School of Social and Political Science

Dr Jingyu Mao

Job Title

Lecturer in Sociology

A portrait of Jingyu Mao
Personal website

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Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

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Research interests

Research interests

Sociology of Emotions; Intimacy and Personal Life; Work and Migration; Ethnicity and Gender; Contemporary China; The Politics of Care


I am a Lecturer in Sociology at the School of Social and Political Science. I completed a PhD in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh in 2020. My PhD project focuses on rural-urban migrants in a small city in Southwest China who work as ethnic performers and who are mostly from ethnic minority backgrounds. It explores the intertwining inequalities of ethnicity, rural-urban divide, and gender in contemporary China by looking at people's emotions, sense of self, and relationships with significant others. The associated monograph entitled Intimacy as a Lens on Work and Migration--Experiences of Ethnic Performers in Southwest China is forthcoming with Bristol University Press.

Before joining Edinburgh, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Sociology at Bielefeld University in Germany, working for the ERC-funded project WelfareStruggles which comparatively explores the logic of welfare provisions for migrant workers in global factories in China and Vietnam. I remain a research associate of the project until October 2024. I was a visiting fellow for the Joint Project 'Worldmaking from a Global Perspective--a Dialogue with China', through which I visited the Sinology Department at Würzburg University in October 2021.


  • PhD in Sociology - University of Edinburgh (2020)
  • MA in Sociology - Warwick University (2014)
  • BA in Sociology and BA in Journalism -- Xiamen University (2013)



Mao, J. (Forthcoming 2024) Intimacy as a Lens on Work and Migration—Experiences of Ethnic Performers in Southwest China, Bristol University Press.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Mao, J. (2023) Doing Ethnicity—Multi-layered Ethnic Scripts in Contemporary China, The China Quarterly, 1-15.

Mao, J. (2023) Bringing emotional reflexivity and emotional regime to understanding ‘the hukou puzzle’ in contemporary China. Emotions and Society, available from: (published online ahead of print 2023).

Mao, J. & Yan, Z. (2023) ‘Friends are those who can help you out’: unpacking the understandings and experiences of friendships among young migrant workers in China. Families, Relationships and Societies. XX(XX): 1–17, DOI: (published online ahead of print 2023).

Lin, J. & Mao, J. (2023) More equitable fiscal systems are needed to improve welfare provision for migrant workers in China and Vietnam. Melbourne Asia Review. Edition 14. (Equal authorship)

Lin, Q. & Mao, J. (2022) A New Job after Retirement?: Negotiating Grandparenting and Intergenerational Relationships in Urban China, China Perspectives, 2022/1: 47-56. (Equal authorship)

Mao, J. (2021) Bordering work and personal life—Using ‘the multiplication of labour’ to understand ethnic performers’ work in Southwest China, China Perspectives, 2021/1: 9-17.

Book Reviews

Mao, J. (2022) Dystopian Emotions: Emotional landscapes and dark futures (Bristol: Bristol University Press, 2022), Edited by Jordan McKenzie and Roger Patulny, Emotions and Society,

Mao, J. (2018). Masculine Compromise: Migration, Family, and Gender in China (California: University of California Press), Written by Susanne Yuk-Ping Choi and Yinni Peng,  Sociological Research Online, 23(3), 705–706.

Mao, J. (2016). Development Interventions, Gender and Social Change in Rural China—A Case Study of Three Villages in Shaanxi (Moldova: Lambert Academic Publishing), Written by Lichao Yang, Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Review, vol.11.

Policy Briefs 

Lin, J. & Mao, J. (2022) Policy Brief: Changing Household Registration Systems and Worker Welfare in China and Vietnam (Equal Authorship), Bielefeld University:…

Lin, J. & Mao, J. (2022) Policy Brief: Changing Labour Laws and Worker Welfare in Vietnam and China (Equal Authorship), Bielefeld University:…

Lin, J. & Mao, J. (2022) Policy Brief: Taxation and Welfare Provision in China and Vietnam (Equal Authorship), Bielefeld University:…



Works within

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