Mary Brinton, Harvard University

Presentation Title: The Rise of Singlehood in Japan: Dating, Rating, and Mating in an Age of Precarity

Biography: Mary Brinton is the Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and the Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. Her current work focuses on why several regions of the postindustrial world—including East Asia, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe—now exhibit historically low fertility rates that are leading to rapid population aging and the prospect of lowered economic productivity. She has published several articles on this topic and is working on a book manuscript entitled The Gender Bargain, a comparative study of gender inequality and fertility that combines quantitative analysis with original in-depth interviews of young urban adults in four countries. A concurrent project is a manuscript focusing principally on Japan and what might be done to address the twin issues of gender inequality and low marriage/birth rates; this book will be translated into Japanese and is geared towards a broad reading public.  Brinton has been at Harvard University since 2003, and previously taught at the University of Chicago and Cornell University.

Paul Chang, Harvard University
Presentation Title: Gendered Pathways to Singlehood in South Korea

Biography: Paul Y. Chang is Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and the 2019-2020 Joy Foundation Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He is the author of Protest Dialectics: State Repression and South Korea’s Democracy Movement, 1970-1979 (Stanford University Press 2015) and co-editor of South Korean Social Movements: From Democracy to Civil Society (Routledge 2011). His current project explores the emergence of non-traditional family structures in South Korea, including single-parent households, single-person households, and multicultural families.

Feinian Chen, University of Maryland

Presentation Title: A Mixed Blessing of Living Together or Close by: Parent-child Relationship Quality and Subjective Well-being of Older Adults in China

Biography: Feinian Chen is Professor of Sociology and a faculty affiliate at the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001 and was trained in social demography at the Carolina Population Center. Her research crosscuts a range of areas in demography, family sociology, gender, aging, and quantitative methodology. Her main research interests include women’s work and family, intergenerational relations, population aging and health. Her work has been published in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Demography, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Sociological Methods and Research. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Hewlett Foundation. She is actively engaged in research in family transitions, gender dynamics, and their health implications in the diverse contexts of China, India, the Philippines, and the U.S.

Hao Dong, Peking University

Presentation Title: Home Ownership and Fertility in Urban China

Biography: Hao Dong is an Assistant Professor (with the university honorific title Boya Young Fellow) at the Center for Social Research, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University. He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University. He received his PhD in Social Science from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2016. Dong’s research broadly concerns Social Demography, Social Stratification and Mobility, and Comparative Historical Demography. ​He is especially interested in understanding, from a longitudinal and comparative perspective, how social and family context shapes demographic differentials and socioeconomic inequality. To achieve so, in addition to working on contemporary survey and census microdata, he has been constructing, harmonizing, and analyzing large-scale individual-level panel data from historical population registers in East Asia and Western Europe. His research articles have appeared in Demography, Evolution and Human Behavior, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Social Science & Medicine, and other international academic journals, as well as top Chinese sociology and history journals. For additional information, please visit his academic website:

Ekaterina Hertog, Oxford University

Presentation Title: Diverging Destinies: Household Income, Parents’ Educational Attainment, Parents’ Time Availability and Adolescent’s Study Time in Japan

Biography: Ekaterina Hertog works at the Department of Sociology, at the University of Oxford. She analyses gender differences in time use in East Asia. Her current research focuses on the gender imbalances in the domestic division of labour. She has a number of papers on this topic available online including “Domestic division of labour and fertility preference in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan”, in Demographic Research, and a working paper “Do Better-Educated Couples Share Domestic Work More Equitably in Japan? It Depends on the Day of the Week” looking at the link between education and gender equality in domestic work in Japan.

Sojung Lim, Utah State University

Presentation Title: Socioeconomic Differentials in Fertility in South Korea

Biography: Sojung Lim is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Utah State University. Her current research projects focus on the impact of socioeconomic and demographic changes on family inequality in the US and East Asia. Her research has been published in various journals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, Population Studies, Demographic Research, and Social Science Research. She received a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Hyunjoon Park, University of Pennsylvania

Presentation Title: Diverging Gaps in Parental Time for Children in Korea

Biography: Hyunjoon Park is Korea Foundation Professor of Sociology and the Director of the James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interest includes social stratification, education, and family in comparative perspective, focusing on East Asian societies. Directing the Korean Millennials Lab, he investigates diverse pathways to adulthood in the context of rising inequality in Korea. He is also currently engaged in the project on multigenerational effects. Park published a single-authored book, Re-Evaluating Education in Japan and Korea: De-mystifying Stereotypes.

