Thirteen Western Washington University students spent the past summer in China looking in-depth at Chinese society for a Society 437 course titled "Changing China -- Culture, Community, and Citizenship."
While in country, each student conducted research on a topic of his or her interest, collecting audio, video and interview data. Among the topics were environmental awareness, sex education, consumption behaviors among youth and college communities.
The China trip was led by sociology assistant professor Baozhen Luo and political science associate professor Kristen Parris. The course started in Beijing on Aug. 19, where the group visited famous sites such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City and 2008 Olympic sites Bird Nest and Water Cube.
The group then spent 10 days in Gansu province at Lanzhou University and in the city of Hangzhou at Zhejiang University. In those places, numerous field trips included a six-day road trip on ancient “Silk Road.” The group also visited various middle schools, communities, peasants’ homes and farms, and rural clinics. The traveling portion of the course ended in Shanghai on Sept. 16.