Ruijie Peng

Sociology
Affiliated Graduate Students, Summer Fieldwork Grantees (2016), Alumni

Ruijie Peng is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and a graduate fellow in the Urban Ethnography Lab at University of Texas at Austin. Ruijie was born and raised in the mountains of Sichuan province in China. Before joining UT Austin, she received her BA degree in English Language and Literature at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her current research interests include labor, race and ethnicity, culture and development. One of her ongoing research projects investigates how ethnic minorities, particularly Tibetan and Qiang women in the Eastern Himalayan Plateau in Sichuan province, participate in and negotiate with market-oriented cash-crop production, un(der)paid care work and state-sanctioned development projects. Building on the scholarship on critical development studies and inequality, her research examines how the decision-making power of rural minority women changes with increased labor participation. More specifically, she plans to incorporate extensive field research to understand the strategies these rural minority women employ to navigate the constant changes in discourses and practices of social and economic development. Ruijie hopes her research can illuminate how rural women make sense of and attach meaning to their changing roles and responsibilities, as well as the limits and possibilities these processes have for addressing urban-rural, gender and inter-generational inequality in China and beyond.