Dr Cora Lingling Xu, PhD
Cora is a sociologist of education mobilities. Her research examines how the intersection of class, gender, ethnicity, rural-urban divides, time, and geopolitics can shape social agents’ educational and life trajectories. She is interested in investigating the interplay between individual agency and structural factors through innovative research methods, such as digital storytelling. Cora draws heavily on social theories to inform her empirical research, including Bourdieu’s theory of practice, sociology of time, diaspora and diaspora at home. Cora’s geographical focuses include China (mainland China, Hong Kong), the UK, and the Asia-Pacific. Listen to this interview with The Migration Podcast about Cora's research details.
Cora’s research has been funded by the British Sociological Association, The Sociological Review Foundation, the ESRC Methods North West, The National Social Science Fund of China, Monash University Malaysia, and the Cambridge International Trust.
Cora is founder and director of Network for Research into Chinese Education Mobilities (NRCEM). The NRCEM is a cross-disciplinary network that attracts more than 300 members from across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. The website has on average 1,000 monthly hits. Its ‘Research Highlights’ section has featured more than 70 original submissions of latest publications and research projects. This network has become an important outlet for global scholars to disseminate cutting-edge research on all aspects of Chinese education mobilities. Listen to the Podcast series ‘Meet the Author‘ and ‘Lived Experiences‘ that Cora has curated.
Cora received her PhD in Sociology of Education from the University of Cambridge in 2016, as a Cambridge Trust scholar. She obtained her MA from King’s College London as a British Chevening scholar and her Bachelor’s from the Education University of Hong Kong as an Outstanding Mainland scholar. A qualified teacher, she taught English as a second language for five years in two Hong Kong secondary schools.
At Durham, Cora convenes and contributes to modules on the BA and MA courses in the International and Comparative Education area. Before joining Durham University, Cora worked at Keele University as Lecturer in Education between 2016 and 2020.
Cora is a fervent believer in community writing. This has been shaped by her experiences in organising various Writing Groups at the University of Cambridge and Keele University. She is a member of Durham University Writing Group.
Information for Prospective Doctoral Research Student Supervisions
Cora is interested to work with students on areas of inquiry related to rural-urban inequalities, ethnic minority experiences, international student and academic mobilities, transnational institutional and knowledge mobilities. She is keen to explore opportunities facilitated by creative qualitative research methods such as autoethnography, digital storytelling and other arts-based methods. She would be pleased to investigate how social theories can inform such empirical research.
- Durham University Evidence Centre for Education (DECE)
- Higher and Further Education
- International and Comparative Education
- Pedagogy and Curriculum
- Academic mobilities
- China studies
- Diaspora & Diaspora at home
- Ethnic minority experience
- Hong Kong studies
- International student mobility (ISM)
- Rural-urban inequalities
- Sociology of time
- Study-to-work transition
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). ‘Marginal’ student mobilities: Cruel promise, everyday mobile belonging and emotional geographies. British Journal of Sociology of Education 41(5): 750-754.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2017). Chinese student migration, gender and family, Anni Kajanus (2015). Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration 1(1): 139-141.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2016). Constructing modern Asian citizenship. Comparative Education 52(4): 564-565.
- Hu, Yang, Xu, Cora Lingling & Tu, Mengwei (Accepted). Family-mediated migration infrastructure: Chinese international students and parents navigating (im)mobilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese Sociological Review
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). ‘Diaspora at home’ class and politics in the navigation of Hong Kong students in Mainland China’s Universities. International Studies in Sociology of Education
- Yang, Miaoyan. & Xu, Cora Lingling. (2020). Getting Ahead While Retaining Ethnic Salience: Educational Mobilities, Class, and Empowerment of a Tibetan Student in China. Asia Pacific Journal of Education
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). Tackling rural-urban inequalities through educational mobilities: rural-origin Chinese academics from impoverished backgrounds navigating higher education. Policy Reviews in Higher Education 4(2): 179-202.
- Zhang, Siqi & Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). The Making of Transnational Distinction: An Embodied Cultural Capital Perspective on Chinese Women Students’ Mobility. British Journal of Sociology of Education
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). Time, class and privilege in career imagination: Exploring study-to-work transition of Chinese international students in UK universities through a Bourdieusian lens. Time & Society
- Xu, Cora Lingling & Montgomery, Catherine (2019). Educating China on the Move: A Typology of Contemporary Chinese Higher Education Mobilities. Review of Education 7(3): 598-627.
- Xu, Cora Lingling & Yang, Miaoyan (2019). Ethnicity, temporality and educational mobilities: comparing the ethnic identity constructions of Mongolian and Tibetan students in China. British Journal of Sociology of Education 40(5): 631-646.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2018). Political habitus in cross-border student migration: a longitudinal study of mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong and beyond. International Studies in Sociology of Education 27(2-3): 255-270.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2018). Transborder habitus in a within-country mobility context: A Bourdieusian analysis of mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong. The Sociological Review 66(6): 1128-1144.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2017). Mainland Chinese students at an elite Hong Kong university: habitus–field disjuncture in a transborder context. British Journal of Sociology of Education 38(5): 610-624.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2015). Identity and cross-border student mobility: The mainland China–Hong Kong experience. European Educational Research Journal 14(1): 65-73.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2015). When the Hong Kong Dream Meets the Anti-Mainlandisation Discourse: Mainland Chinese Students in Hong Kong. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44(3): 5-47.
Available for media contact about:
- Education: international student mobility
- Subject specialists: international student mobility
- Asia (excluding Middle East): international student mobility
- Social and ethical inequality: international student mobility
- Sociology: international student mobility