Portland State University. Office of Graduate Studies. Interdisciplinary Programs
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Interdisciplinary Studies
1 online resource (xii, 250 pages)
Irrigation farming -- Environmental aspects -- China -- Daba Mountains -- 20th century, Irrigation farming -- Environmental aspects -- China -- Daba Mountains -- 21st century, Rice farmers -- China -- Daba Mountains, Climatic changes -- China -- Daba Mountains, Irrigation farming -- Government policy -- China -- Daba Mountains, Migration, Internal -- Social aspects -- China -- Daba Mountains
This thesis presents the results of research in a small village located in the mountains of Sichuan Province in southwestern China. The thesis argues that traditional irrigation practices vital to paddy-rice production in the village have been stressed by local weather events. It also argues that local villagers have not responded effectively to such changes, and that failure to adjust has contributed to social stress observed at the site.
During the earlier years of the study period (1945 to 2012), improvements were made in local irrigation, which seem to have helped farmers continue with traditional subsistence wet-rice farming in a fragile mountain environment. However, in later years of the period village social order showed two significant signs of collapse: first, because of emigration, fewer people were left to farm higher mountain levels so farm land was being abandoned; second, social crowding in lower level riverside farming areas, partly the result of highland emigration, began reducing the amount of land being farmed there. While reducing intensive cropping of highland farming areas can result in spontaneous recovery of natural resources such as soil and water, crowding in lower areas can contribute to deterioration of natural resources in the lower village farmland. Crowding can, in addition, have a bearing on community health problems.
The thesis results are of value to researchers concerned with the adaptive behavior of local farming communities trying to maintain their traditional irrigation-dependent way of life in a fragile mountain environment while experiencing the effects of changeable weather. Thesis results are of additional value to those who study the impact on society of earth-warming, especially if variable local weather in the Dabashan is shown to be related to global climate change.
Parker, Joseph Lynn, "Beyond Sustainable Bounds: Changing Weather, Emigration, and Irrigation in a Farming Village of Sichuan, China, 1945-2012" (2013). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1514.
Available for download on Tuesday, October 03, 2023