chapter  5
30 Pages

The Human Ecologist as Alchemist: An InTuiry into NgƗi Te Rangi Cosmology, Human Agency, and Well-Being in a Time of Ecological Peril

Spatialized gender role labour divisions 'naturalize' economic inequities, which are easily exploited by neo-liberal capital, particularly when aligned with state controls. Rural to urban labour transfer in China is thus inseparable from a heteronormative gendered division of labour. Jacka argues that the rural/urban divide in China has created a form of class-derivative "ethnicity" associated with low perceived 'suzhi' or human quality attaching to members of the rural population and derived from the devalued landscapes they inhabit. The migratory process from country to city since China's economic reform and opening to external influences contributes to the re-building of a gendered division of labour in rural families. As a result of the gendered division of labour, women are ultimately positioned differently than men in relation to the economy, the state, and the natural environment in ways that reproduce traditional gender arrangements. Thus, the area's human and ecological systems bear the costs of economic and social projects driven by agendas established far away.