Hong Zhang

Associate Professor of East Asian Studies

Box 4400

Phone: 207-859-4417
Fax: 207-859-4705
Mailing Address:
4400 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8844
Zhang, Hong


Post-Doctoral fellow, Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies, Harvard University
Ph.D., Anthropology, Columbia University
M.Phil., Anthropology, Columbia University
MA, Anthropology, Columbia University
MA, English, Wuhan University, China
BA, English, Huazhong Normal University, Wuhan, China

Areas of Expertise

  • Labor migration, gender, and NGOs
  • Family, rural life, and urbanization in contemporary China
  • Aging and population studies
  • Chinese culture and language

Courses Currently Teaching

CourseCourse Title
CN127 AIntermediate Chinese I
CN127 BIntermediate Chinese I
CN128 AIntermediate Chinese II
CN322 AThird-Year Chinese II
CN434 ADocu-China: Advanced Readings in Chinese
EA353 AGlobalization and Human Rights in China

Professional Information

I received my Ph. D. in Anthropology. At Colby College, I teach both Chinese language and Chinese culture courses. My research interests include: family and marriage, one-child policy, intergenerational relations, population aging, gender, urbanization, rural-urban migration, social change and contemporary Chinese society. In the past two decades, I have been doing research in a village in central China documenting changes in marriage patterns and family life. In more recent years I have begun to study migrant labor and urbanization in Chinese cities and document new aging experiences and family strategies in parental caregiving due to population aging, impact of one-child policy and changes in family structure.

Current Research

Impact of One-Child Policy on Daughters, Intergenerational Relation, and Parental Old-age Support.

Population Aging and New Eldercare Patterns in China

ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Scholarship for a collaborative research project "Redefine Old Age and Eldercare, Stories from China", Summer 2012. Colby Project

Fulbright Research Grant, 2009-2010. Gender and inter-generational relations of migrant families in China.

ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Scholarship: "Reconfiguration of Public Spaces in Urban China", Summer 2007.click here


Forthcoming. “Recalibrating Filial Piety: Realigning the state, family and market interests in China?” a book chapter for Harrell and Santos (eds.,) Transformation of Chinese Patriarchy. University of Washington Press.

2013. “Transforming the concepts of aging: three case studies from Anthropology,” a co-authored chapter for Oxford Textbook of Old Age Psychiatry. 5th Edition. Oxford (UK): Oxford University Press.
2010. Survey on the Land Rights of Female Rural Migrants in China. Beijing: Social Science Publisher. On the Expert Team for the book project and contributed a case study chapter for the book.
2010. Holding up More Than Half the Sky: Chinese Women Garment Workers in New York City, 1948-92. Bao Xiaolan. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 2001. On the translation team of turning this book into Chinese. Tianjin: Tianjin People’s Press.
2009. "Labor Migration, Gender, and the Rise of Neo-local Marriages in the Economic Boomtown of Dongguan, South China." Journal of Contemporary China. 18 (61): 636-651.
2009. "Navigating a Space for Labor Activism: Emergent Labor NGOs in the Pearl River Delta of South China," co-authored with Marsha Smith, a chapter in State and Society Responses to Social Welfare Needs in China: Serving the People , eds by Jonathan Schwartz and Shawn Shieh. New York/London: Routledge.
2009. "The New Realities of Aging in Contemporary China: Coping with the Decline of Family Care," a book chapter for the 3rd edition of Cultural Context of Aging: World-Wide Perspective, edited by Jay Sokolovsky. Westport/CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
2008. Translation of Selected Works of Western Feminist Literature and Culture (《西方女性主义文学文化译文集》). On the translation team. Guangxi Normal University Press.
2007. "From Resisting to 'Embracing'? the One-Child Policy: Understanding New Fertility Trends in a Central Chinese Village." The China Quarterly . Vol. 192: 855-875.
2007. "China's New Rural Daughters Coming of Age: Downsizing the Family and Firing up Cash Earning Power in the New Economy." Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Vol 32, no.3:671-698.
2007. "Toil and Tears behind the Shenzhen Miracle: Migrant Labor in Shenzhen." Guest Editor's Introduction. Chinese Economy (M.E. Sharpe). May-June 2007. Vol. 40, NO. 3, pp.3-11.
2007. On the Margins of Society: Migrant Labor in South China (Bianyuan ren: Shenzhen wailaigong yanjiu. Liu Kaiming. Xinhua Press, 2003). Translation of four chapters of the book for a special issue of Chinese Economy (M.E. Sharpe).May-June 2007. Vol. 40, NO. 3.
2007. "Who Will Care for Our Parents? Changing Boundaries of Family and Public Roles in Providing Care for the Aged in China." Journal of Long Term Home Health Care. Vol. 25 (1):39-46.
2007. "Chinese Numeral Classifiers." Journal of East Asian Linguistics. 16:43-59.
2006. Chapter 6. "SARS Humor for the Virtual Community: Between the Chinese Emerging Public Sphere and the Authoritarian State." In Deborah Davis and Helen Hsu, eds., SARS: Reception and Interpretation in Three Chinese Cities. London/New York: Routledge. Pp. 119-145.
2006. "Family Care or Residential Care? The Moral and Practical Dilemmas Facing the Elderly in Urban China." Asian Anthropology. Vol. 5:57-83.
2006. Chapter 8: "Making Light of the Dark Side: SARS Jokes and Humor in China.
In Arthur Kleinman and James Watson, eds., SARS in China: Prelude
to Pandemic?
Stanford University Press. Use Internet Explorer to read the Chinese jokes used in this chapter.

