Flying across the world. Studying at Tsinghua. Researching in the great city of Beijing. The possibilities are unlimited and a little overwhelming. There are so many subjects that interest me, that narrowing down even my preferences is difficult. I want to find a good combination of researching something I am passionate about as well as something that could be productive in my future too– such as part of my honor’s thesis.
So, here are my ideas– all very malleable and subject to be added to or subtracted from:
1. I was listening to NPR, and there was a section done about how the Chinese are researching a way to genetically enhance intelligence. Though I’m not a science student of any sort, this is extremely interesting. I would like to delve into this and learn more about the idea’s gravity, prevalence, funding, and acceptance among the Chinese people as well as those conducting the research.
2. I want to learn and explore more about the middle class (or lack thereof). China is renowned for having a large income gap, especially between the individuals that live in the cities versus rural areas. What do most Chinese people consider “middle class”? What do they consider themselves and their families? What defines one’s economic standing? And so forth.
3. The “White Gold Market”– CHina’s black market of ivory form Africa. African Elephants are being slaughtered illegal and the ivory is all headed to China. Apparently the demand for these elephants’ tusks has their existence in the Chinese hands’. The Chinese government is doing little to stem the smuggling of the “white gold” and the elephants are quickly on the road to extinction but since the ivory sales are so lucrative, the future for the poor African Elephants could be pretty dark. I would like to learn more about this black market, see just how many measures the government has taken to stop it, maybe learn more about the personal motivations of the ivory sellers, and all the other good, interesting stuff.
4. Last year, I did some research and paper-writing on sex trafficking. Of course what I learned was horrific, of course, but it was also extremely interesting. In the U.S., this is kept at bay, yet most Asian countries aren’t so lucky. My research was centralized on Thailand, which has one of the worst sex-trafficking rates in the world, but I would like to uncover what I could about its prevalence in China. Where does it exist? Who are the most likely victims? How does the trade function and how objective is the government about it? This research would also probably incorporate the prevalence of prostitution as well.