This summer I will stay in Shanghai for about a month to conduct my research. During my stay in Shanghai, I would like to deepen my research on the dynamics of the Asian and Chinese market. Thanks to globalization and the Open Door Policy the Chinese population has been able to reach out to different realities. Consequentially, Chinese workers have been able to observe and take inspiration from the working habitat in other countries and ask for a better working condition for themselves. This increased the cost of labor in China and the buying power of the workers in the chain of production. Therefore, brands like The Adidas Group have started to outsource their chain of production elsewhere and to consider Chinese people as consumers rather than just a part of the chain of production. My research would focus on the sporting goods industry and to producers like the Adidas Group. This interest depends upon two main factors. Firstly, I have a personal interest in the sporting goods industry as my future career path. Secondly, I think that it is interesting to study the dynamics of the sporting goods industry especially in a country like China where women and other groups of society are starting to gain more importance as people and as consumers. An example of this is The Adidas Group’s recent advertising campaigns in China. The brand has launched advertising campaigns targeted to Chinese women that are extremely different from those targeted to women who live in Western world.
I plan on conducting an interview-based research and I have been reaching out to manufacturers as well as a reputable newspaper. I also plan on interviewing people that work in the stores and in the factories and customers of the stores themselves. I believe that this will give me the opportunity of understanding how this phenomenon is viewed by the different parts of the industry. I will also back up my research with readings I have been doing and will continue to do in preparation for the trip.
I will be going to China with the Lang Study Abroad Program. I believe that this will help me through my process because it will allow me to keep on studying Chinese and gain an understanding of Urban Development (both courses offered by the program) while I am there. I am studying Chinese right now and I have been doing so since last semester, but I think that studying Chinese while in Shanghai will make me more confident in speaking with people during the interviews as well as during quick talks in the stores. I have been to several summer camps and I am an international student at The New School. Therefore, I built up an ability to adapt to changing situations which will help me get accustomed to Shanghai and the dynamics of the research project very quickly.
Aside from the research project, I am excited to go to China because I have a genuine passion for exploring new cultures and new things. This is especially true in the case of China, because its culture is so different that what I am used to. Additionally, last year I picked up the study of Chinese, a language that I started to study briefly while in High School, and I also grew an interest for worldwide news and narratives that touched on the recent economic and cultural development of China. Because these topics are of great interest to me, I am excited to experience them for myself.
As far as documenting my research goes, I already have a blog, “The Nextplorer”( www.nxtplorer.com) and I plan on documenting some of my findings here. Documenting my experiences is a cornerstone of my blog already. Indeed, “The Nextplorer” is a blog about random findings and experiences that I collect all over the world. For the rest of the information, I plan on organizing it on my personal notebook and on computer software like Google Drive. I find Google Drive to be an excellent tool for organizing notes and other material. You guys should use it too!