Having grown up in Beijing, Cherry Ji, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UCI, knows firsthand how figure skating brings together people from different national and cultural backgrounds. Now, Ji has found a way to use her passion for the sport as a jumping-off point for her academic work. Her research in cultural sociology focuses on the social performance of artistry in Olympic figure skating: how skaters present themselves in competition to showcase their artistry amid increasingly rationalized evaluation systems. "I felt really lucky to be able to experience different cultures from a young age," says Ji, who competed in international youth contests around Asia. "Skating was definitely a window for me to see the outside world."
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