Weiguo Zhang is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. Professor Zhang specializes in social demography, and sociology of families. His work primarily focuses on rural area of China, looking into the relationship between national population and economic policies and individual livelihoods. Professor Zhang received his Ph.D. in Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands, in 1998.
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.