Field Research Grants

Teng Ge, Sociology

Studies on professional sports tend to perceive professional sports either as a business based on the big-time sports leagues in North America and Europe, or as a nation-building project from socialistic countries, such as the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic. These two perceptions are nevertheless challenged by the professional sports system in contemporary China which combines the features of both in the age of globalization. Despite the great strength of the Chinese state in controlling almost every aspect of society, I aim to explore why and how the government has delegated substantial discretionary power to non-state actors in some professional sports teams, and why some professional sports teams thrived while others have failed during the reform. Ultimately, under what conditions would a strong state depend on market actors in governing sports organizations? Through comparing three professional sports teams in China, participant observations and interviews with professional athletes, coaches, and sports administrators, I will better understand the transition of professional sports during the post-socialist period. 

Teng Ge is a PhD student in Sociology Department at the University of Chicago. His research interests include mainly the state-market relationship in contemporary China with a special focus on the Chinese professional sports system. Teng earned his M.S from the U.K., and his B.A from the U.S. and China. Born and raised in an athletic family in China, he used to be a basketball player before he went to college.