Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, UTM
Collaborative Master's Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, Asian Institute
South Building, Room DV-3248, 3359 Mississauga Road North
Weiguo Zhang is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. He received his Ph.D. in Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands, in 1998. Before joining in the Department of Sociology, he worked as a lecturer and social scientist at the Post-Graduate Diploma Program in Population and Sustainable Development, sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund, at the University of Botswana. Dr. Zhang specializes in social demography, and sociology of families. He focuses on rural area of China, looking into the relationship between national population and economic policies and individual livelihoods. Professor Zhang’s primary research interest is to understand social change, particularly the roles of societal institutions and individual behaviour in social change, and how social change affects the nature of people’s lives. Drawing upon empirical research, he examines, on the one hand, how macro state policies, mediated by societal institutions, influence individual behaviour, and on the other hand, how individual behaviour reshapes the characteristics of the society in which they live. His early study focused on Chinese fertility behavior under the changing context brought about by market reforms and the “one-child” family planning policy that began in rural China in the late 1970s. He is currently undertaking a SSHRC sponsored collaborative research project with economists and historian from Department of Economics of the University of Toronto and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on family dynamics in rural China.