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Zhang, Xiaodan

Zhang, Xiaodan

Associate Professor
Behavioral Sciences

Phone: 718-262-2619
Office Location: AC-4D06F

Office Hours  
Tuesday  4:00pm - 5:00pm 
Thursday  4:00pm - 5:00pm 


Degree Institution Field Dates
PhD  Columbia University  Sociology  2005 
MA  Columbia University  Sociology  1994 
MA  CUNY Graduate Center  Women's Studies  1992 
BA  East China Normal Univeristy  Chinese Language and Literature  1982 

Xiaodan Zhang's research focuses on changing labor relations under the economic reform in China. It is part of her larger intellectual inquires into construction and reproduction of power relations in society. The theoretical questions are centered on the relations between institutions, human actions and social changes. She also examines the cultural factor; but her interest is in finding out how and why certain cultural elements survive different social systems. Gender is another area of study. She is interested in women’s social movements in China and how it adopts, applies and redefines feminist theories from the West.

Areas of Expertise

Sociology of work and organization, gender studies

Articles in Field Of Expertise

Zhang, Xiaodan. "Bring Ideology Back In." International Labor and Working Class HIstory. 82 Fall 2012: 143-154.

Zhang, Xiaodan. "A Path to Modernization: A Review of Documentaries on Migration and Migrant Labor." International Labor and Working Class History. 77 Spring 2010: 174-189.

Zhang, Xiaodan. "Trade Unions under the Modernization of Paternalist Rule in China." Working USA: the Journal of Labor and Society. 12 Spring 2009: 193-218.

Zhang, Xiaodan. "Hidden Forms of Bargaining on China’s Shopfloor." International Labor and Working Class History. 73 Spring 2008: 7-23.

Zhang, Xiaodan (co-author). "Creating a Space for Women: Women’s Studies in China in the 1980s.." Signs. 20 Fall 1994: 137-151.

Chapters in Field Of Expertise

Zhang, Xiaodan. "The Empowerment Revisited: Capitalist Development and Women Workers in China’s Reform Era." Global Women's Work: Perspectives on Gender and Work in the Global Economy. 2018: 36-54.

Zhang, Xiaodan (co-author). "State Policies and Women’s Agency in China, Korea and India 1950-2000: Lessons from Contrasting Experiences." Culture and Public Action: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on Development Policy. 2004: 234-259.

Reviews in Field Of Expertise

"Markets and Bodies: Women, Service Work, and the Making of Inequality in China" China Review International, Vol.21, No.1, 2014: 67-70.

"Creating Wealth and Poverty in Postsocialist China" The China Quarterly, Vol 200, Novermber 2009: 1096.

"Popular Protest in China" Contemporary Sociology, Vol 38, December 2009: 560-561.


Presented Papers, Lectures, and Exhibitions and Performances

" Decoupling and Recoupling: the Important Distinctions between Program Assessment and Course Assessment " October 2017: Annual Meeting of Assessment at Drexel University.

" Women Workers’ Work and Family in China " May 2017: Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

" How Women Workers Struggle between Work and Family in China Today " April 2017: Sarah Lawrence College.

" Sweatshop and Beyond: Chinese Labor Politics in the Reform Era " November 2016: Sarah Lawrence College.

" Women’s Social Movements and Changing Labor Relations under Economic Reform in China " September 2014: Princeton University.

" Power Relations in Domestic Private Enterprises in China " January 2011: University of Toronto.

" Labor Flexibility and Regulations in Chinese Industries, discussant " April 2010: Annual Conference of Association for Asian Studies.

" Migrant Workers and Labor Movement in China " April 2009: Left Forum, New York.

" Modernity Discourse, Family Myth and Managerial Control " February 2009: Society for Cross-Cultural Research, Las Vegas.

" Hidden Forms of Bargaining on China's Shopfloor " January 2008: American Historical Association, Washington D.C..

" Gender Issues and Feminism in America " June 2008: Hechi College, Guangxi, China.

" Faces of a Changing Society: China Today and Tomorrow " August 2007: Hunter College, New York.

" Trade Unions and Paternalist Rule in Today's China " May 2007: University Seminar on Globalization, Labor and Popular Struggles, Columbia University, New York.

" Do Trade Unions Bargain in Today's China? " February 2007: Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA.

" The Impact of the Angang Constitution: Labor Relations under Mao's Socialism " October 2006: New England Association for Asian Studies, Darmouth, MA.

" Do Trade Unions Bargain in Today's China? " February 2006: Global Union Conference, Cornell University, New York.

" Confucian Doctrines and Family Life of China Today " June 2004: U.S.-China Teacher Exchange Program, sponsored by National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, New York.

" How Can You be a "Good Daughter"? " April 2004: China Institute in America, New York.

" Paternalism: Despotic or Benevolent? " April 2003: Association for Asian Studies, New York.

" Women and Family Violence in China " March 2004: Kean University, NJ.

" Women's Organizations in China " Octobor 2003: Montclair State University, NJ.

" Hidden Forms of Bargaining on Chinese Shopfloor " August 2002: American Sociological Association, Chicago.

" Expectation and Exchange: the Construction of Production Politics on the Chinese Shopfloor in the Reform Era " June 2002: Society for Advanced Socio-Economics, Minneapolis, MN.

Professional Honors, Prizes, Fellowships

CUNY Faculty Fellowship Publication Program: Spring 2008.

Contemporary Chinese Society Fellowship, Weatherhead East Asian Institute: 2003-2005.

V. K. Wellington Koo Fellowship: 2001-2002.

President's Fellow, Columbia University: 1994-1997.

Minority Fellowship, American Sociological Association: 1994-1997.


PSC-CUNY, The New Generation of Chinese Workers. 2012: 3,500.

PSC-CUNY, Bargaining Without Unions. 2008: 3,500.

Other Professional Activities and Public Service

Research Fellow at Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University: 2013-present.

Editorial Board member and treasurer, International Labor and Working Class History: 2012-2018.

Reviewer, British Journal of Sociology: 2009.

Reviewer, Modern China: 2008.

Reviewer, Journal of Asian Studies: 2008.

Reviewer, Sociological Inquiry: 2005.

Reviewer, Gender and Society: 1994-2000.

Member, Columbia University Seminar "Globalization, Labor and Popular Struggle": 2007-present.

Member, Columbia University Seminar "Modern China": 2005-present.

Board member, International Labor and Working Class History: 2012-present.