the environment, and the inequality gap between urban and rural residents. The prospect of economic growth has given financial incentive to ignore environmental regulations and maintain inequality within China and worldwide. Seeing as the inequality gap is widening between the rural and urban areas globally while the environment worsens, China's influence and position on the environment is having a significant impact throughout the world.

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Anthropology Commons