UROP student researchers will work on a longstanding project about links between China and Africa. The project has involved fieldwork in a dozen African countries and the Chinese mainland by co-investigators, Barry Sautman, a political scientist and lawyer at HKUST, and Yan Hairong, an anthropologist at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The primary field site has been Zambia. The main research focuses have been the political economy of China/Africa links, grassroots relations between Chinese and Africans in Africa, and the international media treatment of "China-in-Africa." For spring, 2018, the project will involve collecting and analyzing data from blogs, social media, company and NGO reports, and newspaper articles about how Chinese-owned enterprises and Chinese individuals in Africa and other regions adapt to local conditions ("localization"). One or more students will add to our existing database statistics on the balance of Africans and Chinese in workforces at Chinese enterprises in Africa and analyze the data by sector, country, time, etc . There will also be more general research on the policies and practices of Chinese companies "going out" to Africa and elsewhere, as well as on representations of the Chinese presence in Africa by media outside China (reporting, analysis, cartoons, etc). Students can do the research using Chinese-language or English-language materials or both languages.
To carry out (mainly) documentary research, principally through our library's electronic databases and the internet.
To learn how to carry out documentary research, working in a team.