Internship Seminar and Fieldwork

This course aims to complement and enhance the internship experience. Students will learn to critically examine their fieldwork in order to reflect upon what their particular, concrete experience reveals about contemporary life in Shanghai.

Throughout the course each student will develop an independent research project that provides a theoretical framework and argument within which to analyze their internships. Through assignments and one-on-one meetings students will learn to choose a research topic, create a bibliography, write a basic research proposal, and produce a final research paper. 

Classroom meetings consist of reading based discussions, which focus on some of the crucial issues shaping life in today’s urban China (e.g., cyberculture, migration and the quest for creativity).  These are complimented by a series of guest speakers who will present on issues such as the internet in China, relocation, marketing strategies and the underground economy.

Sample Syllabus

Course Objectives

- To successfully complete fieldwork
- To critically observe empirical experience & articulate these observations 
- To develop a research project that embeds concrete empirical experience within a larger theoretical framework
- To be introduced, through lectures, readings and discussion, some of the vital issues of China's urban development.


Participation (including prepared questions and comments): 20%
Presentations 20 % (2 x 10% )
Research Proposal: 25%
Final Paper: 35 %

Week 1: Introduction 

McDonald, Juliette. (2007)  “Making the Most of Your Internship or Co-op Work Experience.” 
“Chapter 4: Culture in the Workplace,” Culture Matters: The Peace Corps Cross-Cultural Workbook.

Week 2: Guest Speaker: Jeremy Goldkorn

Week 3: The Internet in China

James Fallows. “The Connection Has Been Reset” Atlantic Monthly. March 2008.

Gady Epstein. A Giant Cage. Economist April 6 2013.

Guobin Yang. “The Curious Case of Jia Junpeng, or The Power of Symbolic Appropriation in Chinese Cyberspace ””

Yu Hua. “The Spirit of May 35th “ New York Times. June 23 2011.

Sinica Podcast. Gady Epstein on the Internet with Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn

Week 4: Presentations

Week 5: Guanxi

Hwang, K.K. (1987) ‘Face and Favor: The Chinese Power Game’, American Journal of Sociology, 92(4):944-974

Yang, M. M-H, (2002) ‘The Resilience of Guanxi and Its New Deployments: A Critique of some New Guanxi Scholarship’, China Quarterly, 170:459–476.

Week 6: Guest Speaker: Archie Hamilton (Split Works)

Research Proposal Due

Week 7: Private Meetings (Group A)

Week 8: Private Meetings (Group A)

Week 9: Migrant Labor & White Collar Workers

Leslie T. Chang . The Chinese Dream. The Wall Street Journal November 8, 2004

Leslie T. Chang Min's Return. The Wall Street Journal. June 8, 2005.

Podcast Leslie Chang. The Voice of China’s Workers. Ted Talks. 

Special Report. China migrant unrest exposes generation fault-line. Reuters Jun 29. 2011

The Economist. Invisible and heavy shackles. May 6th 2010

The Economist. We like to move it, move it. Feb 5 2012.

Andrew Jacobs China’s Army of Graduates Struggles for Jobs, New York Times. Dec 11 2010 

Ant tribes & Mortgage Slaves. The Economist,

Week 10: Presentations

Week 11: Guest Speaker: TBA

Week 12: Private Meetings (Group A)

Week 13: Private Meetings (Group B)

Week 14: Film Screening: Crocodile in the Yangze