Profile image of Andy Zhao

Dr Andy Zhao



Research Fellow, Digital Childhoods


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Education


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University, 2020
Master of Arts, Renmin University of China, 2015


I am a sociologist interested in studying and researching digital media, transnational mobility, family, young people, as well as their various intersections. I hold degrees in English Language and Literature (Renmin University of China, 2015) and Sociology (Deakin University, 2020). My doctoral project was an ethnographic study of how Chinese young migrants in Australia understand and use social media in and across the spheres of everyday life. Foregrounding the young migrants’ plural and changing identities in a foreign context, the thesis unpacked their situated practices of crossing, negotiating, and reconstructing boundaries across spatial settings and social relations.

Since PhD, I have actively expanded my research by developing and being involved in a number of interdisciplinary and collaborative projects that cover a variety of social contexts. I was Associate Research Fellow and Project Officer on the ARC Discovery Project “Youth Mobilities, Aspirations and Pathways”, based in the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University. I was also involved in a Curtin University-based research project, which examined young people’s COVID-19 messaging on TikTok. I have a strongly emerging publication track record in Chinese digital diaspora, youth, migration, and digital parenting studies. My work has been featured in major Australian news outlets, including the ABC News, Nine News, and Herald Sun.

As a Research Fellow of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child at Deakin University, I am particularly keen to expand our knowledge of cultural and platform diversity in Australian families and digital childhoods. Through my work in the Centre, I hope to support migrant families and children to better engage with digital technologies in a safe, ethical, and inclusive environment.

Read more on Andy's profile

Research interests

Digital China

Digital Diaspora

Digital Literacies

Digital Parenting

Informal Learning

Internet Cultures

Online Sociality

Migrant Families and Children


Young Migrants

Teaching interests

Digital Media

Digital Sociology


Migration and Cultural Diversity

Media Education

Units taught

ALM215 Global Media
ACX701 Communication Concepts
ACX702 Applied Research Methods for Communication
ASC233 International Migration and Multicultural Societies

Knowledge areas

Chinese Diaspora

Transnational Family

Digital Migration Studies

Young Migrants

Internet Cultures

Professional activities

Executive Board Member, Media International Australia

Convenor, 'Digital Child x ACMI Seminar: Australian EdTech for Better Digital Childhoods', Deakin University, 2022

Convenor, ‘Asian Digital Diasporas in the Pandemic’ Webinar, Asian Media and Cultural Studies Network, Deakin University, 2021

Co-convenor, ‘TikTok and Youth Cultures in the Age of COVID-19’, Curtin University (with Crystal Abidin and D Bondy Valdovinos Kaye), 2021

Co-convenor, ‘Youth Futures: Connection and Mobility in the Asia Pacific’ conference, Deakin University (with Anita Harris, Amelia Johns, Jessica Walton and Rose Butler), 2018

Co-convenor, ‘Youth, Digital Participation and Citizenship in the Asia Pacific’ workshop, Deakin University (with Anita Harris, Amelia Johns and Julian Sefton-Green), 2017


Post-PhD Publication Award (Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, 2019)


Filter by


Temporalities and changing understandings of children's use of media

Sarah Healy, Rebekah Willett, Xinyu Zhao

(2024), pp. 48-64, Children, Media, and Pandemic Parenting, B1

book chapter

Space, time, and families' relational media practices

Lindsay Sheppard, Xinyu Zhao, Natalie Coulter

(2024), pp. 28-47, Children, Media, and Pandemic Parenting, B1

book chapter

Imaginaries of parental controls

Xinyu Zhao, Maureen Mauk, Amie Kim

(2024), pp. 114-136, Children, Media, and Pandemic Parenting, B1

book chapter

Database as method: Exposing 'data' about educational technology through a design intervention

Xinyu Zhao, Rebecca Ng, Chris Zomer, Gavin Duffy, Julian Sefton-Green

(2024), Vol. 6, pp. 1-9, Computers and Education Open, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Social Media in the Lives of Young Connected Migrants: Making and Unmaking Boundaries

X Zhao

(2023), London, Eng., A1


A (dis)connected homescape: The promise, limits, and paradox of migrants' homemaking practices in the digital age

E Cabalquinto, X Zhao

(2023), pp. 388-398, Handbook on Home and Migration, Cheltenham, Eng., B1

book chapter

The "Fox Eye" Challenge Trend: Anti-Racism Work, Platform Affordances, and the Vernacular of Gesticular Activism on TikTok

Xinyu Zhao, Crystal Abidin

(2023), Vol. 9, pp. 1-16, Social Media + Society, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Coping with the 'double bind' through vlogging: pandemic digital citizenship of Chinese international students

J Xu, X Zhao

(2022), Vol. 36, pp. 260-273, Continuum, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Digital labour in transnational mobility: Chinese international students' online boundary work in daigou

X Zhao

(2021), Vol. 23, pp. 2554-2574, New media and society, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The paradox of Whiteness: Neoliberal multiculturalism and the case of Chinese international students in Australia

A Seet, X Zhao

(2021), Vol. 21, pp. 852-874, Ethnicities, C1

journal article

Changing platformativity of China's female Wanghong: from Anni Baobei to Zhang Dayi

Jian Xu, Xinyu Zhao

(2019), pp. 127-158, Female celebrities in contemporary Chinese society, Singapore, B1

book chapter

Disconnective intimacies through social media: practices of transnational family among overseas Chinese students in Australia

X Zhao

(2019), Vol. 173, pp. 36-52, Media international Australia, London, Eng., C1

journal article

International students and social exclusion in the age of social media

Xinyu Zhao

(2017), Vol. 1, pp. 163-175, Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration, Bristol, Eng., C1

journal article

Children, Media, and Pandemic Parenting

Rebekah Willett, Xinyu Zhao

(), A7

edited book

Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


No completed student supervisions to report