Approachability in Beijing

Example English Page for a 高考

One element of life in Beijing that became increasingly apparent the longer I stayed there was that being foreign affects the way others treat you.  My most notable anecdote about approachability comes from the security guard working at the front desk of the extremely large gym/stadium complex at Tsinghua University.  I had parked my bike […]

The Gym at Tsinghua


Last Saturday I had one of the strangest and possibly my most awkward moment in Beijing, which serves as a perfect example of when the attention arising from being a 外国人 turns from mildly amusing to noticeably uncomfortable.  Unsurprisingly, this happened at the small, dark room that some people at Tsinghua humorously call a gym.  […]

Soccer Culture as a Reflection of Social Change

Map of Tsinghua Daxue

Soccer, or 足球, is the most popular sport in the world.  After hearing that it is also extremely popular in China, I could not help but wonder why there is a dearth of success on the national scale.  For a population of over 1.3 billion people it stands to reason that at least one person […]

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 […]

The Scarcity of Chinese Soccer

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I am conducting my field research at Beijing University of Geosciences, which is more commonly referred to as  地大.  地大is located relatively close to Tsinghua; biking from Tsinghua to 地大 usually takes between twenty to thirty minutes depending on traffic.  I chose this university because of Fang Laoshi’s advice.  I was told that the fields […]

Project Proposal


I plan on studying the Chinese college-age perspective of soccer.  While originally my topic was extremely broad and covered all of Chinese soccer culture, I pared it down to younger people and then further to collegiate views.  I think this community will be the most useful and allows for a more in depth study than […]

Chinese Youth Soccer: Lack of Opportunity or Passion?


Every article I have read about soccer in China contains a distinct, recurring theme: although soccer is popular to watch, playing soccer simply does not have the same traction en masse.  While the previous article I discussed dealt with problems of cultural views and governmental intervention, “A Soccer Problem in China: Where to Play” focuses […]

The Disappointment of Chinese Soccer


Considering that China has a population of over a billion people and has found success in several sports, it is staggering that the Chinese men’s national soccer team is not even ranked in the top hundred national teams.  While there is not simple answer for this oddity, the article “Why China fails at football” explores […]

Idea for Field Project


I have several ideas for research in Beijing, but for this post I’m focusing on exploring the Chinese view of soccer (足球).  I have spoken with several people about soccer in China and find the way it is treated very interesting.  From what I have heard it is an immensely popular sport, both played and […]

David Bales Bio


你们好!My name is David, 我的中文名字是白天武。I’m currently a senior with a double major in Neuroscience and Chinese.  I grew up in Montreal, but moved to Philadelphia before high school.  I’m a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha and on Club Soccer.  I started learning Chinese this summer because I was offered a job at Harbin Harmillion Chemicals […]