School of Social and Political Science

Dr Jiazhi Fengjiang

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Chrystal Macmillan Building

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15a George Square

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Research interests

Research interests

late socialism, charity and philanthropy, humanitarianism, social welfare, work and labour, mobilities, gender, ethics, political and economic anthropology, visual anthropology, graphic anthropology, China and East Asia

If you are interested in being supervised by Jiazhi Fengjiang, please see the links below for more information:


Jiazhi Fengjiang holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology (2019) from the LSE. Her ongoing book project explores the political, moral, and economic lives of ordinary people who strategized volunteering and charitable work in coping with political-economic restructurings in contemporary China. She has conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork in southeast China and rural central China on work, ethics, mobilities, and social change. Currently, she is also working on a graphic anthropology project that explores the potential of drawing as an alternative means for anthropological knowledge production. And she is developing a new research project on Chinese transnational humanitarianism in Southeast Asia. Before joining the University of Edinburgh, she worked at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity as a postdoctoral researcher and at Princeton University as a Global Fung Fellow. 

Her latest publications include “Remaking the value of work: The emergence of grassroots philanthropy in China ” in American Ethnologist; “The desire to help: Vernacular humanitarian imaginaries in China” as a part of the special issue “Vernacular Humanitarianism” in Social Anthropology. Her article " 'To Be a Little More Realistic': The Ethical Labour of Suspension among Nightclub Hostesses in Southeast China" is the winner of the 20th William L. Holland Prize for the best article published in 2021 Pacific Affairs. A short interview is available at



Works within

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Publications by user content

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Fengjiang J. The desire to help: Vernacular humanitarian imaginaries in China. Social Anthropology. 2023 Mar 1;31(1):30-47. doi: 10.3167/saas.2023.310104
Fengjiang J. Philanthropy fever from below: On the possibilities of a good life in late socialist China. positions: asia critique. 2022 Nov 19;32(1).
Fengjiang J. Remaking the value of work: The emergence of grassroots philanthropy in China. American Ethnologist. 2022 Nov;49(4):536-548. Epub 2022 Oct 26. doi: 10.1111/amet.13103
Fengjiang J. [Review of] Re-enchanting modernity: Ritual Economy and Society in Wenzhou, China by Mayfair Yang. Pacific Affairs. 2022 Sept;95(3):622-624. Epub 2022 Jun 30.
Fengjiang J. The Creativity Hoax: Precarious Work and the Gig Economy. Morgan, George and Nelligan, Pariece. New York, NY: Anthem Press, 2018. Anthropology of Work Review. 2021 Jul 31;42(1):61-62. Epub 2021 Jul 31. doi: 10.1111/awr.12211
Fengjiang J. “To be a little more realistic”: The ethical labour of suspension among nightclub hostesses in Southeast China. Pacific Affairs. 2021 Jun 2;94(2):307-328. doi: 10.5509//2021942307
Fengjiang J, Steinmüller H. Leadership programmes: Success, self-improvement, and relationship management among new middle-class Chinese. Ethnos. 2021 Jan 17. Epub 2021 Jan 17. doi: 10.1080/00141844.2020.1867605
Fengjiang J. Book review: Zavoretti, Roberta. Rural origins, city lives: class and place in contemporary China. xviii, 202 pp., map, bibliogr. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2017. £41.00 (cloth). Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute . 2020 Mar;26(1):223-224. Epub 2020 Feb 13. doi: 10.1111/1467-9655.13220
Rambo LR, Bauman S, Fengjiang J. Toward a psychology of converting in the People’s Republic of China. Pastoral Psychology. 2012 Dec;61(5-6):895–921. Epub 2012 Aug 30. doi: 10.1007/s11089-012-0487-3