Love Troubles: Inequality in China and its Intimate Consequences

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

This event is both in-person and online.

Decades of economic reforms have made China one of the most unequal countries in the world, but the impact of this inequality is not just socioeconomic. Drawing on first-hand ethnographic research among rural migrant factory workers in the Pearl River Delta in southern China, Wanning Sun presents key findings from her latest book Love Troubles: Inequality in China and its Intimate Consequences (Bloomsbury 2023). She discusses how big, structural issues of socioeconomic inequality shape the ways in which individuals from different socioeconomic groups understand, think about, and experience love and intimacy. She also explores how inequality-both socioeconomic and cultural-impacts on the intimate lives of the nation's vast and growing population of rural migrant workers.

Wanning Sun is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA). She is a member of the College of Experts, Australian Research Council (2020-2023). She is best known for her work in the fields of Chinese media and cultural studies, migration, and social change in contemporary China, and diasporic Chinese media. She is the author of Leaving China: Media, Migration, and Transnational Imagination (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002); Maid in China: Media, Morality, and the Cultural Politics of Boundaries (Routledge, 2009); Subaltern China: Rural Migrants, Media, and Cultural Practices (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), and Love Troubles: Inequality in China and its Intimate Consequences (Bloomsbury 2023).

The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Centre on China in the World at ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.