Fengshu Liu

Image of Fengshu Liu
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22856163
Room 549
Available hours By appointment
Visiting address Sem Sælands vei 7 Helga Engs hus 0317 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1092 Blindern 0317 Oslo

Academic interests and expertise

My research cuts across childhood and youth studies, comparative and international education, sociology of education, and China studies. Much of my work examines the interplay between socio-cultural and institutional processes and the lives of children and young people in contemporary societies, with special, but not exclusive, regard to China. More specifically, it studies children’s and young people’s experiences of ‘global modernization’ and how current political, economic, cultural, technological, educational, socio-spatial and demographic processes create and shape social inequalities and other forms of challenges as well as opportunities, calling forth ‘bounded agency’ among individuals and collectivities. Besides, my work also touches upon such kindred themes as culture and education, Confucian self-cultivation, school culture and gender, and teaching and learning in higher education. My earlier academic work was mainly related to the English language and literature.

So far I have mainly used qualitative methods in my research, but I have started to also conduct quantitative analysis (as exemplified by the article on ‘the reverse gender gap’, see ‘list of publications). My research also incorporates generational and cross-cultural comparisons of children and young people’s lived experiences of social change.

Higher education and employment

Higher Education

  • PhD in Educational Studies, University of Oslo, Norway. (2006)
  • MPhil. in Comparative and International Education, University of Oslo, Norway. (2002)
  • M.A. in English Language and Literature, Hebei University, China. (1993)
  • B.A. in English, Hebei Teachers’ University, China. (1990)


  • Professor, Department of Education, University of Oslo. (September 2012-present)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Educational, University of Oslo. (July 2012-September 2012)
  • Senior lecturer, Institute of Educational Research, University of Oslo. (July 2010- June 2012)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Educational Research, University of Oslo, Norway. (2007-2009)
  • Associate professor, School of Foreign Languages, Chengde Teachers’ University for Ethnic Minorities, China. (1993-2000)
  • Dean of School of Foreign Languages, Chengde Teachers’ University for Ethnic Minorities, China. (1994-2000)
  • Lecturer for the English Class, Pingquan Normal School, China. (1987-1988)

Teaching contributions (overview of the last decade)

Over the past decade, I have taught Mphil. students from various programs at the Faculty of Education of the University of Oslo courses such as Social science research, Qualitative research, Qualitative interviewing and data analysis, Mphil. thesis proposal writing, Academic writing, Education, equity and social justice, Modernity and identity, Youth, gender and social change, Sociology of gender, Higher education in developing countries, and Educational policy in developing countries. In 2017 and 2018, I also taught Master’s and doctoral students Social science research, Qualitative research, Academic writing, Youth, gender and social change, Sociology of gender and Home-school interaction at the University of Dar es Salaam and the State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, I also taught Master’s and doctoral students at Beijing Normal University in the course Sociology of family and marriage, on themes such as changing childhood: historical and cultural perspectives, Youth, gender and social change: China and Nordic perspectives, and Family policies in Norway. In spring 2015 I taught in the PhD course on modernization, gender and generation at Fudan University, China. 

Invited lectures and media contributions

I have given guest lectures at a number of universities, e.g. Beijing University, Beijing Normal University, UC Berkeley, University of California at Irvine, New York University, University of London; Oxford University; University of Plymouth, University of Lund (Sweden), University of Copenhagen, University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and University of Bergen (Norway). Besides more direct communication with my research community and my own students, I have been interviewed as ‘China expert’ and ‘childhood and youth studies expert’ by the Norwegian national radio and press, and international press such as The Guardian, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Economist. I have also been consulted by some global companies targeting at Chinese children and youth as customers.