2005. "Bracing for an Uncertain Future: A Case Study of New Coping Strategies of Rural Parents under China's Birth Control
Policy, "The China Journal, pp.53-76.

2004. "Chinese Shamanism (Contemporary)," with Constantine Hriskos. In Mariko
Walter and Eva Fridman (eds.), Encyclopedia of Shamanism. Santa
Barbara (CA): ABC-CLIO Publishing, pp.713-721.

2004. 'Living Alone' and the Rural Elderly: Strategy and Agency in Post-Mao
Rural China." In Charlotte Ikels (ed.), Filial Piety: Practice and Discourse
in Contemporary East Asian Countries
. CA: Stanford University Press, pp. 63-87.

2003. "Contemporary Chinese Shamanism: The Re-Invention of Tradition,"
with Constantine Hriskos, Cultural Survival Quarterly, Vol. 26 (6):

2002. "Between Reality and Representation: Social Control and Gender Relations
in Chinese Proverbs." In Marlis Hellinger and Hadumod Bussmann, (eds.),
Across Languages: The De/construction of Gender Roles through Language
Variation and Change
. Amsterdam: Benjamins, pp. 73-80.

2001. Guest Editor's Introduction, "Eldercare Issues in Contemporary China," Journal
of Chinese Sociology and Anthropology
. Vol.34 (1), pp. 1-25.

2001 Guest editor and co-translator, "Eldercare Issues in Contemporary China,
Part I," Journal of Chinese Sociology and Anthropology, Vol.
34 (1)

2002. Guest editor and co-translator, "Eldercare Issues in Contemporary China,
Part II," Journal of Chinese Sociology and Anthropology, Vol. 34 (2)

1995. English-Chinese Lexicon of Women and Law. Beijing: China Translation
and Publishing Corporation and UNESCO (Participated in the Chinese
team to translate the lexicon entries from English into Chinese).

1992. "Spare Women a Beating for Three Days, They Will Stand on the Roof and
Tear the House Apart"- Images of Women in Chinese Proverbs". In Locating
Power: the Proceedings of the Berkeley Women and Language Conference
Kira Hall et al. (eds.). Berkeley: University of California Press, pp.590-600.

1991. "Liberation for Whom? A Revie of Recent Western Literature on Women's
Rights in China." Human Rights Tribune 2 (4): 9-12. New York: Human
Rights in China Inc.,


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