Grad Students

Neil Gong

Contact Information

Office  Not Available

I use historical and ethnographic methods to study community mental health care. My dissertation examines how providers, service users, and families of diverse social backgrounds understand and practice ideals of "client choice" 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

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


Peer Reviewed Publications

Gong, Neil. (2017) 'That Proves You Mad, Because You Know it Not': Impaired Insight and the Dilemma of Governing Psychiatric Patients as Legal Subjects. Theory and Society.

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

Winner of the ASA Body and Embodiment Section Graduate Student Paper Award

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, Rogers Brubaker, Aaron Panofsky, Joel Braslow (History and Psychiatry)


C.Phil, Sociology, UCLA 2015

MA, Sociology, UCLA 2013

BA Honors, Individualized Study, New York University, 2008