I am specialized in family, gender, and population research. Within these broader areas, my research focuses on the following topics: (1) the construction and reorganization of gender inequality through romantic relationships, (2) gender inequalities that undertake during the transition to adulthood, specifically during the transition to the labor market, and (3) gender inequality in non-heterosexual marriages. I examine these themes in primary and secondary research in China, the United States, and other East Asian societies. My research utilizes a range of methodologies, including age-period-and-cohort analysis, latent class analysis, survival analysis, cross-national comparative methods, and in-depth interview analysis.
For more detailed descriptions of my research projects, please click on the following tabs.
Americans’ Attitudes towards Same-Sex Relations from 1973 to 2018
Using Age-Period and Cohort analysis, I investigated the nonlinear increase in public approval of same-sex relations during the past half-century. I also demonstrated how attitudes have shifted at different paces for various sociodemographic groups. Proposing to reconsider attitude change as a nonlinear function of historical time, I utilized numerous socio-historical research to recode time into more meaningful historical periods: Gay Liberation (1973-1980), AIDS Epidemic (1981-1994), Gay Activism (1995-2002), Same-Sex Marriage Activism (2003-2015), and Post Legalization (2016-2018)
I found that the surge of public acceptance after the height of the AIDS Epidemic was accompanied by heightened demographic and cultural polarization, with changes in attitudes for Black and for politically and religiously conservative individuals shifting at a much slower pace than their counterparts. I presented this work at the 2020 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting and the 2020 Population Association of America Annual Meeting. It was also recognized with the 2020 Charles A. Lave Prize for Creative Modeling in Social Sciences. This research will appear in a forthcoming issue of Sociological Forum in March 2022.
WOMEN IN MIXED-ORIENTATION MARRIAGES IN CHINA
Transition to Economic Independence in the U. S. and China
In this comparative project, collaborated with Dr. Wang Feng, we examined the transition to economic independence for young adults in the United States and China. This research addressed three questions: First, do young Americans and Chinese perceive their economic independence differently? Second, what are the connections between subjective perceptions of economic independence and objective conditions? Third, in what ways, if any, do young people’s perceived economic independence bear implications for their assessment of the future? To answer these questions, we perform a two-stage analysis to examine and to compare young adults’ economic independence, and to link their self-perceived independence to their views of the future.
The results showed that Young Americans and Chinese differ significantly in their views about the future and in their own assessment of economic independence. While harboring more anxiety toward the future, young Americans also report a higher level of economic independence than their Chinese counterparts. Once controlling for cultural differences in self-assessment and for objective measures of economic independence, however, we find no meaningful difference between American and Chinese young adults in their outlook for the future. The Country-specific analysis further reveals that the seemingly higher optimism among Chinese youths may be traced to that country’s recent economic boom. For American young adults, their sense of economic independence is more grounded in objective measures than their Chinese counterparts. In both societies, the lack of perceived economic independence breeds a common source of pessimism toward the future. This article is currently under review at the International Journal of Comparative Sociology.