Welcome! I am Yung-Ying Chang, a Sociology Ph.D. student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. My research interests lie at the intersection of sociology of culture, political sociology, collective behavior and social movements, and global and transnational sociology. Specifically, I use mixed methods to study how people engage in politics, narrowly or broadly defined, in different contexts and how they navigate structural inequalities and constraints.
My dissertation research examines the political activism of immigrants who engage in both local progressive politics and politics critical of their authoritarian home countries. Specifically, I examine how they navigate the intense relations between their host and home countries and confront various forms of oppression such as racism, gender/sexuality oppression, and state surveillance/repression from both sides. I also examine how they negotiate their engagement in local and home country politics when there is tension between the two, especially when they are lost and unable to locate themselves in Western-centered languages/typologies of the left–right political spectrum.
My other research includes a study of informal political talk in the context of K-pop consumption. I explored how transnational cultural consumers who shared common cultural tastes but held different political beliefs discussed political issues and the presumed relationships between politics and culture. This research evolved from my MA thesis, which won the Outstanding Master's Thesis Award from the Taiwanese Sociological Association and the Outstanding Master's Thesis Award from the Cultural Studies Association, Taiwan.
Another ongoing project examines the emergence of the Formosan black bear as a national symbol in Taiwan. Taking a pragmatic approach to non-human actors, my co-author and I argue that interaction with bear symbols serves to draw the national boundary and define national membership, but it also aids in the conservation of the bear and encourages reflection on and remediation of the animal-human relationship and the settler-colonial injustice imposed by Han Taiwanese on indigenous people.
I also serve as president of the North American Taiwan Studies Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, academic organization that promotes conversations about Taiwan studies and brings together perspectives from different communities. We hold an annual academic conference and invite you to join us if you haven't already.
Here is my CV, and you can also find me on Twitter.
Last Update: Aug. 2023