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Jingjing Chen


  • 2016- PhD Candidate, Sociology, University of California, Davis
  • 2015 M.A., Sociology, University of California, Davis
  • 2013 M.M., Public Policy, Renmin University of China
  • 2011 B.M., Public Administration, Zhejiang University, China


Sociological theories of family change have primarily used empirical evidence from developed countries such as the United States and European countries as their basis of support, yet not much is known about the applicability of these theories on developing countries with distinctive social and familial traditions like China. Drawing on the Chinese Family Panel Studies (2010, 2012, 2014), I analyze the patterns, mechanisms, and health implications of rising divorce rates in China over the past three decades. I study how divorce decisions are shaped by rising female education with persistent gendered inequality, the liberalizing marriage laws with the continuing control on fertility in China; and given the much higher social stigma to divorce compared to the western context, what the health implications of divorce are, and how social inequalities are manifested and reproduced through divorce in China. I argue that even though China witnessed several demographic changes described by the Second Demographic Transition, such as rising divorce and cohabitation rates, persistent gender disparity in both private and public sectors, and heavy state interventions have greatly influenced Chinese family transitions and their distinctive patterns in the post-reform era.

Research Focus

Family, Gender, Demography, Social Stratification, Health, Social Change, Social Policy, Immigration, Quantitative Methods 

Selected Publications

Peer-Review Journal Articles

Shu, Xiaoling and Jingjing Chen. 2017. “Data-Driven Research and Causality in Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.” Chinese Social Science Review--Journal of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Frontiers in Social Science Research Methods”) 11(2017.3):18-28. (in Chinese). 舒晓灵,陈晶晶。“重新认识“数据驱动”及因果关系:知识发现图谱中的数据挖掘研究”。中国社科院《中国社会科学评价》“社会科学研究方法前沿”。 

Chen, Jingjing.“Stability and change in the association between children and divorce: The case of China (1980-2014).” (Under Revise and Resubmit).

Book under Contract

Shu, Xiaoling and Jingjing Chen. Chinese Marriage and Family in Transition: Confucianism, Socialism, and Modernization. Rutgers University Press. Book series on The Politics of Marriage and Gender: Global Issues in Local Contexts.

Other Publications

Chen, Jingjing and Xiaoling Shu. 2017.  “Gender and divorce in China.” China Policy Institute Blog, the University of Nottingham. 10.9.2017.


Shu, Xiaoling and Jingjing Chen. 2015.  “Surplus men and the institution of marriage in China.” China Policy Institute Blog, the University of Nottingham. 11.19.2015.


Chen, Jingjing, 2011. “The Pattern of Public Policy Participation of the Vulnerable Groups in China—Based on the Unpaid Migrant Workers.” Decision and Information,12:46-50.


My areas of teaching expertise include Social Science Statistics, Sociology of Family, and Social Problems.


2018-2019   Graduate Studies, UC Davis, UCD & Humanities Graduate Research Award

2016-2018   UC Davis Graduate Program Fellowship

2013-2018   Dept. of Sociology, UC Davis, Research and Travel Grant

2016&2018  Institute of Social Science, UC Davis, Research Grant

2017             International Sociological Association (RC28), Excellent Paper Award

2015-2017    Dept. of Sociology, UC Davis, Summer Dissertation Grant

2013-2015    East Asian Studies, UC Davis, Research Grant