Chun-Yi Sum

Our Students

Chun-Yi Sum

Matriculated September 2008

Chun-Yi’s research interests include the study of morality, civil society, social mobilization, youth, and higher education, with a geographical focus on China. Her dissertation fieldwork focuses on volunteerism and civic consciousness among college students in South China. Chun-Yi’s dissertation—tentatively titled Therefore I Am Made Indifferent: Morality and Civility in Student Organizations in a Chinese University—analyzes how on-campus associational experiences affect young people’s moral worldviews when they unwittingly disempower idealistic students from making sustainable and meaningful social contributions. Her paper, An Exercise for the People’s Republic: Order and Discipline in the Morning Ritual of a Chinese Primary School, won the Theodore C. Bestor Prize for Outstanding Graduate Paper from the Society for East Asian Anthropology in 2010. She expects to defend her dissertation by May 2015.



  • Presidential Fellowship
  • Long-Term GRAF
  • Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, Wenner-Gren Foundation