Wen Xie, Department of Sociology
My ongoing dissertation project examines the entanglement of historical legacies, human lives, and global/national politico-economic transformations in northeast China, once the heavy industrial heartland that is now the epitome of the Chinese ‘rustbelt.’ Bridging the economic and political dimensions of the transformation, my work centers on generations as a nexus between the country’s socialist past and its capitalist/neoliberal present. I examine the life experiences of different generations that span the Mao era (1949-1976), market reforms (1977-1992), and the country’s neoliberal turn (1992-2015) to illuminate the complexities of how historical legacies interact with shifting national policy priorities. This project draws on ethnographic observations, interviews and archival data from multiple places in the region.
Wen Xie is a 5th year PhD student in sociology. She is broadly interested in economic sociology, comparative historical sociology, regional political economy, and labor issues. A central interest driving her past and ongoing projects is politico-economic transformations and social consequences in China since 1949.