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TU Berlin

Inhalt des Dokuments

Meisen Wong

Lupe

Currently on sick leave

Dissertation

Ghost Cities in China: Hauntings of a Global Future


With more than half of the Chinese population now urbanized and 75% expected to be in the next two decades, the proliferation of new, 'instant' cities in China can be understood as the efforts of the Chinese government to house and provide employment for the fast expanding urban population, inducing them into 'modern' forms of production and consumption, thus fueling the wheels of global capital and China's own rapid ascendance as an economic power house. However, of late, an emerging phenomenon that arises from this ceaseless urbanization is the sprouting of ghost cities and towns across the country. These are defined as cities and towns which lie largely under-populated and under-utilized, and where housing projects serve mostly as vehicles of real estate speculation rather than domestic accommodation. The focus on my doctoral dissertation is an examination of the relationship between ‘cityness’ and the imaginations and constructions of ‘future’ of residents who reside in these ghost cities.  A comparative study between New Ordos in Inner Mongolia and Zhengdong in Henan, my dissertation is an ethnographic exploration of the temporal experiences of residents who live in a state of ‘suspended futures’ and the informal practices of production and consumption which they undertake to manage a global future which appears and recedes simultaneously.    

CV

EDUCATION

AUG 2003-JUN 2007
MASTER OF SOCIAL SCIENCE (SOCIOLOGY), NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
Thesis titled The Beautiful and Condemned: Taste Distinction Among the Singapore Middle Class. Discusses how the Singapore middle class practices intra-class status distinction through taste discernment in their cultural consumption.

JUL 2002-JUN 2003
B.SOC.SCI WITH HONS (CLASS 2nd UPPER), NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
Thesis titled Middle-Earth Revisited: Text, Medium and Meanings. Argues for the importance of reader and context, and seeks to dispel the fixation with the author through the analysis of the career trek of fantasy classic The Lord of The Rings and its ability to transcend from its historical context to a contemporary existence.

JUL 1999-JUN 2002
B.A. Pass with Merit (SOCIOLOGY SINGLE MAJOR), NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE


WORKING/ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

MAY 2012-PRESENT
DFG Fellow at the International Graduate Research Program Berlin - New York - Toronto, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin, Germany

JAN 2011
Presented paper titled “Unpopular Music in Southeast Asia: The Making and Unmaking of a ‘Scene’” at conference “The Beat Goes On: Popular Music in Twentieth Century Southeast Asia”, organized by University of Leiden and KITLV, Jakarta.

AUG 2009-PRESENT
Research Assistant to Professor Chua Beng Huat, at the Sociology Department of National University of Singapore. Duties include data collection and analysis for state capitalism and government-linked companies for a book Professor Chua is undertaking, editorial and research assistance for other academic (book) projects. 

JAN 2009-PRESENT
Part-time Tutor at the Sociology Department, Nanyang Technological University. Tutored modules HS101 (Person and Society), HS204 (Culture, Self and Identity), HS102 (Singapore Society in Transition), HS313 (Social Movements), HS215 (Education and Society), HS201 (Classical Social Theory), HS318 (Sociology of Gender) and HS219 (Sociology of Science and Technology). 

JUL 2007-JUL 2008
Research Officer of the Politics and Governance Research Cluster at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). Duties include editorial and research assistance, writing summaries of research meetings and events, writing literature reviews and tracking developments in specific research areas.

JAN-MAY 2008
Contract tutor at SIM University for part-time undergraduates, tutoring an introductory Sociology course titled “Understanding the Self in Community and Society”. Duties include preparing tutorial content, conducting tutorials, marking term essays and providing curriculum assistance for the module.

DEC 2006
Presented paper titled “Cultural Consumption: Everyday Resistance of the Singapore Middle Class” at conference “Narratives and Perspectives in Sociology: Understanding the Past, Envisioning the Future”, organized by the 8th Annual Conference of Hong Kong Sociological Association, Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Xue Yan College, Hong Kong. 

JUL 2005
Organizer of International Postgraduate Conference “Re-thinking and Re-searching the Social Sciences: Inter-disciplinary Writings and Inquiries in a Globalizing Era”. Also chaired the panel “(Her)stories: Gender, Sexuality and Female Sexuality”.

JUL 2005
Presented paper titled “Culture Consumption: Distinction and Resistance of The Singapore Middle Class in Everyday Life” at conference “Sites of Cosmopolitanism: Citizenship, Aesthetics, Culture” organized by Centre for Public Culture and Ideas, Griffith University. 

JUL 2004
Co-organizer of Workshop “The Post-Cold War International Order and Domestic Conflict in Asia”, National University of Singapore. 

AUG 2003-JUL 2005
Teaching Assistant (part of Research Scholarship responsibilities), Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. Duties involved conducting of tutorials, marking and grading of term assignments, consultation sessions with students and invigilation of examinations. 

JUL 2003
Presentation of “Middle-Earth Revisited: Youth Fascination with Lord of the Rings” at Video-link Conference “APRU Graduate Students’ Seminar on Urban and Youth Cultures in Asia Pacific”, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. 

1999-2002
Student of the Core-Curriculum Programme, University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Popular Culture; Sociology of Literature; Class; Cultural Consumption; Sociology of Everyday Life; Gender Studies; Social Theory; Economic Sociology; Urban Studies; Cities.


COURSES INSTRUCTED

Popular Culture; Singapore Society, Introduction to Sociology, Classical Social Theory, Gender Studies, Sociology of Education; Culture and Identity; Social Movements; Sociology of Science and Technology.


AWARDS

AUG 2003-JUL 2005
Research Scholarship, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore.

2002
Special Book Prize Award in Sociology, National University of Singapore.

MAY 2001
Dean’s List, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore


PUBLICATIONS

2012
“Aesthetic of the Pathetic” in ACCESS (Critical Perspectives on Communication, Cultural and Policy Studies), co-written with Professor Chua Beng Huat.



                           








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