SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

"Young Adults in Urban China and Taiwan: Aspirations, Expectations, and Life Choices" Book Talk

Dr. Désirée Remmert

Date: 7 July 2020Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 7 July 2020Time: 10:30 AM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Summer School

As part of the 2020 SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School, we kindly ask that you register to attend.

This event will be held online through Blackboard Collaborate.

*Please be aware that all Summer School event times follow British Summer Time (BST)


Desiree Book 2020

This book compares aspirations and life choices among educated young adults in urban China and Taiwan. As two places that share a cultural heritage but very different political and economic systems, it assesses how the socio-economic and political trajectories of China and Taiwan have influenced young people's decision-making and the strategies they apply to realize their goals.

Drawing upon ethnographic research, this book analyzes young adults’ choices in the areas of education, career and marriage, considering their individual social backgrounds and economic resources. In this context, it also discusses how feelings of hope, doubt and disenchantment are mitigated by the specific societal atmospheres and ideological discourses.

Desiree Talk 2020

In the session we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of multi-sited and comparative ethnographic research. Drawing on experiences from several years of field research in Taiwan and China, the author will address issues such as the comparability of data as well as the challenges of setting up two field sites for a research project. The specific requirements of urban ethnography as well as the question of how the different research environments of Taipei and Beijing affected the field work for this book will be at the center of the discussion.


Désirée Remmert obtained her PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK. Afterwards she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Tübingen in Germany, Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and at the LSE, UK. Désirée specialises in cognitive anthropology, urban ethnography, and multi-sited comparative research with a regional focus on East Asia. She is currently working as a researcher in AI policy at a think tank in London.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

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