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News & Events

The vulnerable observer: Fear, sufferings and boundary crossing

The vulnerable observer: Fear, sufferings and boundary crossing

Written by Yunpeng Zhang. On a windy afternoon in early April, I was on my way home before a thin woman intercepted me and asked me if I would be interested in her experience of forced eviction. After I had spent a month in this neighbourhood, displacees started to recognise me, a liuxuesheng (student studying abroad) working on Expo-induced...

Jonathan Sullivan18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

Participation in musical ethnographic fieldwork in rural China

Participation in musical ethnographic fieldwork in rural China

Written by Catherine Ingram. During the past nine years I have undertaken more than 24 months of ethnographic research in rural Kam (in Chinese, Dong 侗) minority areas of southwestern China to investigate Kam music. Through being invited to participate in daily activities and musical events in rural Kam communities, and through my involvement...

Jonathan Sullivan18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

Notes on visual methods and ethnographic practices

Notes on visual methods and ethnographic practices

Written by Deljana Iossifova. In early 2007, my fieldwork began with the task of identifying a suitable case study area. I chose an area north of Shanghai’s Suzhou Creek and west of the inner city. Here, there were two very different neighbourhoods adjacent to each other, separated only by a narrow street (see Figure 1). On one side, there was...

Jonathan Sullivan18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

Gender and fieldwork in China: Investigating migrant workers in restaurants

Gender and fieldwork in China: Investigating migrant workers in restaurants

Written by Yang Shen. My research focuses on new-generation migrant workers (NGMs) in restaurants in Shanghai. New-generation migrant workers are defined as the second generation migrant workers following the Reform in 1978, and according to a national report published by the All China Federation of Trade Unions, refer to those whose ages are...

Jonathan Sullivan18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

False starts and reformulations in the study of everyday musical life in urban China

False starts and reformulations in the study of everyday musical life in urban China

Written by Paul Kendall. “Don’t waste your time in Kaili”, advised Wang Dewei, a retired English teacher who played erhu (two-stringed spike fiddle) with an amateur park choir. An accusation of laziness would have made me happier than his intended meaning, that my time was wasted because I had chosen the wrong place to do fieldwork on...

Jonathan Sullivan18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

What are we comparing China with?

What are we comparing China with?

Written by Charles Stafford. In considering the challenges faced by researchers in China, it may be useful to take a comparative perspective. As part of a recent pilot project that was designed to be comparative, I carried out two months of fieldwork in rural Heilongjiang and a further two months in rural Oklahoma, focusing on the same general...

Jonathan Sullivan18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

Doing fieldwork with observers of their own ‘culture’ in rural Hubei

Doing fieldwork with observers of their own ‘culture’ in rural Hubei

Written by Hans Steinmüller. One of the things that constantly surprised me during my fieldwork was the extent to which local inhabitants observed and described their own ‘culture’. The forms that self-observations and self-descriptions take depend very much on the audience. In this article, I describe my encounters with such...

Jonathan Sullivan18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

Building Trust and Boundaries: Fieldwork in Shanghai

Building Trust and Boundaries: Fieldwork in Shanghai

Written by Qin Shao. In January 2004, I started my first six months of field research in Shanghai for a book project, Shanghai Gone: Domicide and Defiance in a Chinese Megacity. Since then and until 2012, I returned to China for fieldwork in most of the summers and frequently exchanged emails and phone calls with the residents as their cases were...

Jonathan Sullivan18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

Intensive course - Change is Nigh, April 2014: Photo Gallery

Intensive course – Change is Nigh, April 2014: Photo Gallery

Below please find some of the pictures taken during the intensive course by our guest Dr. Lukas Pokorny, which focused on the development and the millenarian dimension of selected East Asian (i.e. Korean, Japanese, Chinese/Taiwanese, Vietnamese) new religious movements (NRMs). This course took place between April 7th and April 11th, 2014. For...

Martin Lavicka18 Apr 2014Leave a comment

China’s Fish Soup for the Soul

China’s Fish Soup for the Soul

Written by Julie Yu-Wen Chen. The image above shows recent best-selling books in a book store in China. Although the ranking of best-selling books in this store might not be the same as in others, it is still interesting to see what is appealing to Chinese people’s reading tastes these days. The practice of religion is still monitored and...

Jonathan Sullivan15 Apr 2014Leave a comment

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Latest Comments

23 May 2016 / Norbert Francis

Yes, this was an interesting study by Chang and Lu of bilingualism and perceptions of the ...

25 May 2015 / Ming-Yeh Rawnsley

I just want to echo Gary's comments and to alert to readers who may be interested in Routl...

24 May 2015 / Gary Rawnsley

Thanks for the inclusion, Jon. Readers may also be interested in the newly published Routl...

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