I am a fourth-year doctoral student in the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests focus on higher education, student choices, and social mobility. I examine how students determine their college options in a college-for-all era. In particular, I ask how students use their exam scores to predict their futures and develop score-bounded dreams, and how these processes are driven by fears of downward mobility and by desires of upward mobility.
My research focuses on cultural reproduction in higher education. While the Taiwanese college admission system consists of quantified indicators such as scores, weighting scales, and rankings, I explore how a space of action is formed in this quantified system. In particular, I examine two mechanisms in students’ position-taking processes: first, how habitus is formed in a temporal process when students experience uncertainty while applying for college. Second, how students adapt to institutional changes (e.g., admission requirements, procedures, paths) by reformulating their capital conversion and capital accumulation strategies to accrue advantages.
Before coming to Madison, I spent five years doing school ethnography in an alternative school in Taiwan. I investigate how the young utilize their power through self-governed institutions. Data collected in the student court and the student council were explored to uncover the dynamics between regulation and freedom within the school. I turned the story into my first book, Let The Timber Crook: An Alternative School’s Utopia for Coming Generations, which was named one of the ten most influential books of 2016 by China Times.
Besides being a Ph.D. student and an author, I have also worked in the Taiwanese Congress as an educational specialist. In 2016, I was selected as a Fulbright scholar to start my research in the United States.
You can view my CV_July 2019_RF here.