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I am a cultural anthropologist at the University of Washington. I got my Ph.D. in Anthropology (Washington University in St. Louis, 2014, supervisor: Pascal Boyer), and M.A. and B.A. from Tsinghua University (China). I conducted postdoctoral research in the Early Childhood Cognition Lab at the Department of Psychology (University of Washington, 2014-2016).
My scholarship seeks to answer this central question facing humanity: How do we become moral beings in specific socio-cultural contexts? Interested in culture-mind interaction, I adopt an interdisciplinary approach, by putting anthropological and cognitive science theories in conversation, by combining ethnography and controlled methods, and by drawing from the broad field of Chinese studies. Specifically, my research pursues three inter-related themes: 1) moral development in familial and educational settings in contemporary China; 2) Continuity and change in thoughts of morality and education in Chinese communities across time and space; and 3) cross-cultural comparison of socio-moral cognition between Chinese and Western populations.
The Good Child: Moral Development in a Chinese Preschool (Stanford University Press, 2017)
Learning "Merit" in a Chinese Preschool: Bringing the Anthropological Perspective to Understanding Moral Development (American Anthropologist, 2019)
Becoming a Moral Child amidst China's Moral Criss: Preschool Discourse and Practices of Sharing in Shanghai (Ethos, 2014)
Experience Facilitates the Emergence of Sharing Behavior among 7.5-month-old Infants (Developmental Psychology, 2016)