Social Capital, Chaxugeju and Resilience around Herbal Practices in a Rapidly Digitising Chinese Ethnic Village
Anran’s thesis project will study the resilience of local herbal knowledge in a rapidly digitalising Chinese ethnic village. Local knowledge is not static knowledge. Indeed, the inevitability of changes in local knowledge brought by internal conflicts and external impacts has been emphasised by different studies. Interestingly, those changes often do not lead to the collapse but the self-evolution of indigenous knowledge. In the fieldwork site of this study, informational practice and power dynamics constitute the basis of the circulation of indigenous herbal knowledge. While rural digitalisation in China is disturbing the informational practice and social dynamics in the ethnic village, this study wants to examine whether and how indigenous knowledge could adapt to the changes and transform itself while maintaining its overall coherence structure and vital functions. This study will extend the literature on local knowledge resilience by deeply examining the link between power dynamics and informational technological innovation. Meanwhile, it will enrich the diversity of contemporary Rural China Studies by investigating the profound societal and cultural impacts of digitalisation in Chinese ethnic villages.
Supervisors: Professor Ellen Helsper & Dr Eleanor Power
Anran Wang is a PhD Candidate in Media and Communications at LSE. With a focus on the intersection of technology, knowledge, and power, Anran has published research on topics ranging from global health politicization to the impact of the internet on indigenous knowledge. Currently, Anran serves as the Head Tutor for LSE's online course on Sustainability Communication Strategies and teaches an undergraduate course on Innovation and Technology Management. Previously, Anran led research projects at Peking University, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and conducted policy analysis on children's digital inclusion in China for UNICEF. Anran also has industry experience, having worked in digital marketing and app monetization at companies like McCann Worldgroup and Baidu. Fluent in both Chinese and English, Anran holds a Master's degree in Media and Communications (research) from LSE and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the Communication University of China.