fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Life in Taiwan as Cultural Ambassadors

Although Fulbright Taiwan is officially named Foundation for Scholarly Exchange, the supported activities are not only about scholarship but also cultural exchange. Doing so, I firmly believe that we scholars can have a deeper understanding of the society, especially when interpreting research findings from a social-historical context that is very different from the U.S. With this mindset, I took my family visiting as many places as we could in Taiwan, such as the Confucius Temple and one of the earliest Baptist churches in Taipei, and interacting with people of diverse backgrounds. For example, we visited “contemporary” farmers, who are also scientists receiving highest academic degrees from the U.S., and stayed in a traditional house in the countryside. (the only thing that I can complain about this visit to rural Taiwan is that roosters woke up at 4 AM!) In a different trip to central Taiwan, when tasting natural honey fragrance (or, fruit-flavor) black tea, I also ran into an award-winning singer performing his soul-touching songs on the deck of droughty Sun Moon Lake. (“…the unique taste is due to insect wound…but the wound makes it particularly tasty…Tea is like people. Wounds can make people weak or can make people stronger. But it is the wound that makes you different from others.” ~ quoted from “Gold Leaf”) In addition, I made new friends in indigenous villages on the east coast, including a retired police officer, without drinking. (I still cannot believe that I boasted about my last sip was a decade ago!) These visits and interactions greatly enrich our experience, and new friendships in turn facilitate my research activities.

Spending spring months in northern Taiwan also allows us to celebrate many local holidays, such as Lunar New Year, Peace Memorial Day, Qingming Festival, Children’s day, and Mother’s Day. Watching my three kids’ facial expressions and reactions as first-timers on various occasions are more than rewarding; when they were receiving red envelopes on Lunar New Year Eve, understanding ancestors who crossed Taiwan strait for different reasons, listening to vivid 228 historical tragedy and learning to empathize feelings of victims’ descendants, and enjoying time reserved for children and mothers. These activities deepen our understanding of the society and people on the island. It is worth noting that religious buildings like temples of Taoism, Buddhism or folk religion, are nearly everywhere in Taiwan. The smell of burning incense and sophisticated crafted pillars and roof are usually the first impression when walking into a local temple. Children are impressed by well-preserved traditional cultures, and we are also surprised to learn how dynamic they are; some temples like Xingtian Temple in Taipei have banned burning incense for the reason of environmental protection! 

Professional Growth when Delivering Lectures and Speeches

This Fulbright semester has proven to be fruitful and brought me opportunities of professional growth in many aspects. Through exploring the discipline of public administration, which has been a pillar in policing studies in Taiwan, I am able to research this topic from a more complete perspective. In addition, visiting Taiwan on a Fulbright has expanded my transnational networking with scholars and professionals in the field of criminology and criminal justice.

In Taiwan, spring semester did not start until the last week of February, 2021, because of an important holiday – Lunar New Year. About two weeks after the semester started, my host arranged a campus speech, in which I was introduced to new colleagues of the department. After the speech, one of the new colleagues invited me to host a workshop and serve as a discussant (on May 29, 2021) in Taiwan Association for Schools of Public Administration and Affairs (TASPAA). TASPAA is the national conference for the discipline of public administration in Taiwan. Another new colleague invited me to serve as a discussant on a panel – critical thinking and problem solving – in a forum of public administration education (originally scheduled on June 30, 2021). Opportunities like these have occurred several times through the semester, and I am very thankful to deliver talks via referrals made by new friends in academia.

During my visit, I delivered a series of lectures and speeches, ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours, on school campuses or in international/national conferences. It is truly a learning experience to customize talks, in both English and Mandarin, when facing my audience ranging from middle/high-school students and teachers, undergraduate/graduate students, university faculty and administrators, to executives and retired officials of government and NGOs. I was able to infuse research findings, personal observations, and policy suggestions concerning people’s perceptions of the justice agencies, especially the police, in Taiwan.

  • 2021 (March 23) “Legitimacy of Law Enforcement” Invited talk at Taiwan Police College, Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (March 25) “Horizontal Collaboration between Law Enforcement Agencies” Invited lecture in Local Government class, Department of Public Administration and Policy, National Taipei University, New Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (April 12) “Writing up and Getting Published” Invited lecture in Social Science Methods class, Graduate Institute of Criminology, National Taipei University, New Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (April 19) “Studying in U.S.” “Bullying on Campus” Invited speech in Taiwan Adventist International School (TAIS), Nantou, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (March 23) “Legitimacy of Law Enforcement” Invited talk at Taiwan Police College, Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (March 25) “Horizontal Collaboration between Law Enforcement Agencies” Invited lecture in Local Government class, Department of Public Administration and Policy, National Taipei University, New Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (April 12) “Writing up and Getting Published” Invited lecture in Social Science Methods class, Graduate Institute of Criminology, National Taipei University, New Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (April 19) “Studying in U.S.” “Bullying on Campus” Invited speech in Taiwan Adventist International School (TAIS), Nantou, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (May 14) “The Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Crime and Policing – American Experience” Invited speech in Globe, Pandemic, and Criminal Justice International Conference, Ming-Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
  • 2021 (May 20 & 27) Invited lectures in Graduate Seminar class, Department of Criminology, Ming-Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan. (changed to on-line because of a COVID-19 outbreak)
  • 2021 (May 29) “The Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Social Control” Invited discussant in a TASPAA’s international workshop, Central Police University, Taoyuan, Taiwan. (changed to on-line because of a COVID-19 outbreak)
  • 2021 (June 17) “Model and Measure Operationalized Concepts” Invited lecture at Department of Criminology, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan. (changed to on-line because of a COVID-19 outbreak)
  • 2021 (June 18) “Understand cyberbullying victimization from an integrated approach” presented in Asian Criminological Society, Kyoto, Japan. (changed to on-line because of a COVID-19 outbreak)

Scholarship Production

While visiting National Taipei University, I wrapped up a small book project and published the monograph with Springer. The book is titled “Digital Robbery” that offers an insightful perspective on cybercrime in general and ATM hacking in specific, with an aid of a Taiwan-based case study. Qualitative methods often face the challenge of reliability, but this case reflects more than a hundred of unsolved criminal cases using the same modus operandi globally. The implications of the study, practical and theoretical, go beyond geographical territory that usually constraints traditional crimes on streets.  Additionally, with my co-authors, geographically located across U.S., Canada, and Taiwan, we published several research papers in peer-reviewed journals.[1]

Collaborative Research Activities

During my visit, I secured a research grant awarded by Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. This research grant enables me to continue research about policing in Chinese societies. This award also supports my collaborative relationship with the hosting institution (Research Center for Public Opinion and Election Studies, National Taipei University), and the research center, under my host’s supervision, will use survey methods to collect quantitative data of the project after the Fulbright visit. This research project will employ mixed methods to explore new territory of procedural justice across rural and urban areas of Taiwan.

Experiencing another COVID-19 outbreak while on Fulbright

Dragon Boat Festival was somewhat ruined because of a sudden outbreak occurred in a very populated area – Taipei – around mid-May, 2021. Similar to what we experienced around mid-March of 2020 in Florida, where students could not return to campus after the spring break. Taiwanese students, as well as their parents, rushed into a phase of online education followed by an unexpected school closure for the rest of the semester. Taiwanese authority escalated the risk of public health to level 3, which is equivalent to stay-at-home/shelter-in-place order. Non-essential business (e.g., entertainment and night markets) and places (e.g., National Parks and theme parks) were closed to prevent transmission of the virus. While Florida lifted its emergency status on June 27, 2021 (1,578 cases of average daily new infection), Taiwan continued to enforce level 3 restrictions (around a hundred cases of average daily new infection) largely because of a shortage of vaccine and cultural differences. Taiwanese were traumatized by SARS spilled out of China in 2003, and thus residents treated COVID-19 like “Black Death”, especially before vaccines became available. I was thrilled to witness that the U.S. government prioritized and delivered 2.5 million doses of Modera to Taiwan timely, when, about a year ago, Taiwan government pumped surgical masks and other personal protection equipments to the U.S. 

________________

[1]Wang, S.-Y. Kevin, Ming-Li Hsieh, Charles Chang, Pin-Syuan Jiang, and Douglas Dallier. (2021). “Collaboration between law enforcement agencies in combating cybercrimeInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 65(4): 390-408.

Hsieh, Ming-Li, S.-Y. Kevin Wang, & Liqun Cao. (2021). “Understanding cyberbullying victimization from an integrated approach: Offline preventive attributes and behavior problems do matterVictims & Offenders, 16(4): 610-630. 

Chen, Fei-Lin, Ivan Sun, Yuning Wu, S.-Y. Kevin Wang. (2021). “Does officer self-legitimacy mediate the linkage between internal and external procedural justice? Evidence from Taiwanese police officers” Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management.

This Fulbright visit is truly amazing! We are grateful to serve as cultural ambassadors, and I cannot thank enough for the support from Fulbright Taiwan. To promote the spirit of Fulbright, I have also talked to students about the value of study in the U.S. in both formal and informal occasions. I look forward to hosting visiting scholars down the road.

 

Managing Editor: 陳韋名 Wei-Ming Chen

Good pieces need to be seen.

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Shun-Yung Wang 王舜永

Shun-Yung Wang 王舜永

Dr. Wang received his doctoral degree from the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. In addition to his academic training, he has about a decade long full-time working experience in the field of juvenile justice, program evaluation, and data analysis in the UnitedStates. Dr. Wang is one of the receivers of National Institute of Justice - Graduate Research Fellowship 2009-2010, and his publications can be found in different referred sources. He published a book titled "Digital Robbery” while on his Fulbright visit.

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