James Raymo, Princeton University

Presentation Title: Rethinking the ‘Retreat from Marriage’ in Japan

Biography: Jim Raymo is Professor of Sociology and the Henry Wendt III Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Raymo is a social demographer whose research focuses on documenting and understanding the causes and potential consequences of demographic changes associated with population aging in Japan. His published research includes analyses of marriage timing, divorce, recession and fertility, marriage and women’s health, single mothers’ well-being, living alone, family change and social inequality, employment and health at older ages, and regional differences in health at older ages.

Xiaogang Wu, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

Presentation Title: Outsourcing Domestic Work and Female’s Labor Force Participation: A Comparison between Shanghai and Hong Kong

Biography: Xiaogang Wu is Chair Professor at the Division of Social Science and the Division of Public Policy at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and Director of the HKUST Center for Applied Social and Economic Research (CASER). His research interests include social inequality and mobility, education, gender and family, urban sociology, survey, and quantitative methods.  Professor Wu has been leading the two longitudinal urban household data collection projects: “Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (HKPSSD)” since 2011, and “Shanghai Urban Neighborhood Survey” (SUNS) since 2015.  Based on the data, he and his collaborators are study various issues in the two Chinese cities.

Wei-hsin Yu, University of Maryland
Presentation Title: Job Characteristics, Marital Intentions, and Partner-Seeking Actions: Longitudinal Evidence from Japan

Biography: Wei-hsin Yu is a sociologist and social demographer specializing in the areas of social stratification and gender inequality. Her research focuses on how macro-level forces influence individuals, paying special attention to their labor market outcomes, family behaviors, and psychological health. She has published two books and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, including American Sociological Review, Social Forces,  Demography, and Journal of Marriage and Family. Her current projects examine how different working conditions are linked to wage inequality and family dynamics in the United States. One of her recent articles, for example, shows that the structural characteristics of occupations play an important role in shaping the price women pay for motherhood. She is also conducting research on gender attitudes and the formation of romantic unions in East Asia (e.g., Japan, Taiwan).


Jere Behrman, University of Pennsylvania

Biography: Jere Behrman is a leading international researcher in empirical microeconomics, with emphasis on developing economies. His research interests include empirical microeconomics, labor economics, human resources (early childhood development, education, health, nutrition), project evaluation, economic demography, incentive systems and household behaviors. The unifying dimension of much of this research is to improve empirical knowledge of the determinants of and the impacts of human resources given unobserved factors such as innate health and ability, the functioning of various institutions such as households and imperfect markets, and information imperfections. He has published over 350 professional articles (primarily in leading general and field economic journals, also in leading demographic, sociology, nutritional and biomedical journals) and thirty-three books. He has been a researcher with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Program, other international organizations and various governments. He has been a principal investigator on over seventy research projects funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (twenty-three grants), U.S. National Science Foundation (thirteen grants), and a number of other governmental and foundation sources. He has been involved in professional research or lecturing in over forty countries.

Pilar Gonalons-Pons, University of Pennsylvania

Biography: My research examines how work, families, and public policies structure economic inequalities, with a particular focus on how inequalities change over time and over the life course. I employ quantitative techniques and longitudinal datasets from multiple countries along with content analyses of documents and interview data.
My studies contribute to debates about the uneven change in gender inequalities, the role of family processes in exacerbating inequalities across families, and the relevance of public policies in mediating these processes. My current projects focus on the impact of changes in wives’ earnings on income inequality in 8 countries 1975-2015, the effects of the Great Recession on workers’ career mobility and family formation in 30 countries, and changes in couples’ work and earnings after childbirth in the US 1970-2010. My research has been published in Demography, Social Science Research, and the RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.

