An Analysis of Socio-Cultural Context of Environmental Issues: Applying Grounded Theory (Case Study: Rural Areas of Tavalesh)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.

2 PhD Student, Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the social and cultural contexts of environmental issues among western villages of Gilan province, rural areas of Tavalesh with a qualitative approach based on grounded theory. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 villagers as well as some experts in the spring of 2020 using targeted sampling. The validity and reliability of this study were evaluated based on control or validation by the participants. Data analysis was performed in three coding stages. In open coding, 10 concepts were identified and in axial coding, 31 major categories were extracted. Also, through selective coding of major categories, the core of the discovery and the final paradigm model were drawn and "Environmental degradation" was recognized as the main phenomenon. Causal conditions include infrastructure barriers, legal vacuum, participation rate, second home ownership, lack of foresight, and value density. Furthermore, the results show that the Intervention conditions included: transient tourism, conflicting settlements, credit vacuum, and illegal crossings. Overall, the findings showed that environmental degradation is a multifactorial phenomenon that convergence of a set of causal and intervening conditions in the social context of rural society has caused its occurrence. Revision of laws and equipping of infrastructure, development of ecotourism and promotion of public education as interactive strategies will have consequences such as reduction of occupation and destruction, optimal waste management, sustainable tourism and environmental protection.


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