Category Archives: South Africa

Places and the (im)possibilities of friendship

Occasionally, I’d receive “come home frendo” and other similar messages on my Facebook wall or inbox.  The “home” referred to in these messages is South Africa, not the US. Though I’ve been back for research purposes, it’s almost been three … Continue reading

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“Doing the happy”

It’s not what you think . . . if you’re thinking that. The title is from a Chinese friend’s WeChat message while she was in Togo. She was excited that her local host planned to take her out that night. … Continue reading

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Small things matter, including modes of connecting people and places

I’ve been using the buses, including the BRT (or bus rapid transit), more frequently this time in Guangzhou. Previously, I’ve used the subway or metro system. Whichever one we choose to use, these transportation systems connect the city and allow the majority … Continue reading

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Fieldwork, gender, and race

I haven’t written about the research process in awhile. Recent knowledge of a fellow researcher’s experience at her fieldsite has motivated me to finally put some thoughts in writing, related to being an Asian woman researcher who does fieldwork in … Continue reading

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Left-Behind Children Left Behind

Looking at the four photographs below, could you guess that the Chinese children and African child have something else in common other than, possibly, age? The youngest child was about four years old when the photograph was taken. The oldest, … Continue reading

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Gender and its inconveniences for Chinese women

“You know I never think about this. But sometimes I hate I am a girl,” my Chinese friend, Swift, wrote on WeChat one day. She was feeling annoyed with the Chinese man who’d agreed to rent one of his rooms … Continue reading

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Of body and beauty

It was probably in 2007 or 2008 when this situation that I’m about to share occurred. At that time, an Anthropologist friend had suggested that I write about it and, perhaps, offer some sort of theoretical analysis. I wasn’t keen … Continue reading

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