Language: Test vs. Tool


Since my last post, I’ve been unable to get permission to conduct research at any English instruction companies here in Beijing, so I’ll be doing my project without a field site. However, this means that a very important method of gathering information – observation, of English classes for example – is no longer available to […]

A Cultural Reflection


The life blood of a theatre runs through its content.  Simply, if one wishes to truly understand the culture of a theatre, one must observe a performance it presents.  When deciding to see a play at Peng Hao (蓬蒿) I was confident in my ability to, at the very least, to be able to interpret […]

The ‘Ugly Betty’ of China


Beauty products are a large part of the consumer culture in Beijing.  There are countless stores and stands all over the city that sell the beauty product du jour for a variety of prices.  Among these products, Dove is an established brand that Chinese people and foreigners alike purchase. In 2004, Dove launched a Campaign for […]

The Political Side of Lao She’s Teahouse


While my first visits to Lao She’s Teahouse provided me with a glimpse of how teahouses facilitate a growing relationship between people, my last few visits revealed another dimension of this important cultural landmark.  Through my interviews and observations, I have noticed an increasing link between Lao She’s Teahouse and the Communist Party of China.  […]

Weixin: The Next Chapter?

Receiving messages from people around me. Offered option to accept or reject them.

Having done research and asking people about which social networks they use and why, I must note the prominence of Wechat or Weixin in China. Wechat is a cellphone based text and voice messaging service that was developed by a Chinese investment holding company named Tencent Holdings. They also own QQ, another popular instant messaging […]

Words ‘N Stuff

interview 2

At the tattoo shop there are two different kinds of writings that add meaning to the field site: the first are the writings in the tattoo books that have interviews and other information about tattoos in the shop; the other one is the writing that is on the wall, the life motto of Mr. Wu […]

Individualism and Chinese Athletics

Chinese players typically wear uniforms of European teams

  In my fieldwork at 地大 I found that the vast majority of the students playing soccer were from Africa, while the Chinese players remained on the basketball courts.  This evidence led to my hypothesis that playing soccer is simply not very popular with Chinese college students; in fact, this seeming revelation was the theme […]

Zoo Coffee as a Symbol

This delicious waffle, is the only waffle I have been able to find in Beijing.  Believe me when I say, I have looked.

In my previous post, I explained how I stumbled upon Zoo Coffee, and why I found it so appealing.  What was it that made me want to come back?  I described how I felt when I was shielded by Zoo Coffee’s “bubble”, and described Zoo Coffee as my oasis from the outside world that was […]

Cultural Anthropology


The word culture is defined as the quality in a society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. It can also be defined as the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social,ethnic, or age group. The definition of the term cultural, in turn, is that which relates to culture. Anthropology is defined as the science that deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, and social customs and beliefs of humankind. The word belief, present in both definitions, enumerates a major theme shared by both terms. Cultural anthropology aims to identify […]

Conspicuous Consumption

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  After several more interviews and visits to Xidan, I have been able to get a better grasp on what separates the different Xidan shopping malls. The applicable term can be applied to almost all of modern China’s commercial culture: conspicuous consumption. As my interviews and observations have shown me, the difference between shopping and […]