Grad Students

Neil Gong

Contact Information

Office  Not Available

I study community mental health care and the experiences of psychiatric service users. My dissertation examines how service providers, service users, and families of diverse social backgrounds understand and practice ideals of "client choice," "empowerment" and "recovery." As a methodologist, I am interested in the potential and limitations of comparative ethnography. On a different note, I spend my weekends fighting in a "no-rules" combat club, and am slowly draining the fun out of my hobby by turning it into an academic research project.

Fields of Study

urban sociology, medical sociology, knowledge, welfare states, mental health, ethnography


Peer Reviewed Publications

Gong, Neil. (2015) How to Fight Without Rules: On Civilized Violence in "De-Civilized" Spaces. Social Problems.

Winner of the American Sociological Association Body and Embodiment Section Graduate Student Paper Award

Featured on The Society Pages "Discoveries":

Scholarly Book: Edited Volume

Abramson, Corey and Neil Gong (Under Contract). Beyond the Case: Competing Logics and Practices of Comparative Ethnography New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Grants and Awards

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2012-2017

Elena and Greg Davis Foundation Grant, 2011-2012

UCLA Department of Sociology Fellowship, 2011-2016

Fulbright Fellow, The University of Hong Kong, 2009-2010


 Stefan Timmermans, Hannah Landecker, Joel Braslow, Aaron Panofsky


MA, Sociology, UCLA 2013

BA Honors, Individualized Study, New York University, 2008