Jia-Lin Liu

PhD Candidate, Department of Applied Statistics, Social Science, and Humanities, Steinhardt

Synopsis of Research in Shanghai (February 3 - May 22):

Liu's research focuses on those who fall under the under the radar of society and research: mixed-status Chinese families in the US. Mainstream literature finds that Chinese immigrants not only have higher median household incomes compared to all other foreign-born pan-ethnic groups, but they also have much higher levels of educational attainment compared to other groups in the US. Chinese immigrants are known to be part of the model minority narrative, where they have specific cultural traits that help this group to be successful in career and academics. Chinese immigrants might come in various different pathways, but their emphasis on education has allowed many of their next generation to achieve upward mobility. Many have reasoned the educational success to be due to effort, hyper-selectivity, and ethnic capital. Drawing upon four years of ethnographic fieldwork in New York, Liu examines the lived experiences of mixed-status Chinese families, to ultimately show what drives their decision-making processes and perspectives is the desire to give back face to their families. Having experienced educational exclusion and low returns, these Chinese families have replaced education with low-status work abroad. As this immigrant group’s cultural frames are faced with new exclusion and barriers that come from having temporary legal status, they experience downward mobility and continuous disadvantage in the US. Liu will be using her time at NYU Shanghai to focus on dissertation analysis and writing.

Last Name
Jia-Lin Liu
Fellows Type
Global Dissertation Fellowship
Global Dissertation Fellowship semester
Spring 2020