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Zhao, Pengfei



Assistant Professor
School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

College of Education
University of Florida
265H Norman Hall
PO Box 117049
Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone: 352-273-4295
pzhao@coe.ufl.edu

Research Biography

I have an interdisciplinary background in inquiry methodology, sociology, and cultural studies. In my theoretical and methodological work, I draw from a wide spectrum of theories—from critical theories to contemporary pragmatism, feminism, and post-colonial studies—to formulate a praxis- and social justice-oriented qualitative research methodology. I develop scholarship on critical ethnography, feminist and narrative methodology, participatory action research, and mixed methods studies. I address key methodological issues in the tradition of critical qualitative methodologies such as validity, ethics, and translation. My writing responds to the ontological, epistemological, ethical, and methodological challenges of conducting qualitative research in a politically troubled and culturally diverse contemporary world.

In my empirical work, I use both Mandarin Chinese and English to perform research in the United States, China, and the cross-Pacific transnational context. I am particularly interested in children’s and youth’s identity formation—the gendered and racialized process of socialization, and the various dynamics within and beyond families and communities in perpetuating and/or disrupting the reproduction of social inequality.

Degrees

Ph.D. in Inquiry Methodology, 2017
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

M.A. in Literary Theory, 2009
Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China

B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature, 2006
Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China

Key Professional Appointments

Assistant Professor, Research and Evaluation Methodology Program, University of Florida, 2019 – present

Instructor & Research Consultant, Inquiry Methodology Program, Indiana University Bloomington, 2017 – 2019

Associate Instructor, Inquiry Methodology Program, Indiana University Bloomington, 2011 – 2017

Activities and Honors

National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2021

Illinois Qualitative Distinguished Dissertation Award (Traditional Category), International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, the U.S.A., 2019

International Institute for Qualitative Methodology PhD Dissertation Award, International Institute for Qualitative Methodology $2,000 CAD, Canada, 2017

Grants

External Grants:

Spencer Foundation Racial Equity Research Grant (2022-2024)— How Do I Talk With My Kids About the “Chinese Virus”? Racialized Trauma, Youth Voices, and Transnational Chinese Families in the U.S. (Principal Investigator; $75,000)

National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2021-2022) – Changing Fate: The Cultural Revolution’s Rural Youth in Transition to Post-Mao China. (Principal Investigator; $70,000)

Gates Foundation (2020-2021) – COVID-19: Baseline Data Collection and Planning. (Co-Principal Investigator; $145,798)

Gates Foundation (2020) – COVID-19 Florida Research to Capture District Responses. (Co-Principal Investigator; $106,760)

Internal Grants:

University of Florida, College of Education Research Incentive Fund – How Do I Talk With My Kids About the “Chinese Virus”? Racialized Trauma, Youth Activism, and Transnational Chinese Families in the U.S. (Principal Investigator; $25,000)

University of Florida, International Center Global Fellow Program – Regulating Research Ethics in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. (Principal Investigator; $5,000)

Selected Publications

(*indicates equal co-authorship)

Books

Zhao, P., K. Ross, P. Li, & B. K. Dennis.* (2021). Making Sense of Social Research Methodology: A Student- and Practitioner-Centered Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Zhao, P. (in progress). Changing Fate: The Cultural Revolution’s Rural Youth in Transition to Post-Mao China.

 

Selected Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Zhao, P. (2020). “Working the Hyphens in an Authoritarian State: Adding the State Back to the Conversation.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. 1-14. DOI: 10.1080/09518398.2020.1828642

Dennis, B. K., L. Carspecken, P. Zhao, S. Silberstein, P. Saxena, S. Bose., D. Palmer, W. Sylvia, & E. Alycia. (2020). “Digital Migrating and Storyworlding with Women We Love: A Feminist Ethnography.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0891241620937758

Zhao, P., L. Yang, Z. Sa, & X. Wang. (2020). “Propriety, Empowerment and Compromises: Challenges in Addressing Gender among Sex Educators in China.” Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 20(5), 552-567. DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2019.1705779

Ross, K., B. K. Dennis, P. Zhao, & P. Li. (2017). “Exploring Graduate Students’ Conceptions of Research: Links Between Identity, Validity, and Research Conceptions.” International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education29(1), 73-86.

Zhao, P., P. Li, K. Ross, & B. K. Dennis. (2016). “Methodological Tool or Methodology? Beyond Instrumentality and Efficiency with Qualitative Data Analysis Software.” Forum: Qualitative Social Research. Access from: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1602160

 

Selected Peer-reviewed Book Chapters

Dennis, B. K., P. Li, K. Ross, & P. Zhao.* (2020). “Pedagogy as a Form of Praxis and Commitment: A Student-Centered Approach to Teaching Research Methodology.” In T. S. Jenkins (Ed.), Reshaping Graduate Education Through Innovation and Experiential Learning. IGI Global.

Li, P., K. Ross, P. Zhao, & B. K. Dennis. (2017). “Critical Action Research: How do Graduate Students in an Introductory Research Class Conceptualize ‘Research’?” In SAGE Research Methods Cases. Access from: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781473989115

Selected Links

Check out the work of the Feminist Research Collective in which Pengfei is engaged.

Check out the podcast series hosted by Pengfei in New Books in Education.