Navigating smart urbanism: the trajectory of new ‘office youth’ in China
My current research aims to epitomise the ways in which the subjectivities of newer labours in China are exercised to confirm, improvise, or contest the established temporal and spatial structures. Drawing on everyday politics of space and time, it will start by scrutinising the poetic and political processes by which post-university youths in China tactically negotiates newly encountered on-work/off-work distinctions, which are articulated by emerging technology use proliferated in daily life and workplaces. Two underlying objectives of the project are, first, to unpack the formative reconstitution of subjectivities among the target population in their education/work transition, which pedagogically instills them a conformist sense of adult in Chinese society. Second, drawing on their navigation of biographical ambiences, I will trace their ‘trajectories’ in spatiotemporal senses so that to unpack the ways in which hedonism and precarity are juxtaposed in the neoliberal discourses and practices of ‘smart urban’/ ‘digital urban’ and the bureaucratic, paternalistic, and formalistic residuals informed by authoritarian politics.
Supervisors: Professor Bingchun Meng and Professor Shakuntala Banaji
In 2020, I graduated from LSE with an Award of Excellence in media, communication and development. Focussing on the spatial metaphor of ‘border’, my master’s dissertation examines how the practice of VPN use constitutes an improvisational‘cat-and-mouse’ game between the strategic censorship of the Chinese government and tactic responses of Chinese young people. After that, I worked for a private EdTech company in Hangzhou, through which experience my project was inspired. In my daily life, I am keen on botanies and photography and reflecting upon how non-human agents contribute to humanities.