Leslie Wang is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. A Southern California native, she received her Ph.D. in 2010 from the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Wang is the author of Outsourced Children: Orphanage Care and Adoption in Globalizing China (2016), published by Stanford University Press. Based on a year and a half of ethnographic fieldwork, this is the very first systematic study of orphanage care in China. The book addresses the moral and ethical issues that are raised when state authorities allow their vulnerable children to be cared for by outsiders. Such nations are typically viewed as weaker global players. However, the book argues that China has turned this notion on its head by outsourcing the care of its unwanted children to attract foreign resources and secure closer ties with Western nations, particularly the United States.
Currently, Dr. Wang is studying various aspects of return migration to China. Her second book, entitled Chasing the American Dream in China: Chinese Americans in the Ancestral Homeland, is under contract with Rutgers University Press. Another major project examines “satellite babies”: children born in the United States to Chinese immigrant parents who send them back to China to be cared for by relatives for prolonged periods. This project is a joint collaboration with the non-profit organization Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and clinical psychologists Dr. Cindy Liu (Harvard Medical School) and Dr. Stephen Chen (Wellesley College).