Di Di

PhD Candidate

Department of Sociology

Rice University

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I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Rice University. Prior to enrolling at Rice, I earned a bachelor’s degree in law from Tongji University, Shanghai, China in 2012. At this point in my academic career, I have published nine peer-reviewed publications. I have also received two awards on my research as well as four research grants. Broadly, my research studies social inequality in science and religion from a transnational comparative perspective. 

I am passionate about expanding the knowledge of how science and religion are constructed by different sets of social logics. Through my research, I have investigated the ways in which gendered, racialized, and Western-centric social logics shape academic sciences and religions in mainland China, Taiwan, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  

For my dissertation, I specifically focus on a religious setting, comparing Buddhists' construction of selves in two similar temples located in distinct national contexts: mainland China and the U.S.

To learn more about my work as a sociologist, please refer to my CV.

Examining How National Contexts SHAPE WHO WE ARE

Recent Highlights:

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03/2018: My paper, "Paths to Enlightenment: Constructing Buddhist Identities in Mainland China and the United States" is accepted for publication at Sociology of Religion

 

 

 

 

 

10/2017: I presented a portion of my dissertation research finding in the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

 

 

 

10/2017: My article, "Creating Sacredness and Defending Secularity: Faith in the Workplace of Taiwanese Scientists" (co-authored with Elaine Howard Ecklund) is published on Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World  3:1-15. The full article can be found online here.

 

08/2017: I presented a portion of my dissertation research findings, "Navigating Gender Norms: 'Doing Egalitarianism' in Mainland China and the US" in the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. 

Serving as the program chair in the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, I have organized 67sessions and attended two council meetings during the conference. This role us usually assigned to tenure-tracked faculties.

 

07/2017: I was awarded the inaugural Senior Graduate Student Fellowship from the Religion and Public Life Program (RPLP) Senior Graduate Student Fellowship at Rice University. 

This fellowship is provided to a student in their 6th or 7th year of a PhD program, whose work involves some aspect of religion in public life, and who can meaningfully contribute to the research, training, and outreach missions of the RPLP.

 

 

06/2017: I was awarded a Constant H. Jacquet Research Award from the Religious Research Association to support my dissertation research, "Getting Enlightened: A Comparative Study of Buddhist Temples in Mainland China and the US."

 

 

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05/2017: I was awarded the Seth Balkishan Das Singhal Award for my paper, "Navigating Gender Norms: 'Doing Gender' in Buddhist Temples in Mainland China and the US."

This award, given by the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CSWGS) at Rice University, is for an undergraduate or graduate paper that addresses social justice issues, with special consideration for those papers that substantively address issues of faith and religion as they influence individual and collective behavior.

 

 

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02/2017 My research, "A Gendered Approach to Science Ethics for US and UK Physicists" (co-authored with Elaine Howard Ecklund, published in Science and Engineering Ethics) is quoted by Inside Higher Ed and Times Higher Education