Congratulations to Ran Ren on the successful completion of his DPhil

Congratulations to Dr Ran Ren, who has been awarded his DPhil in Sociology.

His DPhil thesis was titled ‘How Elite Professional Service Firms Recruit Graduates in China’, and was supervised by Professor Takehiko Kariya.

His qualitative fieldwork investigated chronologically into the campus recruitment of state-owned financial firms, foreign financial firms and foreign consulting firms in China, including job advertisements, campus activities, resume screening and job interviews. The thesis provides a demand-side account of school-to-work transitions and professional hiring, revealing how recruiters constructed and used the discursive scripts of meritocracy and professionalism, in terms of ‘youxiu (excellence)’, ‘the degree of maturity’, and ‘jianshi (horizon)’ and so forth, to guide and legitimate the practices of valorisation and selection as well as the concomitant recruitment outcomes.

Professor Xiang Biao (University of Oxford & The Max Planck Society) and Professor Rachel Murphy (University of Oxford) who examined the thesis for the Confirmation of Status commented that, "[The candidate] has carried out in-depth documentary and field research to a high standard, and is likely to make substantial contributions to scholarly discussions on topics of labour relations, social stratification, education-to-job market transition’. The report from the final examiners Professor Rachel Murphy and Professor Johanna Waters (UCL) also suggested that Ran Ren’s doctoral research "made an impressive, valuable, and original empirical and theoretical contribution to several fields including labour markets and school to work transitions (where he addresses a gap on recruitment), symbolic processes of class reproduction, and the sociology of China. […] Ran Ren’s project is innovative in terms of its focus on recruitment and its approach and theorization. […] The thesis also uses original, rigorous, transparent and innovative research methods."

Ran is grateful to the dedicated supervision of Professor Takehiko Kariya as well as helpful suggestions and comments from Professor Xiang Biao, Professor Rachel Murphy and Professor Johanna Waters. He is appreciative for all participants generously contributing to the completion of this thesis. He is also thankful to the China Scholarship Council that fully funded his DPhil project.

Before starting his DPhil study, Ran has obtained a MSc in Sociology at the University of Oxford and a first-class honours bachelor in Sociology at the University of Southampton under the supervisor of Professor Susan Halford.

We wish Dr Ran every success in his future career and look forward to following his accomplishments!

Department of Sociology (John Cairns)