I am Bin Xu, Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at Emory University.
My research interests are at the intersection of social theory, cultural sociology, and political sociology. I am particularly interested in civil society, collective memory, disaster research, and symbolic politics.
I’m currently co-editing with Ming-Cheng Lo a special issue on “Catastrophes, Meanings, and Politics in a Global World: Toward a Cultural Sociology of Disasters” with Poetics, a leading journal of sociology of culture, media, and the arts. Please see the call for papers HERE. If you’re interested, please consider submitting an abstract!
My first book The Politics of Compassion: The Sichuan Earthquake and Civic Engagement in China (Stanford University Press, 2017) is available for order now on Stanford University Press’s website. See a brief summary of the book HERE.
I have finished my second book, which is about the collective memory of China’s “educated youth” (zhiqing) generation—the 17 million Chinese youth sent down to the countryside in the 1960s and 1970s. I draw on the data collected from 2007-2018, including life history interviews, ethnography, and archival research, to address how members of this important generation interpret meanings of their past difficulties and sufferings in the countryside, how those interpretations are represented and expressed in autobiographic memories, cultural objects, and commemorative activities, and what their memories tell us about this generation’s mentality. The book is under review at a university press. A brief working summary can be found HERE.
I currently am working on my third book, provisionally titled The Culture of Democracy: A Sociological Approach to Civil Society (under contract with Polity Press, in its acclaimed Cultural Sociology series). The book will provide a theoretical introduction to and discussion of the cultural sociology of civil society and takes a global perspective to discuss some pressing issues such as civility, authoritarianism, and populism. The book will serve as a theoretical foundation for my research agenda in next ten years. It will be finished in 2021.
Information about my other publications can be found HERE.
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If you have any questions related to my research, please email me at xubin013 (at) gmail (dot) com.