Renxue Wan started her doctoral study in sociology at Fudan University in the year 2018. Now she is a third year PhD candidate specializing in cultural sociology and sociology of work.
Renxue has a general research interest in how the meaning of beauty is shaped in the nexus of labor, production and consumption. Drawing on the theory of performativity of icons, she is now examining the work process of Chinese “social media influencers/celebrities” specialized in modeling and make-up on “Dou Yin” (Chinese version of Tik-Tok). Her research mainly concerns 1)the exploration on the development of a culture of “lookism” in China which makes the background representation 2)the iconic strategies that influencers devise following the iconic scripts drawn by managers and brokers from MCN companies(directors); 3)the dynamic responses and negotiations that take place between influencers and the followers(audience), and the consequence of such negotiations.
Renxue’s doctoral dissertation examines how aesthetic negotiations among fitness trainers and their clients over body, gender and class on the shop floor constitute a “neo-beauty culture” in contemporary China in the face of social fragmentation. One of the chapters of her dissertation has won the award as the best presentation at the 8th Global Social Sciences Graduate e-Conference. (CCS Visiting Graduate Student)