Social Capital’s Influence on Environmental Concern in China: An Analysis of the 2010 Chinese General Social Survey

Document Type


Publication Date



China, environmental concern, social capital, and structural equation modeling

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


This study examines the ways in which social capital influences people’s environmental concern in China. Using data obtained from the 2010 Chinese General Social Survey, we measure social capital through social networks and trust. We find that the ways people think about and act toward others influence the ways they think about and act toward the environment. The structural equation modeling results suggest that one’s connections with others, including socializing with relatives and friends as well as general social networking, are significantly and positively related to various dimensions of environmental concern. Greater trust is positively related to one’s willingness to make sacrifices for the benefit of the environment but is also negatively related to perceived dangerousness of pollution. Our findings highlight the value of social capital in promoting environmental concern. We discuss these findings in the context of existing literature, and propose policy implications and suggest directions for future research.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Sociological Perspectives, v. 62, issue 6, p. 844-864