Weiguo Zhang. Credit Drew Lesiuczok.

Weiguo Zhang

Associate Professor Sociology
Office Location:
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga , ON
L5L 1C6

Professor Weiguo Zhang specializes in social demography, sociology of families, and social policy. His work primarily focuses on rural area of China, looking into the relationship between national population and economic policies and individual livelihoods. Zhang’s research interests include investigation of 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.

Zhang’s earlier social demographic research was the first of its kind to apply an institutional framework to advance our understanding of the interplay between macro-economic and population policies on the one hand and micro-fertility behaviour on the other in post-reform rural China. Zhang’s recent researches focus on family dynamics including domestic adoptions of children, the welfare of elderly parents, marriage and family dynamics, and women and gender. Zhang’s research endeavors to understand how women, men, and the elderly, within the specific economic and social policy context, utilize the gender and age differentiated social capital and resource control, and negotiate with the socially specified rules and opportunities, which shape and reshape social relations.


Selected Publications

Zhang, Weiguo and Guiping Liu. 2007. “Childlessness, Psychological Well-being, and Life Satisfaction Among the Elderly in China.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 22(2):185–203. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-007-9037-3

Zhang, Weiguo. 2007. “Marginalization of Childless Elderly Men and Welfare Provision: A Study in a North China Village.” Journal of Contemporary China 16(51):275-293. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670560701194541

Zhang, Weiguo. 2007. “Marketization, Democratization, and Women’s Participation in Village Election in Contemporary Rural China: A Study of a Hebei Village.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 28(2):1-28. https://doi.org/10.1300/J501v28n02_01


Social Demography; Sociology of Families


Gender and Family
Current Courses: 
SOC244H5, SOC334H5, SOC356H5, SOC407H5
Ph.D. (Development Studies, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands)