The SURE Scheme has given me the opportunity to develop essential skills that will benefit me throughout my academic career.

A photo of Yige with her cat
Yige Hua
Third Year Student
Digital Media and Society BA
Yige Hua took part in the SURE Scheme and discusses what she learnt over the 6 weeks.

Yige's Project

Project Title:

How young Chinese feminists use ‘group anonymity’ to express their views on Xiaohongshu and Douban

Project Overview:

The recent emergence of the ‘momo’ phenomenon on Chinese social media platforms has provided a new method of identity protection for Chinese feminists. The momo phenomenon refers to a group of people using the same nicknames (i.e., momo) and profile pictures to achieve anonymity online. This study examines a unique form of anonymity termed 'group anonymity,’ showing how young Chinese feminists adapt to oppressive circumstances and carve out spaces for themselves on Chinese social media platforms.

SURE Supervisor:

Dr Ysabel Gerrard

What have you learned about both yourself and the research project during this process?

My experience with the SURE Scheme at the University of Sheffield was incredible. Over the course of the research project, I have deepened my interest in studying feminism on Chinese social media, and it has been a truly enlightening journey. I have discovered that I can connect the new knowledge gained from the SURE project with the content provided in the BA Digital Media and Society modules, which has helped me enhance my overall knowledge framework. Moreover, this experience has further strengthened my determination to pursue a master's degree in the field of digital media.

What have you most enjoyed about your placement?

I really want to highlight how much I enjoyed engaging in semi-structured interviews with my participants. Having conversations with feminist sisters who shared similar experiences and thoughts as mine was incredibly exciting. Additionally, working alongside my supervisor to analyse the data and draw conclusions was a truly thrilling moment. These interactions allowed me to gain valuable insights into my research topic.

What are the skills you'll carry forward into the final year of your degree?

Under the guidance of my supervisor, I have gained a clear understanding of the whole process of how to conduct qualitative research. She also gave me some tips such as keeping a research journey, which is a really useful skill of record and reflection. This knowledge will undoubtedly provide a solid foundation for my future academic pursuits, particularly when working on my dissertation. The SURE Scheme has given me the opportunity to develop essential skills that will benefit me throughout my academic career.

What's your proudest achievement of your placement?

One aspect of the project that made me exceptionally proud was that I independently completed 12 qualitative interviews, along with subsequent transcription and translation work. I could not have imagined accomplishing these tasks by myself before. This experience has boosted my confidence and shown me that I am capable of taking on challenging tasks.

If you could go back and change one thing about your placement, what would it be?

I remember I was shy and timid when seeking supervision at first but later I realised that my supervisor is really nice and supportive. So I wish I had overcome my procrastination and reached out to my supervisor without hesitation to make sure there would be enough time before the submission deadline. 

Any advice for anyone considering taking part in the SURE scheme?

There is no need to hesitate in contacting potential supervisors who align with your research interests. I firmly believe that the academic staff at the University of Sheffield are approachable and genuinely willing to assist you :)

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