Social supervision, group identity and farmers’ behavior in disposing domestic waste: an analysis based on mediating and moderating effects of the face consciousness

TANG Lin1,2 LUO Xiaofeng ZHANG Junbiao

(1.College of Economics and Management, Huazhong Agricultural University)
(2.Hubei Rural Development Research Center)

【Abstract】Farmers’ behavior is the result of interaction between internal and external factors. By incorporating the face consciousness, group identity and social supervision into one analytical framework, this paper explores the influence of internal factors (face consciousness and group identity) and external one (social supervision) on farmers’ behavior in disposing domestic waste (disposing domestic waste in a centralized way or littering). Based on the analysis, it further examines the mechanism underlying the interaction between internal and external factors. Finally, it uses data on 1,883 rural households in Hubei Province to conduct an empirical test. The results show that firstly, supervision by village cadres and cleaners has a significantly positive effect on farmers’ behavior in disposing domestic waste (namely prompting them to dispose domestic waste in a centralized way). Secondly, the face consciousness also has a significantly positive effect on farmers’ such behavior, whereas group identity has no direct influence on the behavior. But the group identity indirectly influences the farmers’ behavior via the face consciousness. Thirdly, the face consciousness has a positive moderating effect on the relationship between the supervision by village cadres and cleaners and farmers’ behavior in disposing domestic waste. That is to say, for farmers who have a strong face consciousness, tightened supervision by village cadres and cleaners will facilitate farmers’ centralized disposal behavior to an even greater extent.

【Keywords】 social supervision; group identity; face consciousness; domestic waste disposal;


【Funds】 Key Project of National Social Science Fund (15AZD071) Youth Project of National Natural Science Foundation (71803145)

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    [1]. ① Source: Calculated based on relevant data in China Statistical Yearbook 2017 (compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics and published by China Statistics Press in 2017). [^Back]

    [2]. ① The social facilitation theory was put forward by American scholar R. B. Zajonc in 1965. It can explain the phenomena of social facilitation and social interference. Social facilitation refers to the phenomenon that an individual’s performance will be improved due to the presence of others (real, imagined or implied presence of others) when he or she is performing an activity. Contrary to social facilitation is social interference (or social inhibition), which refers to a decline in an individual’s performance due to the presence of others. [^Back]

    [3]. ① 8080/pub/root8/auto588/201503/t20150306 _ 75707.html; [^Back]

    [4]. ② Source: Hubei Statistical Yearbook 2017, compiled by Hubei Provincial Bureau of Statistics and Survey Office of National Bureau of Statistics in Hubei. Beijing: China Statistics Press (2017). [^Back]

    [5]. ① In this paper, centralized disposal of domestic waste by farmers refers to the behavior of dumping their domestic waste at designated sites for centralized treatment (such as public dumping sites, waste collection pools, waste bins and other facilities). [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3586/F

Vol , No. 02, Pages 18-33

March 2019


Article Outline



  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Theoretical analysis and hypotheses
  • 3 Data sources, sample characteristics and descriptive analysis
  • 4 Analysis of factors influencing farmers’ behavior in disposing domestic waste
  • 5 Further discussion
  • 6 Conclusions and implications
  • Footnote