Title

The Impacts of Rural Labor Out-Migration on Community Interaction and Implications for Rural Environmental Conservation in Southwest China

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title

Human Organization

Publication Date

1-1-2012

Volume

71

Issue

71

First Page

135

Last Page

148

Abstract

Recent migration and environment literature shows an increasing demand for better understanding the mechanisms through which human migration affects the natural environment. Community interaction can be an important mediating variable in the relationship between migration and the environment. This study investigates the impacts of rural-to-urban labor migration on community interaction and assesses its potential consequences for environmental conservation in rural origin areas in Chongqing Municipality of Southwest China. Empirical data were collected through key informant interviews and household surveys in four rural communities in Chongqing. We examine the effects of rural labor out-migration on local communities by analyzing the differences between household groups with different labor migration statuses regarding participation in general and environment-related community activities. The results suggest that rural migration presents both detrimental and beneficial potentials for community interaction in rural origin areas. These findings have direct implications for community-based natural resource management in rural China.

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