CCCS 2021 Seed Funding Winning Projects - New Projects

‘Everyday Citizenship and Belonging of Mobile Chinese Students in Melbourne and Beijing’

Project introduction:

Student mobility has been a prominent phenomenon in China’s modernisation and globalisation. This project aims to identify the personal and structural resources that contribute to mobile students’ positive experiences of social citizenship and belonging in host societies before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes: a) understanding the barriers that hinder their economic, social and cultural participation in the host society; and, b) identifying the resources needed to build meaningful social connections and practices of citizenships in mobile contexts. Data will be collected from mobile Chinese students in Melbourne and Beijing through online/telephone interview.

This research will generate much-needed knowledge about the life experiences of domestic and international mobile Chinese students through a comparative approach. It will inform the making of relevant policies and the improvement of university education in a post pandemic world to support students’ positive learning experience, meaningful social and cultural engagement, and constructive citizenship practices.


Jun Fu

Dr Jun Fu is a Research Fellow at the Youth Research Collective, Melbourne Graduate School of Education. His research interests include citizenship practices of young people, digital media, and digital literacy education.

Lin Ke

Dr Lin Ke is a lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University. She is also a researcher at the Centre for Citizenship and Moral Education, and the Associate Editor of Beijing International Review of Education. Her research interests include citizenship and moral education, media/digital literacy education, and youth media culture.

Wenjing Zhang

Dr Wenjing Zhang is an Urban geographer. PhD Candidate in geography at the University of Melbourne, Early career development fellow-lecturer at the geospatial department of RMIT University. Currently working on water sustainability, environmental governance and ecological water of Chinese northern cities.

Hernan Cuervo

Hernan Cuervo is an Associate Professor in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. His research interests are located in the fields of sociology of youth, education studies, rural education and theory of justice. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Youth Studies.

‘Pandemic politics and the rise of immigration: Attitudes toward ‘westerners’ and the West among youths in China’

Project introduction:

This project will unpack discourses of race and racisms associated with ‘white’ foreign residents in China amid pandemic politics. China’s recent proposal to loosen visa regulations for foreigners has sparked racist and nationalistic sentiments online, which may be linked to pandemic politics. Contrary to western speculations, many Chinese believe the virus has western origins, and many are also unhappy with the ‘special treatment’ foreigners demand during quarantine in China. Anti-foreigner sentiments are at a new high, and not only against African migrants, who have been the focus of most studies. ‘White’ foreigners are increasingly targeted, as more and more youths in China, including returned graduates of western universities, display growing disdain for the West and westerners. Our project seeks to understand:

  1. What are the dominant discourses of race and racisms regarding ‘white’ foreign residents among youths in China?
  2. How are youths’ attitudes regarding ‘white’ foreign residents shaped by pandemic politics?

To answer these questions, we will conduct a series of online interviews with returned graduates, as well as social media analysis.


Fran Martin

A/Prof Fran Martin: Fran has published widely on youth cultures and popular media in the Sinophone world, specializing in cultures of gender and sexuality. Her current ARC Future Fellowship project explores the experiences of young women from China studying in Australia. The resulting book, titled Dreams of Flight: The Lives of Chinese Women Students in the West, is forthcoming from Duke University Press (2021).

Sylvia Ang

Dr Sylvia Ang: Sylvia’s research interests lie at the intersection of race and migration, including racism, co-ethnicity and Chineseness. She has published in various journals including the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Gender, Place and Culture. She is currently developing her PhD dissertation into a book preliminarily titled Contesting Chineseness: Ethnicity, Class, Gender and New Chinese migrants.