3469 2638

Wei-Fen Chen


IEMS Research Areas


Social mobility; Consumer culture; Global branding and advertising strategies 


Wei-Fen Chen joined HKUST in 2016 as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Institute for Emerging Market Studies, after receiving her Ph.D. in Communications and Media from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since August 2017, she has been concurrently appointed by HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Her research focuses on the consumption practices of individuals experiencing broadly-defined social mobility, as well as their impact on personal well-being and on a sustainable consumption-scape in global cities. She was a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship, in additional to multiple fellowships in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Taiwan.  Her research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Culture and Qualitative Inquiry. Before joining the academia, she worked as a government officer in Taiwan and specialized in press liaison and media strategy.


  • Chen, Wei-Fen and Michelle R. Nelson (2017). Champagne Taste, Beer Budget—The New Poor’s Incongruent Capital and Consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture, doi:  10.1177/1469540517729006.
  • Chen, Wei-Fen (2017). The Social Mobility Perception of Chinese International Students  in the U.S. The proceedings of the 2017 Asian Conference on Media & Mass Communication. ISSN: 2186-5906
  • Chen, W. (2016) Social Class Consciousness and Consumer Culture in Transition—Exploring the “New Poor” in Taiwan and the U.S. Doctoral Dissertation.
  • Chen, Wei-Fen (2014). Proud Stigma: The Domestic Narrative of a Family as Political Criminal Descendants. Qualitative Inquiry, 20(3), 283-287.
  • Chen, Wei-Fen, Xue Wang, Haiyan Gao, and Ying-yi Hong "Understanding Consumer Ethics in China, an Emerging Market” Under review at Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics.
  • Chen, Wei-Fen and Tin-yuet Ting “Unwelcome Shopping Tourism and the Consumption-Scape of Conflict” Under review at Tourism Analysis.
  • Chen, Wei-Fen “The Perceived Cosmopolitan Consumption of Globally Mobile Young Consumers from China” Under review at Young Consumers.