Department of Sociology

Rui Jie Peng

MA, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Sociology

Rui Jie Peng



Rui Jie Peng is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Rui Jie gained her M.A. in Latin American Studies at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies. She is an ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow (2020-2021), and Graduate Fellow of the Urban Ethnography Lab and the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.

Rui Jie’s research interests include labor, gender, political sociology, development, global and transnational sociology. She has been studying labor and social inequality among diverse groups through a variety of lenses. Rui Jie’s dissertation project examines how China’s rapidly industrializing and globalizing development policies create a myriad of challenges and obstacles for ethnic-minority migrant workers and their rural families. While most research on labor migration in China focuses on Han majority migrant workers, her project turns toward ethnic-minority, non-migrant women often portrayed as passively left behind in the sending communities. She explores how older, ethnic-minority Qiang women, facing precarious socioeconomic situations and community disintegration, work to generate household income and even support migrant family members. In doing so, her project examines the oft-invisible labor for maintaining the social reproduction of migrant workers performed by older rural women. This project has received support from the American Council of Learned SocietiesNational Science Foundation, and International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Foundation. Her article, titled, "Rightful Bargaining: Rural Women Making Claims in China’s Targeted Poverty Alleviation Program" is forthcoming in the Sociological Forum.

Rui Jie has also conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Ecuador. She studied the social organization of work and workplace inequality in a Chinese-sponsored hydroelectric construction project where Chinese and Ecuadorian workers work together.

Rui Jie received her B.A. in English Language and Literature at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

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  • Department of Sociology

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