Weiguo Zhang is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and is affiliated with the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and the Institute for Life Course and Aging. 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.
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. His recent research investigates the effects of the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and migration status on intra-group dynamics and aging experiences of Chinese Canadians. He is currently undertaking a CIHR sponsored collaborative research project on social responses to COVID-19 in Chinese communities in Canada.