Keynote speakers (selected)

  • The London International Development Centre (LIDC) webinar ‘Generation Covid: The impact on youth globally’. (2020)
  • The conference ‘Video Memory, Digital Happiness and Cultural Responsibilities’ in Beijing. (2019) 
  • The China Sociology of Education Conference in Beijing. (2019) 
  • The Symposium on ‘Family Care’ at Beijing Normal University. (2017)
  • The Chinese Internet Conference, Lund University, Sweden. (2013) 

Academic leadership and management

  • Coordinator for the Mphil. Program in Comparative and International Education, UiO. (2017-2018; 2019-present)
  • Key member of the working group for developing a new international Mphil. program at the Faculty of Education, University of Oslo. (2017-present).
  • Dean of School of Foreign Languages, Chengde Teachers’ University for Ethnic Minorities, China. (1994-2000)
  • Ran my own private English school in China, offering courses to children and young people at various ages after school and during weekends and vacations. (1996-2000)
  • I am going to coordinate the specialization ‘Education and Social Change: Childhood and Youth Studies’ in the new international Mphil. Program in Educational Studies at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo.

Completed research projects

  • TRANSLED: TRANSformation, Language, Education and Development. Funder: NORAD: Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.  Role: Project manager.  
  • Modernization as lived experiences: Three generations of young men and women in China and Norway. Funder: Research Council of Norway (FRIPRO). Role: Project manager. (2011-2015)
  • UiO. Negotiating identity in the Internet age: The case of urban youth in today’s China. Funder: Research Council of Norway (FRIPRO). Role: Project manager. (2007-2010)
  • Identity construction of young-adult only-children in China. Funder: Norwegian government QUOTA program. Role: Project manager. (2003-2006)

Ongoing research

  • Working on a proposal, and planning for a related pilot study, on education in China’s poor rural areas.
  • Coauthoring an article with Prof. Xiying Wang at Beijing Normal University on changing conceptions and practices of menstruation among Chinese young people, drawing on the project ‘Children in the Fast-Changing China: Class, Generational Change, and Education Attainment’ funded by Youth League of China 2019-2020. I was a co-investigator in the project.


  • ‘Overseas Research Stay’ fellowship, the Research Council of Norway. (2014)  
  • One-year ‘Book Project Fellowship’, Norwegian Association for Non-Fiction Writers and Translators. (2010-2011)
  • PhD fellowship, the Norwegian government QUOTA program. (2003-2006)
  • Contact scholarship, the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), Copenhagen, Denmark. (2001)
  • Scholarship for MPhil. in Comparative and International Education, the Norwegian government QUOTA program. (2001)
  • EWS Stiftelsen Foundation Scholarship, Norway. (2001)
  • Scholarship for MPhil. in Comparative and International Education, China Overseas Studies Foundation. (2000)

Awards and prizes (selected)

  • The George Bereday Best Paper Prize by the Comparative and International Education Society for the article: The rise of the ‘priceless child’ in China. Comparative Education Review, 60(1): 105-130. (2017)
  • Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Doctoral Students Studying Abroad. (2006)
  • Prize for Excellent Lecturer awarded by the Educational Department of Chengde City, China. (1998)
  • Prize for Excellent Achievement in English Teaching awarded by the Educational Department of Hebei Province, China. (1998)
  •  ‘Excellent Academic Achievement Prize’ for post-graduate students awarded by Hebei University, China. (1992)
Tags: Education, Modern childhood, Gender, China, Global South


