Irene Pang

Pang, IrenePang, IreneIrene Pang

Contact Information:
Brown University 
Department of Sociology 
Box 1916 
Providence, RI 02912  
Fax: (401) 863-3213

Year of Entry: 2010

Previous Degrees:
B.A. (Hons.) Sociology, Johns Hopkins University, 2009
A.M. Sociology, Brown University, 2012

Area of Interest:
Development, citizenship, internal migrants, dynamics of capitalism, comparative research, China, India 

Market reforms in China beginning in the late 1970s have initiated the transformation of China's citizenship regime, understood as the triadic configuration of relations between the state, the market, and an emerging civil society. Using the petition campaign by a group of migrant parents in Beijing seeking the rights of their children to sit university entrance examinations locally as the site of active practice and contestation of citizenship, my MA thesis examines the nature of the emergent citizenship regime in China and its implications for social inequality.

Building on this project, I plan to study the changing regimes of citizenship in China and India in comparative perspective. Both China and India have been treated as outliers in the literature on citizenship, yet both are situated at exciting points of juncture as they undergo substantial socio-economic transformation. Using the entry of internal migrants—specifically, construction workers—into Beijing and Delhi as sites of contestation for citizenship, I am interested in tracing how citizenship, as the relationship between the state, the market, and civil society, is expressed in practice through the day-to-day interactions between state actors, employers, and construction workers. My project is motivated both empirically and theoretically. Empirically, I seek to understand not only how citizenship is described and instituted by the law, but also how it is practiced in everyday life, and how citizenship in the law may be distinct from citizenship in practice, especially for low-income internal migrants. Theoretically, I hope to interrogate the complementarities and contradictions between the logics of the state, the market, and civil society in the construction of citizenship, and to illustrate how different forms of citizenship correspond with specific configurations of relations between the state, the market, and civil society.