Emily Hannum, University of Pennsylvania

Biography: My research focuses on education, child and youth welfare, and social inequality, particularly in China. In China, I have conducted research on gender, ethnic, and geographic disparities in education and employment, changes in the impact of education on income and occupational attainment under market reforms, rural teachers and their links to student outcomes, and children’s and adolescents’ welfare under market reforms. Recent publications include “Beyond Cost: Rural Perspectives on Barriers to Education.” (with Jennifer Adams, in Creating Wealth and Poverty in China, edited by Deborah Davis and Wang Feng, 2008, Stanford University Press) and “Gender‐Based Employment Differences in Urban China: Considering the Contributions of Marriage and Parenthood.” (with Yuping Zhang and Meiyan Wang, Social Forces, 2008). I co‐direct the Gansu Survey of Children and Families, a collaborative, longitudinal study of children’s welfare in rural northwest China, with Albert Park. I am a co‐editor of the series Research in Sociology of Education and the journal Comparative Education Review, and am also currently affiliated with the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford.

Annette Lareau, University of Pennsylvania

Biography: Annette Lareau is a sociologist who studies family life. She is interested how the social position of children and parents has an impact on the quality of their life experiences.  She has explored these issues in the arena of family-school relationships (i.e., Home Advantage), the cultural logic of child rearing (i.e., Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life), the process through which parents go about deciding where to live and send their children to school (i.e., Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools edited with Kimberly Goyette), and, in her current study, the blessings and challenges of families with high net worth. Raised in California, she received her doctorate from University of California. Berkeley. She joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 after having work at University of Maryland, College Park, Temple University, and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She has received grants from the Spencer Foundation and, most recently, the National Science Foundation. An active member of the American Sociological Association, she served as Chair of the Education Section as well as the Family Section. She served as President of the American Sociological Association and presided over the 2014 annual meeting. She served as President between 2013 and 2014. Her books have received numerous awards. Home Advantage received the prize for Distinguished Scholarship by the American Sociological Association Section on Sociology of Education. Unequal Childhoods was honored by three different sections in the American Sociological Association (i.e,. Childhood and Youth, Culture (co-winner), and Family). Unequal Childhoods was discussed by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers; it was also written up by David Brooks of the New York Times. In her current study, Annette Lareau is using qualitative methods to understand the blessings and challenges faced by families with high net worth. She is studying a total of 70 families. One-half of the families have created wealth (i.e., “Generation one); the other one-half of the families in the study have inherited wealth. This research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, will use research assistants in selected roles.

Xi Song, University of Pennsylvania

Biography: Xi Song is an Associate Professor of Sociology and an affiliate of the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She previously taught at the University of Chicago. Song’s major area of research centers on the origin of social inequality from a multigenerational perspective. Her research uses demographic, statistical, and computational tools to study the rise and fall of families in human populations across time and place. She has investigated long-term family and population changes by exploring the values of genealogical microdata. These data sources include historical data compiled from family pedigrees, population registers, administrative certificates, church records, and surname data; and modern longitudinal and cross-sectional data that follow a sample of respondents, their offspring, and descendants prospectively or ask respondents to report information about their family members and relatively retrospectively. Her previous work has drawn on family genealogies from as many as sixteen generations of imperial and peasant families from 18th–20th century China to explore why families grow, decline, or even die out, and how they maintain, change, and reproduce their social statuses. Her recent work uses U.S. linked historical censuses and contemporary survey data from 1850 to 2015 to illustrate how macro-level social changes in fertility, mortality, and family structure, and micro-level patterns of families’ social mobility jointly lead to persistent inequality across generations. Her methodological work focuses on developing demographic models based on life tables and Markov chains to predict family dynamics and kinship system in a population, identifying causal mediation mechanisms in social mobility processes, modelling intensive longitudinal data using dyadic and multivariate mixed effects models, and reconciling prospective and retrospective approaches to sociological studies. Some of her ongoing work investigates the influence of political institutions on the media and public misperception of inequality against a backdrop of rising inequality around the globe. As part of this research, she measures inequality using “big data,” in the form of a colossal amount of text-based data from almost 400 traditional Chinese newspapers and magazines, new digital media outlets, and individual social media platforms from the early 2000s to the present. The project will show how rising inequality is perceived, publicized, and interpreted in both authoritarian and democratic societies wherein media and government practices are not independent, but rather the former is to varying degrees influenced by political power. Her research has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, Demography, PNAS, Social Science Research, Sociological Methods and Research, and Sociological Science