Vanessa Fong graduated from Amherst College with a major in Anthropology in 1996, received her PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2002, and was Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education from 2003 to 2012, before returning to Amherst College in 2012. She is interested in how the experiences of a partly transnational cohort of Chinese only-children and their families shed light on theories of education, gender, human development, childrearing, transnational migration, and psychological anthropology. Her research focuses on a cohort of youth born under China's one-child policy between 1979 and 1986. She has been engaged since 1998 in a longitudinal project that will follow this cohort and their children throughout the course of their lives. The first phase of this project was based on a survey of 2,273 members of this cohort (conducted in 1999 while they were in grades 8–12 in Dalian, China), and on participant observation in their schools, homes, and other social settings in China and worldwide between 1998 and 2019. She is now using re-surveys of, interviews with, and participant observation among that cohort and their spouses, parents, and children to examine how the parenting, education, gender socialization, and socioeconomic conditions they had as adolescents shape their lives now that they are adults in their 30s with children of their own, especially with regards to smoking, environmental issues, socioeconomic stratification, childbearing, childrearing, education, and transnational migration.
For more information, see a profile of Vanessa Fong in Amherst Magazine here https://www.amherst.edu/amherst-story/magazine/issues/2017-summer/only-time-will-telland Vanessa Fong's CV here www.vanessafong.blogspot.com