Xiao Tan is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include health policy, health social science, and China’s global engagement. She is currently working with a Ford Foundation grant to investigate Chinese investment projects in Indonesia and leading several collaborative projects on China’s grassroots response to Covid-19, anti-Chinese sentiment in Western countries, and conducting fieldwork in China during and beyond the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for those conducting fieldwork in China. To understand how the situation has shifted, we collected firsthand accounts from internationally based China specialists, showcasing the difficulties they encountered and the strategies they used to cope. We also obtained insights from scholars based in China, which provided valuable perspectives on the changing fieldwork environment in the country. By reflecting on these findings, we aim to support a smoother transition for researchers looking to resume their fieldwork-based research in China in the post-pandemic era and beyond.
In China, patients, their relatives, or organised groups sometimes resort to ‘medical disturbances’ ( 医闹 , yi nao ) as a way of expressing grievances. Drawing on existing scholarly accounts and our recent research, this essay provides reflections on this phenomenon through the lens of patient activism.