Anni Kajanus

Assistant Professor

  • PL 18 (Unioninkatu 35)




Research output per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Anni Kajanus is a specialist in the anthropology of China, her research focuses on culture and cognition, morality, cooperation, competition and conflict; migration, education, gender and family. 

Her most recent research brings together methods and approaches from anthropology and psychology, for a comparative study of children's social and cognitive development across cultural-historical contexts, including cooperative behaviours, morality, understanding of social hiearchies, etc. The broader aim of this work is to contribute to the multi-disciplinary study of the origins of human social behaviour.

Anni is the author of Chinese Student Migration, Gender and Family, which situates the family project of investing in the overseas education of the only child within the wider socio-moral transformation of the Chinese society, and China's engagement in the international education market.

Before joining UH, Anni held postdoctoral fellowships (Marie Sklodowska-Curie; Leverhulme) at the Department of Anthropology, LSE, and the Department of Psychology, Harvard.

Anni received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Helsinki, MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Amsterdam, and BA in Anthropology from the University of Kent.

Current courses: Persons and Social Relations; Central Themes in Social and Cultural Anthropology; Bachelor's Seminar; Ethnographic Methodologies

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., Univeristy of Helsinki

M.Sc., University of Amsterdam

BA, University of Kent

Fields of Science

  • 5143 Social and cultural anthropology
  • Cognitive anthropology
  • China
  • Morality
  • Migration
  • Kinship
  • Personhood
  • Cooperation
  • Competition
  • Conflict
  • Culture and ontogeny
  • Education

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.


Children’s fairness in two Chinese schools: A combined ethnographic and experimental study

Kajanus, A., McAuliffe, K., Warneken, F. & Blake, P. R., Jan 2019, In : Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 177, p. 282-296 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Mutualistic vs. zero-sum modes of competition: a comparative study of children's competitive motivations and behaviours in China

Kajanus, A., Feb 2019, In : Social Anthropology. 27, 1, p. 67-83 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Playing ball: Cooperation and competition in two Chinese primary schools

Kajanus, A. E., 13 Dec 2018, Cooperation in Chinese communities: Morality and practice. Stafford, C., Judd, E. R. & Bell, E. (eds.). London: Bloomsbury Academic, p. 19-40 22 p. 2. (LSE Monographs on Social Anthropology).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Chinese student migration, gender and family

Kajanus, A. E., 2015, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Overthrowing the first mountain: Chinese student migrants and the geography of power

Kajanus, A., 2015, In : Journal of current Chinese affairs. 44, 3, p. 79-102 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Ethos (Malden) (Journal)

Anni Kajanus (Member of editorial board)
1 Feb 2020

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Global Psychological Anthropology: A Roundtable Discussion of Emerging Trends and Possibilities

Anni Kajanus (Speaker)
6 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Who will yield? - Children's understanding of dominance and prestige in China and the UK

Anni Kajanus (Speaker)
10 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Culture & Ontogeny Research Initiative (External organisation)

Anni Kajanus (Chair)
19 Apr 201918 Apr 2021

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting

Anni Kajanus (Speaker: Chair)
21 Nov 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Press / Media