Mobile Study / Mobile Selves is a multi-phase, longitudinal study of Chinese women students in Australian higher education, conducted by Prof Fran Martin and supported by a Future Fellowship (FT 140100222, 2015 – 2020) and a Discovery Projects grant (DP230100442, 2023 – 2026) from the Australian Research Council.

In recent years, large numbers of young women from China have chosen to study in Western nations including Australia. Motivated by desires to overcome gender discrimination in China’s labour market and to escape the neotraditionalist ideology that increasingly restricts women’s opportunities at home, significantly more Chinese women than men travel overseas for degrees. They typically do so during a formative period of their lives, between ages 18–24. This raises the question of how education mobility affects these women’s lives in the long term.

Beginning with a pilot study in 2012 (phase 1), Prof Martin is conducting an ongoing program of ethnographic research that follows a core group of 50 female students from China who studied in universities in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. In 2021, Prof Martin concluded phase 2 of the research: a landmark 5-year study, published in her 2022 book, Dreams of Flight, which showed that studying abroad weakened young Chinese women’s identification with conservative gender roles and reoriented them toward alternative life scripts that resist the patriarchal ideology ascendant in Chinese society today. In other words, educational mobility fostered women graduates’ gender de-traditionalization, with potential to significantly transform their lives over the longer term. Prof Martin is now continuing her investigations with a third phase of the study, which tracks her participants’ lives several years post-study, as they enter their late twenties and early thirties.

From before their departure from China through to their lives in the years after graduation, Mobile Study / Mobile Selves is building a detailed picture of how these young women’s time in Australia affects their gendered identity over the long term.

Who were these women when they arrived in Australia – and who do they become during and after their international studies?


读新书《远走高飞之梦》的 中文介绍 《南方周末》 2022年4月9日

收听作者采访在《不合时宜》博客, ”远走高飞后,留学能给人带来自由吗?”, 2023年4月11日。

求学 / 自我求索 是一个多阶段、长期关注在澳洲大学留学的中国女学生的科研项目。该项目由Fran Martin (马嘉兰) 教授主持,澳大利亚国家级研究理事会未来研究员(FT140100222, 2015-2020)及科学发现项目(DP230100442, 2023-2026)出资。


2012年的试验研究(第一阶段) , Martin 教授以民族志的方式持续跟踪采访了一个核心小组50位分别在墨尔本,堪培拉,悉尼留学的中国女学生。 2021年,Martin教授完成了第二阶段的研究 ,并于2022年出版新书《远飞之梦》作为她5年研究成果的阶段性总结。该书提出国外留学经历弱化了中国年轻女性对保守性别角色的认同,并且让她们在今后的人生当中能抵抗当今中国社会普遍存在的父权观念。或者说,海外留学不仅能促使女留学生在性别观念上摆脱传统,也蕴含着深远改变她们人生轨迹的可能。随着受访者进入到30岁左右的年龄段, Martin教授目前正展开第三阶段的研究 ,继续跟踪考察她的研究参与者毕业之后的人生轨迹。

从她们尚未离开中国,到她们求学之后的生活, 求学 / 自我求索 关注这些年轻女性在澳的经历对她们未来的性别身份认识有何影响,并为之描绘出一幅清晰的图像。


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