2019 - 2020 Back

Becoming Activists in Global China

Social Movements in the Chinese Diaspora

Dr.Andrew Junker

Andrew Junker will introduce his book, Becoming Activists in Global China (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2019). This sociological study examines two different Chinese opposition movements, the democracy movement and the Falun Gong. How did the overseas members of these different communities mobilize in democratic societies after being repressed in China? The literature on Chinese protest has intensively studied the 1989 democracy movement while largely ignoring the Falun Gong, even though the latter has been more visible, enduring, and in some ways more consequential. The book explains why Falun Gong protest took off in diaspora and the democracy movement did not. Falun Gong's roots in proselytizing and its ethic of volunteerism provided the launch pad for its political mobilization. By contrast, diaspora democracy activists adopted practices that effectively discouraged grassroots participation. Yet the same religious cultural resources that supported Falun Gong’s political mobilization also led to the movement’s marginalization, as Falun Gong ideology became increasingly millenarian in response to the contentious dynamics. Explaining Falun Gong's two decades of protest illuminates a poorly understood piece of Chinese contemporary history and advances our knowledge of how religious and political movements intersect.

Andrew Junker has a Ph.D. in sociology (Yale University, 2012) and an MA in religious studies (Indiana University, 2000). He currently is an adjunct assistant professor in the Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of Sociology and serves as the Hong Kong Director of the Yale-China Association.

Time:12:00-13:30, Thursday, 11 April 2019

Venue:USC, 8/F, Tin Ka Ping Building, CUHK


Lunch Fee: Free Admission, HK$40.00 for Lunch