On July 5th, Julia Harten, PhD student from the University of Southern California, visited the Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI) at Shanghai University. Before taking up doctoral studies, Julia studied at the University of Mu?nster, Goethe University Frankfurt, and Free University Berlin, earning degrees in business administration, economics, and China Studies. Her research combines ethnography and critical digital data analysis.
At ADRI, Julia gave a talk entitled “Crowded with Potential: Bed Space Rentals in Urban China.” The event was hosted by Professor Guy Abel, leader of the international migration pillar at ADRI. This presentation documented Shanghai’s group rentals market, based on an analysis of thousands of classified ads and market data. Her study highlighted the variety of Chinese internal migrant housing needs in relation to their livelihoods. She emphasized the need for critical thinking when working with new data streams, including the importance of recognizing what and who is missing from the data. After the presentation, there was a lively discussion among participants about China’s informal housing markets.