21-22 Rudolph Field Research Fellows

Mobilizing Medicine: Politics of Health on Gender Affirming Care in China

Project Abstract

How do transnational resources change the outlook of local activism around health? As previous scholarship suggests, it is often difficult to predict the implications of transnational resources on local health infrastructure because of the complex local socio-political and economic conditions. This proposed project uses transgender health activism in China as a case to theorize transnational processes that reform health care infrastructure under limited resources and restrictive political conditions. Specifically, I ask how do transgender individuals navigate barriers to gender affirming care? And, how do local and international activists deploy transnational resources to expand gender affirming care access? Using a multi-method ethnographic research design, I aim to examine the relations between transgender activists, medical experts, and transnational advocacy groups.



Xiaogao Zhou (He/They) is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. His research interests broadly center on how gender/sexual minorities in China interact with social institutions such as marriage, family, and medicine. His current project uses the activism around gender affirming care in China to examine how transgender activists, medical experts, and transnational processes are collaboratively changing local health infrastructures. Prior to starting his PhD, Xiaogao received MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and BA in English Writing from Kean University. 

Read more at his Sociology profile.