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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Dr Yan Zhu

Lecturer, University College London (IOE), United Kingdom



Yan Zhu is a Lecturer in Education Studies, with a focus on Sociology of Childhood, at IOE, UCL. Yan’s research focuses on children’s rights and welfare, children’s personal lives, relationships and emotional wellbeing, and the methods and ethics of working with children. Yan is the BERA Early Career Research Network Regional Rep for the South East. Her latest project explored the complexity and diversity of Chinese children’s understandings and practices of peer friendships in the context of a rural primary boarding school.



Zhu, Y. (2022). Same-gender intimate friends in Chinese girls’ romantic adventures in a boarding school context. Childhood,

Zhu, Y. (2021) 'Being student leaders or ‘ordinary’ students: Children’s emotional experiences of relationships with others in a Chinese school'. Emotion, Space and Society.

Zhu, Y. (2021) ‘Self’ (ziji), ‘others’ (taren) and ‘collective’ (jiti): Friendships at school embedded with China's Confucian– collectivist sociocultural values. Children & Society. 00:1– 14.

Zhu, Y., Liu, C. and Elley, S. (2021) Cross-gender relationships and heterosexuality in a Chinese rural primary school: the ‘fine line’ between the acceptable and the unacceptable ‘liking’, Children’s Geographies. 1-14

Zhu, Y. (2020) "Who are ‘Good’ Friends? Chinese Parents’ Influences on Children’s Friend Selection", Frankel, S. and McNamee, S. (Ed.) Bringing Children Back into the Family: Relationality, Connectedness and Home (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Vol. 27), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 113-129.

Zhu, Y. (2020) Displaying intimate friendships: Chinese children’s practices of friendships at school, Families, Relationships and Societies, 00, 1–14, 


Children’s rights and welfare; children’s personal lives and relationships; methods and ethics of working with children; children and childhood in China.
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