  • Lauglo, Jon & Liu, Fengshu (2019). The Reverse Gender Gap in Adolescents’ Expectation of Higher Education: Analysis of 50 Education Systems. Comparative Education Review. ISSN 0010-4086. 63(1), p. 28–57. doi: 10.1086/701231.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2018). Parent-Child Relationships in Three Generations in China. In Brock-Utne, Birgit & Vuzo, Mwajuma Siama (Ed.), Transforming Education for Development in Africa.. Mkuki na Nyota Publishers. ISSN 978-9987-083-50-3. p. 163–180.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2017). Chinese young men’s construction of exemplary masculinity: The hegemony of chenggong. Men and Masculinities. ISSN 1097-184X. 22(2), p. 294–316. doi: 10.1177/1097184X17696911.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2017). An expressive turn with a Chinese twist: Other-sex relations in three generations. Sociology. ISSN 0038-0385. p. 1–16. doi: 10.1177/0038038517702601.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2016). The rise of the “priceless” child in China. Comparative Education Review. ISSN 0010-4086. 60(1), p. 105–130. doi: 10.1086/684457.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2015). Wangba and Heterotopian Experiences - Urban Chinese Young People and Their Use of Internet Cafè. In Kelly, Peter & Kamp, Annelies (Ed.), A Critical Youth Studies for the 21st Century. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 978-90-04-24375-0. p. 284–298. doi: 10.1163/9789004284036_021.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2014). From degendering to (re)gendering the self: Chinese youth negotiating modern womanhood. Gender and Education. ISSN 0954-0253. 26(1), p. 18–34. doi: 10.1080/09540253.2013.860432.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2013). Kultivering av det relasjonelle selv: Konfusiansk Xiushen. In Straume, Ingerid (Eds.), Danningens filosofihistorie. Gyldendal Akademisk. ISSN 9788205444218. p. 55–66.
  • Liu, Fengshu & Ngwana, Terfot (2012). Internationalization and globalization: Implications for higher education learning and teaching. In Kerry, Trevor (Eds.), international perspectives on higher education: Challenging values and practice. Routledge. ISSN 978-1-4411-0203-4. p. 106–126. doi: 10.5040/9781350091184.ch-005.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2012). 'Politically indifferent' nationalists? Chinese youth negotiating political identity in the internet age. European Journal of Cultural Studies. ISSN 1367-5494. 15(1), p. 53–69. doi: 10.1177/1367549411424950.
  • Liu, Fengshu (2011). Wired for fun Narratives by members of China's E-generation. Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research. ISSN 1103-3088. 19(1), p. 69–89. doi: 10.1177/110330881001900105.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2011). The Norm of the ‘Good’ Netizen and the Construction of the Proper Wired Self: The Case of Chinese Urban Youth. New Media & Society. ISSN 1461-4448. 13(1), p. 7–22. doi: 10.1177/1461444809360701.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2010). The Internet in the Everyday Lifeworld: A Comparison between High School Students in China and Norway. Comparative Education. ISSN 0305-0068. 46 (4), p. 527–550.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2009). It is not merely about life on the screen: urban Chinese youth and the Internet cafe. Journal of Youth Studies. ISSN 1367-6261. 12(2), p. 167–184. doi: 10.1080/13676260802590386.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2008). Constructing the autonomous middle-class self in today's China: the case of young-adult only-children university students. Journal of Youth Studies. ISSN 1367-6261. 11(2), p. 193–212. doi: 10.1080/13676260701800746.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2008). Negotiating the filial self: Young-adult only-children and intergenerational relationships in China. Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research. ISSN 1103-3088. 16(4), p. 409–430.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2006). School Culture and Gender, The Sage Handbook of Gender and Education. Sage Publications. ISSN 1-4129-0792-6. p. 425–438.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2006). Boys as Only-Children and Girls as Only-Children—Parental Gendered Expectations of the Only-Child in the Nuclear Chinese Family in Present-day China. Gender and Education. ISSN 0954-0253. 18(5), p. 491–506.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2004). Basic Education in China’s Rural Areas: A legal Obligation or an Individual Choice? International Journal of Educational Development. ISSN 0738-0593. 24(1), p. 5–21.

View all works in Cristin

  • Liu, Fengshu (2020). Modernization as Lived Experiences: Three Generations of Young Men and Women in China. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-21720-1. 232 p.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2011). Urban Youth in China: Modernity, the Internet and the Self. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-87486-1. 240 p.
  • Skelton, Christine & Fengshu, Liu (2006). The Sage Handbook of Gender and Education. Sage Publications. ISBN 1-4129-0792-6. 512 p.

View all works in Cristin

  • Fengshu, Liu (2009). Postgraduate Supervision as Lived Experiences: An International and Comparative Perspective.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2008). The norm of the ‘good’ netizen and the construction of the proper wired self: the case of Chinese urban youth.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2008). Where else can one go? Urban Chinese youth and the Net café as a third place.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2007). Identity Construction of University Students: The Case of First-Generation of Young-Adult Only-Children.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2005). Reflexive Modernization and Identity Construction: the Case of China.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2004). Parental Academic Aspirations vis-à-vis Parental Gender-Specific Expectations in the Only-Child Family.
  • Fengshu, Liu (2006). Modernization as Lived Experiences: Identity Construction of Young Adult Only-Children in Present-Day China. Universitetet i Oslo.

View all works in Cristin

Published Aug. 6, 2010 9:32 AM - Last modified Mar. 5, 2021 4:17 PM


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