Ronggang Chen

Ronggang Chen

PhD Researcher

Department of Media and Communications

Key Expertise
Identity Politics, Nationalism, Digital Media, Cultural Studies,

About me

Research topic

“Little Pinkos” as embodied nationalism: internet-mediated populism and identity politics of Chinese youth

In this research project, I question the contextual situation and relational establishment of young nationalists and formal political system in today’s China by focusing on the practice and perception of the group of “Little Pinkos” mediated with the Internet. I initially examine how “Little Pinkos” participate in politics as they adapt to the Internet by deploying new modes of communication (audiovisual communication, subculture, fandom etc.). As the practice of Chinese nationalists is always deeply rooted in offline contexts, I also interrogate how “Little Pinkos” establish an intricate relationship with state power (mainly party organizations such as the Communist Youth League). Further, I situate young nationalists in a wider social context of domestic reforms and globalization, to investigate how the public confronts the contradictions of the perceptions of “Little Pinkos” (e.g. trouble-making activists or patriotic warriors) and, in this process, gendered anxieties and economic interactions within hierarchies revealed.

Supervisors: Bingchun Meng and Shakuntala Banaji


Ronggang Chen awarded Master of Arts (Research) in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, and Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Literature and Linguistics at Tongji University. Before joinning in the Department of Media and Communication at LSE, he worked as an Analyst for Kaifeng Foundation, a non-public funded foundation aiming at the promotion of social development partnered with Tsinghua University, Harvard University and Oxford University. He also plays a role of staff writer for several news agencies, with literacy essays on cultural issues, film studies and political economy.

Ronggang’s PhD research is supported by an LSE Studentship.

Expertise Details

identity politics; nationalism; digital media; cultural studies; online participation; youth politics; East Asian studies; Chinese modern history; Chinese literature and linguistics