Apei Song

Apei Song

Master of Sociology at XMU, Bachelor of social worker (Hons) at SCU; Japanese language at SCU

Brief Overview:

Apei Song is an HDR student in the School of Law, Society, and Criminology, Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW, Sydney. His research is situated at the intersection of three interrelated themes: drugs (substance use disorder), addiction, and citizenship. In the past three years, He has used qualitative research (fieldwork, interviews, and group work) to focus on China's drug governance and people who use drugs (PWUD)' daily life self-management and treatment. He is spotlighting the identity dilemma and social integration of this marginalized group.

Apei's master thesis on "Reconstructing the possibilities of everyday life: self-management of drug users in China (in Chinese)" was completed in 2021, and he worked as a volunteer in drug services in Fujian and Chengdu, China, from June to August 2021. From September 2021 to May 2022, he worked for MDPI Publishing. Apei commenced his PhD project at UNSW Sydney in September 2022.

His project aims to explore how people who inject drugs (PWID) who have been through the drug program in China navigate work post/still in the program. He seeks to develop a picture of how this marginalized group navigates ongoing state surveillance and the way this impacts access to the 'legitimate' economy.

Research Topic: Standing Hesitantly at the Door of Society: Employment barriers and Self-management of People who use drugs in China.


In this project, Apei will examine the life course of a marginalized group of people who inject drugs (PWID) to consider the impact of post or still in the drug treatment program to their future employment. The idea of employability is critical to ideas of productive recovery and reintegration. An examination of the drug programs will establish its three-dimensional, dynamic perspective, includes ideologies, management patterns, and practice models on PWID; It will explore how PWID, as living, breathing human being try to survive, get and keep work through imaginative actions, in a context of surveillance, incarceration, and criminalization.

Supervisor/s:  Dr. George (Kev) Dertadian; Dr. Phillip Wadds; Pr. Fengshi Wu

Areas of Interest: Drug policy; people who use drugs (PWUD); Sociology of law; employment; Addiction.

Li, D., & Song, A. (2022). Drug use disorder and family politics evolution: How can Chinese PWUD families quit drugs? Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 1-26.

Song, A., & Liu, Z. (2022). “Returning to Ordinary Citizenship”: A Qualitative Study of Chinese PWUD’s Self-Management Strategies and Disengagement Model of Identity. Behavioral Sciences12(8), 258.

Song, A., & Ren, Z. (2021). Distressing experiences of Chinese schooling winners: School infiltration in Chinese family parenting. Cogent Education9(1), 2034245.

Apei, S. (2021). “Quit masturbation, change failure”: the process, essence, and reflection of the identity construction in the abstinence internet organization. Sexual addiction & compulsivity27(3-4), 236-273.

Annual Chinese Sociology Conference in 2022, Presentation: "Multiple Logics and Legal Consciousness. A Sociological Analysis of Law in Urban Drug Governance".