GS Students Conduct Field Research in South East Asia

GS Students Conduct Field Research in South East Asia

June 22, 2012

GS students Michael Darmstadt, Pablo Mota, and Tao Yang are making their way thr

Three GS students are currently spending their summers in Asia as part of the inaugural Global Scholars Program Summer Research Workshop, which seeks to immerse students in field research opportunities in a comparative, cross-cultural environment.

GS students Michael Darmstadt, Pablo Mota, and Tao Yang will join eight other Columbia College and Barnard College students for the workshop, making stops in Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai. The program is led by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and was developed in cooperation with the Columbia Global Centers and the Office of Global Programs.

Among those students selected for the program are sociology, anthropology, urban studies, economics and philosophy majors.

The three GS students personify the larger group's diversity, each possessing a unique academic and personal background.

Rising GS senior Darmstadt is majoring in East Asian languages and cultures, specifically contemporary Chinese history. His senior thesis confronts, as his website bio describes, the rise of luxury automotive manufacturing in China and the links of this industry with the economic growth and social changes instigated by the 1980s economic reforms.”

Mota, also a rising senior, is majoring in urban studies with a specialization in sociology. His journey to Asia has been informed by his research on Valle de Chalco, the largest slum in Mexico. He hopes to build upon his research through a comparative analysis of Mumbai’s Dharavi slums.

Yang, a rising junior and economics-political science major, originally hails from western China, although he grew up in Guangzhou. He has firsthand experience dealing with the Chinese education system, having been barred from attending Guangzhou's elite schools for lack of local residence. His personal bio attributes such a struggle to the promise and pitfalls of China's great urbanization of the past several decades.

The group's trip will be highlighted on the Global Scholars Program blog.The first blog post, which is written by Mota, can be found here.