Accessibility statement

Dr Xiaodong Lin
Senior Lecturer



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

Wes joined the Department of Sociology at the University of York in 2013. Prior to this, he worked in the School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University and 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 - International Political Economy (2006), followed by a PhD in Sociology (2010), where he developed his research in the studies of men and masculinities, family and intimacy, age and generation in relation to changing family relations in light of migration.

External memberships

  • General Editor of The Sociological Review
  • International Editorial Board Member of the Cambridge Journal of Education
  • Academic Member of the AHRC Peer Review College.
  • Editor - International Book Series ‘Global Research in Gender, Sexuality and Health’ (with Professor Ellen Annandale), Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan.



Wes has an ongoing research interest in the sociological studies of gender, men and masculinities, and food.

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 in China.  Through engagement with traditional cultural values in relation to the family, 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 deploys 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 develops 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 and the meanings of 'care' 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 has developed research collaboeration with the Marks and Spencer Company Archive on a number of research projects in relation to food, care and everyday life. Their recent proejct - 'In-Touch with Food: an inter-generational approach to the narratives of food, culture and everyday life', was funded by the Culture and Communication priming funds.


Wes' current project (with Professor Sarah Nettlton) is entitled - 'The Role of Food in Older Adults’ Everyday Life: A Collaborative Initiative with Marks & Spencer'. The proejct is funded by the ESRC IAA/Business Boost Grant. The project aims to understand the meanings of older adults’ everyday practices in relation to food consumption in light of changing families and personal relations.


Research group(s)

Gender, Sexuality and Inequalities Research Cluster (Convenor)

Culture, Values and Practices Research Cluster (Member)



Available PhD research projects

Wes welcomes PhD applications to study the following areas:

  • Food, care and everyday life
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Men and masculinities
  • Family and relationships
  • Culture and Society in China



Recently Completed PhD Students

  • Siyang Cao, Crafting Elastic Masculinity: Formations of Shenti, Intimacy and Kinship among Young Men in China (co-supervisor: Professor Stevi Jackson) - completed in 2018 (pass with no corrections)
  • Pin-Yao Chiu, Malleable Success: The Identity Formation of Taiwanese Working Holiday Markers in Australia (co-supervisor: Dr Laurie Hanquinet) - completed in 2019 (pass with no corrections)

Current PhD Students

  • Dilvin Dilara Usta Gumuscu, Interpretation of Contemporary Islam from Queer Theological Perspective (started in Ocotober 2017, co-supervisor: Professor Paul Johnson)
  • Shiyuan Yin, Stay-behind women in rural China (started in October 2018, co-supervisor: Dr Sian Beynon-Jones)
  • Yinan Zhang, Emotion, Mother-Daughter Relationship in China (started Spetember 2018, co-supervisor: Dr Laurie Hanquinet)
  • Qian Wang, Education and Women in China (co-supervisor: Dr Sian Beynon-Jones) 



Selected publications


Lin, X. et al. (2017) East Asian Men: Masculinity, Sexuality and Desire. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (with C. Haywood and M. Mac an Ghaill)(

Lin, X. (2013) Gender, Modernity and Male Migrant Workers in China: Becoming a ‘modern’ man. London: Routledge ( 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

Cao, S. and Lin, X. (2019) Masculinizing Fatherhood: Negotiation of Yang and Jiao among Young Fathers in China. Journal of Gender Studies. (online first)

Lin, X. (2019) Young Rural-Urban Migrant Fathers in China: Everyday ‘China Dream’ and the Negotiation of Masculinity. NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies. 14(3): 168-182.

Lin, X. & M. Mac an Ghaill (2019) Shifting discourses from boy preference to boy crisis: educating boys and nation building in neoliberal China, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. 40(3):281-293.

Lin, X. (2018) Yang Sheng, Care and Changing Family Relations in China: about a ‘Left Behind’ Mother’s Diet. Families, Relationships and Societies, DOI: 10.1332/204674318X15384073468565 (online first)

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

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