Meet Gong Chen, 2021 First Generation Scholar in the Profession

Gong Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Georgia State University. His research interests are international political economy and political psychology, with a focus on public opinion, social identity, and intergroup relations. Gong’s dissertation attempts to explore the causal mechanisms where parasocial intercultural contact brings about favorable opinions of foreign countries and to examine the psychological microfoundations of constructivism in international relations. His recent work “Utilitarianism or Cosmopolitanism? A Study of Education’s Impact on Individual Attitudes toward Foreign Countries” will be forthcoming at International Interactions. Based on international trade theory and social identity theory, this study finds that education’s positive association with outgroup attitudes is explained by an internationalist, cosmopolitan worldview rather than material gains from transnational economic ties. Moreover, Gong is a research fellow in the Second Century Initiative Chinese Studies Cluster. He cooperates with fellow researchers in investigating a number of sociopolitical issues in contemporary China, such as corruption, factional politics, censorship and propaganda, state-society relations, and foreign policy. Gong is very thankful for the support of the First Generation Scholar Accessibility Grant in helping him present his working paper and network with fellow scholars in the 2021 APSA Annual Meeting.

About the APSA First Generation Scholar in the Profession Accessibility Grant
In 2015, the APSA Executive Council approved a new standing Committee on First Generation Higher Education Scholars in the Profession, parallel to the existing APSA status committees. The goal is to bring focused attention to the ways in which class, economic inequality, and mobility can affect political scientists’ ability to thrive educationally and professionally throughout their careers. The travel and accessibility grant is intended to support First Generation Higher Education Scholars in the Profession who attend the APSA Annual Meeting. Learn more.