Vanessa L. Fong

Vanessa Fong


Vanessa L. Fong
E-mail: vfong[at]

Vanessa Fong


Ph.D. in Anthropology, Harvard University (2002).

M.A. in Anthropology, Harvard University (1998).

B.A. in Anthropology, Amherst College (1996).


Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Amherst College (2012-present).

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University (2009-2012).

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University(2003-2009).

Postdoctoral Fellow, Population Studies Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2002-2003).


Fong, Vanessa L. Paradise Redefined: Transnational Chinese Students and the Quest for Flexible Citizenship in the Developed World. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2011. 

Fong, Vanessa L. Only Hope: Coming of Age under China’s One-Child Policy. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2004 (winner of the 2005 Francis Hsu Book Prize from the Society for East Asian Anthropology for the English-language book published in the previous calendar year judged to have made the most significant contribution to East Asian Anthropology).


Murphy, Rachel and Vanessa L. Fong, eds. Media, Identity, and Struggle in Twenty-First Century China. London: Routledge, 2008 (originally published as special issues of Critical Asian Studies 39, no.1 (2007), and no. 2 (2007), both of which were guest edited by Rachel Murphy and Vanessa L. Fong).

Fong, Vanessa L. and Rachel Murphy, eds. Chinese Citizenship: Views from the Margins London: Routledge, 2006.

Lan, Hua R. and Vanessa L. Fong, eds. Women in Republican China: A Sourcebook. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1999 (Parts of this were originally published as a special issue of Chinese Studies in History 31, no. 2 (1998), guest edited by Hua R. Lan and Vanessa L. Fong)

JOURNAL ARTICLES (*=student co-author)

*Kim, Sung won, *Kari-Elle Brown, *Edward J. Kim, and Vanessa L. Fong. "Poorer Children Study Better”: How Urban Chinese Youth Perceive Relationships between Wealth and Academic Achievement. Comparative Education Review (forthcoming).

*Kim, Sung won, *Kari-Elle Brown*, and Vanessa L. Fong. How Flexible Gender Identities Give Young Women Advantages in China’s New Economy. Gender and Education (2017): 1-19.

*Kim, Sung won, *Kari-Elle Brown*, and Vanessa L. Fong. Chinese Individualisms: Childrearing Aspirations for the Next Generation of Middle Class Chinese Citizens. Ethos 45, no 3 (2017): 342-366.

*Kim, Sung won, *Edward J. Kim, Amy Wagaman, and Vanessa L. Fong. A Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study of Parents’ Socioeconomic Status and Children’s Educational Attainment in Dalian City, China. International Journal of Educational Development 52 (2017): 111–121.

*Kim, Sung won, *Kari-Elle Brown, and Vanessa L. Fong. Credentialism and Career Aspirations: How Urban Chinese Youth Choose High School and College Majors. Comparative Education Review 60, no. 2 (2016):271-292.

*Kim, Sung won, and Vanessa L. Fong. Homework help, Achievement in Middle School, and Later College Attainment in China. Asia Pacific Education Review 15, no. 4 (2014):617-631

*Kim, Sung won, and Vanessa L. Fong. A Longitudinal Study of Son and Daughter Preference among Chinese Only-Children from Adolescence to Adulthood. The China Journal no. 71 (2014): 1-26.

*Kim, Sung won and Vanessa L. Fong. How Parents Help Children with Schoolwork in China: Narratives Across the Life-span. Asia Pacific Education Review 14, no. 4 (2013): 581-592.

*Kim, Sung won, Vanessa L. Fong, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Niobe Way, Xinyin Chen, Huihua Deng, and Zuhong Lu. Income, Work Preferences, and Gender Roles among Parents of Infants in Urban China: A Mixed Method Study from Nanjing. China Quarterly 204 (2010): 939–959. Republished in Gender in Flux: Agency and its Limits in Contemporary China, Harriet Evans and Julia C. Strauss, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2011: 123-143.

Wang, Ying and Vanessa L. Fong. Little Emperors and the 4:2:1 Generation: China's Single Child Policy. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 48, no. 12 (2009): 1137-1139.

Fong, Vanessa L. The Other Side of the Healthy Immigrant Paradox: Chinese Students in Ireland and Britain who Return to China Due to Health Crises. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 32, no. 4 (2008): 627-641.

Fong, Vanessa L. SARS, a Shipwreck, a NATO Attack, and September 11: Global Information Flows and Chinese Responses to Tragic News Events. American Ethnologist 34, no. 4 (2007): 521-539.

Fong, Vanessa L. Parent-Child Communication Problems and the Perceived Inadequacies of Chinese Only-Children. Ethos 35, no. 1 (2007): 85-127. Republished in Robert A. LeVine (Ed.), 2010, Psychological Anthropology: A Reader on Self in Culture (pp. 220-238). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.

Fong, Vanessa L. Morality, Cosmopolitanism, or Academic Achievement? Discourses on “Quality” and Urban Chinese Only-Children’s Claims to Ideal Personhood. City and Society 19, no. 1 (2007): 86-113.

Fong, Vanessa. Filial Nationalism among Chinese Teenagers with Global Identities. American Ethnologist 31, no. 4 (2004): 629-646. 

Fong, Vanessa L. China's One-Child Policy and the Empowerment of Urban Daughters. American Anthropologist 104, no. 4 (2002): 1098-1109. This article was republished in Xiaowei Zang (Ed.), Gender and Chinese Society: Critical Concepts in Asian Studies, New York: Routledge (2014).A revised version of this article was also published in Prescott, Anne (Ed.), East Asia in the World, New York: Routledge (2015).

