SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Ms Maria Nolan

BA (Dublin), MSc (London)
  • Research


Maria Nolan
Ms Maria Nolan
Email address:
Thesis title:
China's Zhai: Exploring the Use of a Social Label among Young Urban Chinese (working title)
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


PhD candidate at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS

PhD Research

The aim of my research is to explore - ethnographically - a recent phenomenon, zhai, in contemporary China. A popular word on the Chinese Internet and among young urban Chinese in recent years, zhai, which can be literally translated as ‘residence’, refers to a tendency towards staying indoors. This study examines, through the lens of zhai, notions of self, family, and home among Chinese youth, and explores the ways in which new digital technologies are shaping their world.


  • Contemporary China
  • Concepts of Self
  • Personhood and Identity
  • Anthropology of Home
  • Social Media