I am a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology (in the areas of Globalization and Asia and Asian America) at Oberlin College.
My research primarily focuses on the political economy of Chinese environmental policy implementation through in-depth qualitative methods. Specifically, my scholarship focuses on the myriad of interests (capital, labor, and other state bureaucrats) that mid-level bureaucrats navigate and create as they (fail) to implement environmental policies in Shanxi and Henan provinces, located on China’s largest coalfield, that are meant to curb coal production, consumption, and pollution. To investigate the interactions between mid-level officials and managers, workers, and other officials, I spent 12 months engaged in comparative ethnographic work, supplemented by 148 semi-structured interviews. The future of global climate change is dependent on whether or not Chinese mid-level officials can faithfully implement environmental policies, therefore understanding the ways that they actively resist implementation is crucial.
Dissertation: Resourceful Bureaucrats: How Chinese Officials (Fail to) Implement Environmental Policies
Masters Paper: Chinatowns Lost: The Life and Death of Urban Neighborhoods in an American City
Honors Paper: Migrants and Mobilization: Sectoral Patterns in China, 2010-2013
I am particularly interested in studying the ways in which individuals resist attempts by the state to impose its power, and in doing so I use various qualitative research methods and draw on political (including social movements), economic, and organizational sociology. Below I illustrate my interest in resistance through my ongoing research projects.
I introduce the concepts of resourceful recoupling and decoupling to show that economic considerations, cultural ethos, bureaucratic positionality, and individual resourcefulness explain what proceeds and follows the instrumental decision to decouple or recouple, as well as how each process actually unfolds.
Despite the state attempts to disrupt a labor protest before it occurs, we find the state’s designs often have the opposite effect, as workers increasingly rely on extra-judicial methods to assert their newly given rights.
This series of articles will examine how meso-level officials resourcefully provide stability, manage uncertainty, and develop new relationships with capital, labor, and other bureaucrats as they implement 'common prosperity' and restructured tax laws.
This will investigate the experiences of Chinese migrants who created large Chinese neighborhoods in different countries and cities.
These articles will investigate migrant neighborhoods within Chinese cities, following migrant workers from their inland homes in Shanxi and Henan to coastal cities.
This series of articles examining how migrant gig and aging manufacturing workers and miners navigate the social welfare system in China.