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An exploration of system justification in China: public opinion on air quality

Martinec, Alyssa (2019) An exploration of system justification in China: public opinion on air quality. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The following paper explores the global phenomenon of environmental degradation as a result of economic growth by focusing on how educated middle class urbanites respond to air pollution in Shanghai, China. Data was gathered through 16 semi-structured interviews that gauged public opinion on air quality. Ultimately, the results of this study support the hypothesis of system justification theory, which suggests that individuals justify the status quo at the expense of their material interest. By isolating three mechanisms of system justification—denial, rationalization, and deflection—I found that subjects are most likely to cope with air pollution by deflecting responsibility away from themselves, followed by relatively low levels of rationalization and denial.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Martinec, Alyssaacm136@pitt.eduacm1360000000315955849
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDing,
Committee MemberLotz,
Committee MemberAklin, Michaë
Committee MemberJaved,
Date: 29 April 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 March 2019
Approval Date: 29 April 2019
Submission Date: 18 April 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 45
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: global, sustainability, China
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2019 16:11
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2019 16:11


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