Fellow Anna Lora-Wainwright wins BBC/BSA Ethnography Prize

St Cross Fellow Dr Anna Lora-Wainwright, Associate Professor in the Human Geography of China, has won the BBC Thinking Allowed/British Sociological Association Ethnography Prize for her latest book. 

Resigned Activism: Living with Pollution in Rural China (MIT Press) explores pollution and daily life in three villages in rural China, and the varying forms of activism that develop in response to these environments. Dr Lora-Wainwright conducted extensive fieldwork in China, living in villages polluted by lead-zinc mining, fertiliser plants and electronic waste recycling facilities - the awarding panel praised her for "the manner in which she coped with the danger to her own body and health". 


Lora-Wainwright 2010

Dr Lora-Wainwright conducting pilot interviews with villagers in Qiancun, China (2010)


The book discusses how communities make sense of the effects of severe pollution, and seeks to understand the experience of development among rural populations. Growing socio-economic inequalities, limited access to scientific evidence and complex local realities all play a part in villagers' responses.

The award is given to a book or article that has made a significant contribution to ethnography - the in-depth, descriptive analysis of a culture or subculture. The award of £1000 was presented to Dr Lora-Wainwright by BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed presenter Laurie Taylor at the BSA's annual conference. As part of the award, Dr Lora-Wainwright will be discussing the book on Thinking Allowed on Wednesday 18 April 2018, at 16:00: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09z5lbq.



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Anna Lora-Wainwright BBC/BSA

Dr Lora-Wainwright with BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed presenter Laurie Taylor

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Ella Bedrock

Monday 16 April 2018