RAO Yichen

B.A. in English Language and Literature, Wuhan University, 2012
M.A. in Anthropology, CUHK, 2013
Home town: Jiangxi, China
Email: ycrao’at’cuhk.edu.hk

I am interested in psychological anthropology and my current research focuses on adolescent development in a specific socio-cultural context, youth culture on the cyberspace, psychological disorders among “new generation” and psychological therapies in contemporary China. I am now doing my project on “internet addiction”(网瘾) among youngsters in China, examining it both as a “youth problem” faced by the society and a mental disorder treated by psychiatrists and psychologists in China. Particularly, I am looking for the social implications of “being ‘an internet addict'” in China, and trying to interpret what is actually occurring to these youngsters and their family.

My fieldwork is being mainly conducted in a treatment camp of internet addiction based in Beijing.  Gathering voices from the young “patients”, their parents, as well as the drillmasters and psychologists who attempt to rectify their bodies and heal their minds, I will try to present the complicated picture of the campaign that aims at “rescuing” internet addicts in this institution. My research will examine the subjectivity of the “internet addicts” as shaped by and experienced within their institutional/clinical encounters and the emerging cyber-culture. To better understand the youngsters’ “addicted” experience, I am also doing online ethnography within a game community.

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