CHAPTERS IN EDITED VOLUMES (*=student co-author)

Fong, Vanessa L., *Dian Yu, and *Yun Zhu.  One Child and More. In Routledge Handbook of Chinese Culture and Society, ed. Kevin Latham. Routledge (forthcoming).

Fong, Vanessa L., *Cong Zhang, *Sung won Kim, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Niobe Way, Xinyin Chen, Zuhong Lu, and Huihua Deng. Gender Role Expectations and Chinese Mothers’ Aspirations for their Toddler Daughters’ Future Independence and Excellence. In Andrew Kipnis, ed., Chinese Modernity and the Individual Psyche. New York, New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2012): 106-136.

Fong, Vanessa L. and *Sung won Kim, Anthropological Perspectives on Chinese Children, Youth, and Education. In A Companion to the Anthropology of Education, Bradley A. U. Levinson and Mica Pollock, eds. Hoboken, New Jersey: Blackwell Publishing (2011):333-348.

Fong, Vanessa L. Introduction: Media, Identity, and Struggle in Twenty-First Century China. Critical Asian Studies 39, no.1 (2007): 58-62 and no. 2 (2007): 255-258. Republished in Media, Identity, and Struggle in Twenty-First Century China, Rachel Murphy and Vanessa L. Fong, eds., London: Routledge, 2008: 9-14.

Fong, Vanessa L. Chinese Youth between the Margins of China and the First World. In Chinese Citizenship:  Views from the Margins, Vanessa L. Fong and Rachel Murphy, eds., Routledge (2006): 151-173.

Murphy, Rachel and Vanessa L. Fong.. Introduction: Chinese Experiences of Citizenship at the Margins. In Chinese Citizenship: Views from the Margins, Vanessa L. Fong and Rachel A. Murphy, eds., Routledge (2006): 1-8.

Hua R. Lan and Vanessa L. Fong. Editors’ Preface and Section Introductions. In Women in Republican China. In Hua R. Lan and Vanessa L. Fong, eds., Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe (1999): xxvii-xxx, 1-4,75-78, 117-120, 147-150, 183-186.


Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Class Work: Vocational Schools and China's Urban Youth by T.E. Woronov. In American Ethnologist 43: 4 (2016): 779-780.

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Global Futures in East Asia: Youth, Nation, and the New Economy in Uncertain Times, edited by Ann Anagnost, Andrea Arai, and Hai Ren. In Critique of Anthropology 36: 1 (2016): 99-100.

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Ordinary Ethics in China, edited by Charles Stafford. The China Journal 65, no. 1 (2016): 194-196. 

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Love's Uncertainty: The Politics and Ethics of Child Rearing in Contemporary China, Ethos 43, no. 4 (2015): e23-e24. 

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Governing Educational Desire: Culture, Politics, and Schooling in China by Andrew B. Kipnis. The China Journal 68 (2012): 256-258.

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Cultivating Global Citizens: Population in the Rise of China by Susan Greenhalgh. Journal of Asian Studies 70, no. 4 (2011):1121-1123.

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of China and Postsocialist Anthropology: Theorizing Power and Society after Communism, by Andrew Kipnis. American Anthropologist 112, no. 3 (2010): 483-484.

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Lies that Bind: Chinese Truth, Other Truths, by Susan Blum. American Ethnologist 37, no. 2 (2010): 408.

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng's China, by Susan Greenhalgh, Contemporary Sociology 38, no. 5 (2009): 442-444.

Fong, Vanessa L. The Personal is Political: Review of Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey, by Esra Özyürek, Current Anthropology 50, no. 2 (2009): 270-271.

Fong, Vanessa L. Globalization, the Chinese State, and Chinese Subjectivities: a Review Essay (Reviews of Popular China by Richard P. Madsen, Paul G. Pickowicz, and Perry Link; Private Life under Socialism: Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village, 1949-1999  by Yunxiang Yan; and Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks Within China's Floating Population by Li Zhang). Comparative Studies in Society and History 48, no. 4 (2006): 946-953.

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of China’s Revolutions and Intergenerational Relations, by Martin King Whyte. American Anthropologist 106, no. 4 (2004): 783-784.

Fong, Vanessa L. Review of Seeking Modernity in China’s Name: Chinese Students in the United States, 1900-1927, by Weili Ye. Comparative Studies in Society and History 45, no. 3 (2003): 644-645


Fong, Vanessa L. Preface. In Personhood: An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept, by Laura P. Appell-Warren. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press (2014): 1-5.

Fong, Vanessa L. “China, Japan, and Korea.” In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Childhood Studies. Heather Montgomery, ed. New York: Oxford University Press (2012).

Fong, Vanessa L. and Philip G. Altbach. “School Achievement: Let's Not Worry Too Much About Shanghai.” Education Week 30, no. 15 (2011): 28-30.

Fong, Vanessa L. Commentary on “Deleuze and the Anthropology of Becoming,” by João Biehl and Peter Locke. Current Anthropology 51, no. 3 (2010): 338-339.

Fong, Vanessa L. Exploring the Lives and Attitudes of Only Children in China. China Connection: A Journal for New England Families Who Have Adopted Children from China 13, no. 1 (2007): 31-33.

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