Clusters

The four research clusters give broad direction for developing the Institute¡¯s research agenda, each embracing prominent and evolving themes in cross-cultural studies. Each cluster includes interdisciplinary approaches and combines and coordinates research activities from different disciplines. Our work represents an area of existing research strength and priority at the School of International Studies, and builds on the strong track record of language-based area studies and related multidisciplinary research.

1. Intercultural Communication and Cultural Management

Coordinator: Professor Xu Lisheng

School of International Studies at Zhejiang University has been an influential nation-leading centre for the study of intercultural communication. The cluster is loosely organized to explore intercultural communication theories, discourse and communication patterns rooted in specific contexts across different cultures and traditions. The goal is to develop an cultural awareness sensitive to the local particularities and the global diversities in a varieties of social practices, including business, organization, media, politics or education. We also offer professional training for people working in business, education, and consulting, in both international and domestic intercultural contexts.  The areas we are currently investigating include:

Global media culture and China image

Cross-cultural discourse studies

Translation and interpretation for intercultural communication

Cultural psychology

Business communication

Global diversity management

Intercultural communication in workplace

Comparative study of management culture between China and the West

Associated research centre: Centre for Contemporary Chinese Discourse Studies

2. Heritage, Cultural Memory and Leisure

Coordinator: Professors Wu Zongjie

The Research Cluster for Intangible Heritage in the Cross-Cultural perspective aims to bring together researchers at Zhejiang University who are working  in areas broadly related to the study of culture and cultural activity. We seek to integrate the study of cultural heritage - the artefacts, texts, documents and other records of past and continuing cultural practice - with the study of the processes and media by which  cultural practices and industry are fostered. Although the study of cultural heritage have conventionally been regarded as the purview of different disciplines in the humanities, we regard their relationship as symbiotic, and aim to break down any traditional division between areas of study. Cultural heritage is, in our view, is continually subject to revision, renegotiation and reinterpretation, as part of a process of cross-cultural exchange. Through the activities of its themed research groups, collaborative and cross-disciplinary research projects, seminars and symposia, the team explores and defines the nature of the essential interaction between cultural heritage and cross-cultural exchange, and fosters new kinds of interdisciplinary research across a wide range of fields in the humanities and social science.

3. Migration and  Diaspora Culture

Coordinator: Professor  Feng Bing

Movement and division are two prominent and contrasting themes in discourses about contemporary society. Contemporary society is often characterised as being marked by unprecedented levels of movement of people, goods and information. A different theme, however, is that of barriers and division (e.g. residential segregation, social exclusion or immigration controls). Our focus on migration and divided groups brings these two themes together in a single framework with the hope of providing insights into each of the two phenomena.

This research cluster specifically examines issues of migrant groups settling down in a new cosmopolitan city, focusing particularly on how different migrant groups (i.e. migrant farmers and migrant college graduates, or returned scholars and businessmen from overseas) are adapting to their new lives in their host city. Such adapting process involves job-hunting, career promotion and everyday life experiences in the new city, including cultural convergence of tastes, lifestyles and consumer preferences. The cluster also examines how the new migrants are constructing their new roles and identities. The research cluster attempts to relate migrant groups¡¯ life and work experiences with their cultural and social capital which might characterize migrant groups from different social backgrounds. It further explores the theoretical conceptualizations of class and social stratification.

4. Intercultural Education and History

Coordinators: Professors Fu Zheng and Wu Zongjie

Educational reformers in China are vigorously engaging in the global innovation of curriculum convergence without proper reflection on the historical consciousness that determines the boundaries of curriculum diversity. The cluster promotes research into intercultural education and diversity with a focus on historical transformation of educational discourse.We seek to historicize the present situation by taking cross-cultural approaches to historical investigation. We are specifically interested in recovering diverse forms of educational heritage, for instance, missionary educational heritage in China, Chinse classical teaching, classical academy education, pedagogical apprenticeship in tradtional Chinese medicine, business, crafts etc. in order to shed lights on the present issues of educational reform. We also have been working to develop deep approaches to language teaching and teacher development, promoting diversity in the area of applied linguistics that has been dominated by the episteme of Western positivism.