Determinants of rural household livelihoods: a case in China

Authors: ZHE WANG*,
Topics: Development, Rural Geography, China
Keywords: livelihood, determinant, heritage, tourism, rural household
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Muses, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this study, the author will the discuss determinants of rural household livelihoods based on household surveys conducted within a World Cultural Heritage Site (WHS) in southwest China. Livelihoods as a concept have been studied by economists and geographers since the late nineteenth century. It has been proposed as a paradigm to alleviate poverty and to improve sustainable development in the rural areas of developing countries. Yet, the complexity of livelihood system makes the generalization of livelihood determinants a challenging task. And the limited accessible rural household data makes it even more difficult. In this study, the author applied a Livelihood System (SLS) Framework to grasp such complexity. Investigation of household livelihoods and their determinants has been studied in seven ethnic villages within the core zone of Yuanyang Terraced Fields WHS through two field works in 2016 and 2017. In-depth interviews were firstly conducted on villagers, the local village head, tourism company leader, and outside investors. And questionnaire surveys on 197 ethnic households was implemented subsequently. The findings show that seven determinants had influenced local households’ livelihoods. They are livelihood resources, household capabilities, household livelihood strategies, tourism commodification, household demographic structures, social structure, and institutions. It is suggested that local policies on improving people’s livelihood can be made regarding the seven determinants.

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