Dr Xiaodong Lin



  • PhD (Birmingham)
  • MA (Birmingham)
  • BA (Lancaster)

Wes joined the Department of Sociology at the University of York in 2013. Prior to this, he worked as a Lecturer within the School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University and as a Research Associate within the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.

Wes did his first degree in Media and Cultural Studies at Lancaster University (2005), where he developed an interest in interdisciplinary approach to Sociology and Cultural Studies. He then moved to the University of Birmingham to complete a MA in International Studies (2006), followed by a PhD in Sociology (2010), where he developed his research interest in the studies of men and masculinity, family and intimacy, as well as age and generation, with a focus on China.

External memberships

  • Editorial Board Member of a British Sociological Association Journal - Work, Employment and Society
  • Academic Member of the AHRC Peer Review College.
  • Co-editor - International Book Series ‘Global Research in Gender, Sexuality and Health’ (with Professor Ellen Annandale), Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan.

Departmental Roles

  • Director of Graduate School
  • Leader of the ‘Gender, Sexuality & Inequalities’ Research Cluster 
  • Director of MA Culture, Society and Globalization
  • Member of the Departmental Ethics Committee



Wes has an ongoing research interest in the study of gender and migration, particularly on Chinese internal and transnational migration, in light of China as a global rising power.

A central theme of his research is to highlight the importance of culture in understanding identity formation in the context of changing work and family life as a result of migration.  Through engagement with traditional cultural values, such as filial piety, Confucian father-son relations, guanxi networks, and mianzi (face), as important resources for migrant men’s identity formation, his research critically applies western analytical frameworks, such as ‘Bourdieusian class analysis’, to address the intersection of different forms of power. His work argues for the need to hold onto the productive tension between materialist and post-structuralist accounts of these men’s migrating experiences.  

His research aims to break new ground in exploring a greater understanding of global men from a Chinese perspective through the study of Chinese internal and transnational male migrants. From an international perspective, his research also critically engages with a theoretical discussion of ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’, particularly regarding issues of self, intimacy and individualization within a late modernity framework.

Wes is currently studying the role of food in older adults' everyday life. Through the lens of ‘yang sheng’ (养生 life nurturing), his study aims to tease out the historical, social and cultural meanings within the older adults’ food practices that are beyond individual choices in relation to health.




BA logo

Wes has recently completed a project, funded by the British Academy, entitled 'Revisiting rural-urban migrant men in China: exploring youth, masculinities and aspirations'. July 2015-January 2017 (Ref. SG142139)


Wes is currently working with Professor Sarah Nettleton and Ms Manli Zhu on a project, collaborating with the Marks & Spencer Company Archive on 'In-Touch with Food: an inter-generational approach to the narratives of food, culture and everyday life', funded by the Culture and Communication priming funds.


Research group(s)

Gender, Sexuality and Inequalities Research Cluster

Culture, Values and Practices Research Cluster




Current PhD Supervision

  • Siyang Cao, Chinese Young Men and Masculinities (started October 2014, co-supervise with Professor Stevi Jackson) - complete
  • Pin-Yao Chiu, Taiwanese Working Holiday Makers (started January 2016, co-supervise with Dr Laurie Hanquinet)
  • Dilvin Dilara Usta Gumuscu, Interpretation of Contemporary Islam from Queer Theological Perspective (started in Ocotober 2017, co-supervise with Professor Paul Johnson)


Wes welcomes PhD applications to study the following areas:

  • Food and everyday life
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Men and masculinities
  • Migration, work and the family



Selected publications


Lin, X. et al. (2016) East Asian Men: Masculinity, Sexuality and Desire. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (with C. Haywood and M. Mac an Ghaill)(http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137556332)

Lin, X. (2013) Gender, Modernity and Male Migrant Workers in China: Becoming a ‘modern’ man. London: Routledge (http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415626576/Finalist of the BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2014, for the best first and sole-authored book within the discipline of Sociology

Lin, X. (2017 paperback edition) Gender, Modernity and Male Migrant Workers in China: Becoming a ‘modern’ man. London: Routledge



Journal Articles

Lin, X, Zhu, M & Nettleton, S. (2017) 'Enduring ‘Care’ and the Shifting Cultural Meanings of Convenience Food', Discover Society, 51 06 December.

Lin, X. & M. Mac an Ghaill (2017) Shifting discourses from boy preference to boy crisis: educating boys and nation building in neoliberal China, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2017.1312284 (online first)

Lowe, J.; Lin, X. and M. Mac an Ghaill (2016) Student-Parent attitudes towards Filipino migrant teachers in Indonesia. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 25(3):223-244. 

Lin, X. (2014) ‘Filial son’, the family, and identity formation among male migrant workers in urban China. Gender, Place and Culture 21(6):717-732.

Lin, X. & M. Mac an Ghaill (2013) Chinese male peasant workers and shifting masculine identities in urban workspaces. Gender, Work and Organization 20(5): 498-511.

Lin, X. (2010) New meanings of masculinities within Chinese migration: a reflection of tradition and modernity in contemporary Chinese society.  International Journal of Current Chinese Studies. No.1, 2010, pp. 9-26.


Book Chapters

Lin, X. (2017) (Re)-masculinizing ‘suzhi jiaoyu’ (education for quality): aspirational values of modernity in neoliberal China. In Stahl, G. et al. (eds.) Masculinity and Aspiration: International Perspectives in the Era of Neoliberal Education. London: Routledge.

Lin, X. (2017) 'Male Migrant Workers and the Negotiation of ‘Marginalized’ Masculinities in Urban China'. in C Haywood & T Johansson (eds), Marginalized Masculinities . Routledge.

Lin, X. (2016) Singleness, masculinity and heteronormativity: male migrant workers in China. In Lin, X. et al. (eds.) East Asian Men: Masculinity, Sexuality and Desire. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lin, X. (2016) ‘Filial son’, dislocated masculinity and the making of male migrant workers in urban China. In Andrea Cornwall, Nancy Lindisfarne and Frank G. Karioris (eds.) Masculinities Under Neoliberalism. London: Zed Books

Lin, X. (2015) Rural-urban migration in China: a critical understanding of informality. In K-L. Ngok & C-K Chan (eds.) China’s Social Policy: Transformation and Challenges. London: Routledge.


Review Articles

Lin X. (2013) Sharon F Rallis and Gretchen B Rossman, The Research Journey: Introduction to Inquiry. Qualitative Research 13(5): 627-28.

Lin, X. (2013) Matthias R Mehl and Tamlin S Conner (eds), Handbook of Research Methods for Studying Daily Life. Qualitative Research 13(4): 484-85. 

Contact details

Dr Xiaodong Lin
Department of Sociology
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 1904 32 2636