From Different Soils: Engagement, understanding and empathy in the age of Sino-Foreign “decoupling”

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


In this talk, Dr Mike Gow will consider the challenges presented by trade and diplomatic tensions to people at the forefront of engagement between China and those nations which constitute “the west”. Over 75 years since it was first published, we will revisit the work of Chinese sociologist Fei Xiaotong to ask how Fei’s seminal work may be helpful to those of us working to continue meaningful engagement between China and other countries. While Fei’s concept of the ‘differential mode of association’ has been invaluable to scholars outside China in framing analysis of Chinese culture, this talk aims to expand beyond Fei’s original intention to encourage understanding, empathy, and to guard against cultural miscommunication. At the heart of this talk is a belief that meaningful international engagement occurs not between nation states, but between people – and that interactions between people become even more important in times of political, diplomatic and trade tensions. The talk will hopefully be an interesting, relevant, and thought-provoking discussion which will help us think differently about our experiences and consider how we can build more effective and fulfilling engagement on a foundation of understanding and empathy.
Period13 Jun 2024
Held atLancaster University, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Public engagement types

  • Other Public Engagement