• John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Sociology, Emeritus, former Director of the Fairbank Center
  • https://scholar.harvard.edu/martinwhyte/
  • 480 William James Hall | 33 Kirkland Street | Cambridge | MA 02138

Research interests: comparative sociology; sociology of the family; sociology of development; the sociological study of contemporary China; the study of post-communist transitions.

Professor Martin K. Whyte joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology at Harvard in fall 2000, after previously teaching at the University of Michigan and George Washington University.

Professor Whyte’s primary research and teaching specialties are comparative sociology, sociology of the family, sociology of development, the sociological study of contemporary China, and the study of post-communist transitions. His recent writings reflect these divergent interests: an edited volume entitled Marriage in America: A Communitarian Perspective (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000) and an edited collection of papers drawing on a survey project that focused on relations between aging parents and their grown children in urban Chinese families, entitled China's Revolutions and Inter-Generational Relations (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies, 2003).

Professor Whyte’s primary research centers on determining how Chinese citizens view the rising gaps between rich and poor in their society. A pilot survey for this project was successfully conducted in Beijing in December 2000. A national survey focusing on inequality and distributive justice issues was completed in the summer of 2004. The results of the 2004 survey were published in Myth of the Social Volcano (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010) as well as in a number of recent articles. In the fall of 2009, he directed a five-year follow-up national survey of Chinese popular attitudes toward current inequalities. The goal of this second national survey was to determine whether later trends, including the global financial crisis that erupted in 2008, made Chinese citizens more or less critical of the market-based inequalities within which they now live. In 2014, Professor Whyte teamed up with two Norwegian China specialists, Kristin Dalen and Hedda Flatø, to carry out a third follow-up China national survey on popular attitudes toward that country’s rising income gaps. The data from these China surveys will be used to examine how Chinese attitudes toward distributive justice issues have evolved in the new millennium.

Based on a conference at the Fairbank Center in 2006 on China’s rural-urban gap, Professor Whyte edited a resulting conference volume: One Country, Two Societies: Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010). He has also published articles on other topics, particularly the puzzle of explaining how the Chinese economy has grown so rapidly in the post-Mao era and critical examinations of population trends and China’s controversial one-child policy.

Chinese Name: 懷默霆

怀默霆自2000年于哈佛大学社会学系任教,研究兴趣包括比较社会学,家庭社会学,发展社会学,现代中国社会学研究,后社会主义过渡。近期出版书籍包括《China's Revolutions and Inter-Generational Relations(2003),Marriage in America: A Communitarian Perspective(2000)


Whyte MK. Ending China's One-Child Policy: Too Little, Too Late?. Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies. 2017;Research Brief No. 6.



Whyte MK. China's Dormant and Active Social Volcanoes. The China Journal. 2016;75 :9-37.pdf



Whyte MK, Wang F, Cai Y. Challenging Myths about China's One-Child Policy. Chinese translation posted online by the Caixin Media Group [Internet]. 2015. Chinese Translation
Whyte MK. The True History of China's Disastrous One-Child Policy. Foreign Affairs Online. 2015;(November 5, 2015).

Whyte MK, Wang F, Cai Y. Challenging Myths about China's One-Child Policy. The China Journal. 2015;74 :144-159.



Whyte MK, Im D-K. Is the social volcano still dormant? Trends in Chinese attitudes toward inequality. Social Science Research. 2014;48 :62-76.

Whyte MK. Modifying China's One-Child Policy. E-International Relations. 2014.

Whyte MK. Sub-optimal Institutions but Superior Growth: The Puzzle of China's Economic Boom. In: China's Economic Dynamics: A Beijing Consensus in the Making? London: Routledge ; 2014. pp. 15-47.

Whyte MK. Soaring Income Gaps: China in Comparative Perspective. Daedalus. 2014;143 (2) :39-52.



Whyte MK. Soaring Income Gaps: China in Comparative Perspective. In: China Faces Inequality: Studies in Income Distribution. China: Social Sciences Academic Press ; 2013. pp. 273-286.

Whyte MK. China Needs Justice, Not Equality. Foreign Affairs [Internet]. 2013;Online Edition (May). Publisher's Version



Whyte MK. China’s Post-Socialist Inequality. Current History. 2012;(September 2012) :229-234.



Whyte MK. China’s Internal Dilemmas Roundtable: China’s Internal Dilemmas and Implications for the United States. United States-China Economic and Security Review Comission. 2011.

Whyte MK. Myth of the Social Volcano: Popular Responses to Rising Inequality in China. In: Kirby WC The People's Republic of China at 60. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center ; 2011.



Whyte MK, Whyte MK. The Paradoxes of Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China. In: One Country, Two Societies: Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press ; 2010.

Whyte MK. Do Chinese Citizens Want the Government to do More?. In: Gries PH, Rosen S Chinese Politics: State, Society and the Market. New York: Routledge ; 2010.

Whyte MK. Fair versus Unfair: How do Chinese Citizens View Current Inequalities?. In: Oi JC, Rozelle S, Zhou X Growing Pains: Tensions and Opportunity in China's Transformation. Stanford: Shorenstein Center ; 2010.

Whyte MK, Sun Z. The Impact of China's Market Reforms on the Health of Chinese Citizens: Examining Two Puzzles. China: An International Journal [Internet]. 2010;8 :1-32.

Whyte MK. Social Change and the Urban-Rural Divide in China. In: Hong F, Gottwald J-C The Irish Asia Strategy and Its China Relations. Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers ; 2010.



Whyte MK, Kipnis A, Tomba L, Unger J. Continuity and Change in Urban Chinese Family Life. In: Contemporary Chinese Society and Politics. New York: Routledge ; 2009. pp. 3: 359-82.

Whyte MK, Han C. The Social Contours of Distributive Injustice Feelings in Contemporary China. In: Davis DS, Feng W Creating Wealth and Poverty in Post-Socialist China. Stanford: Stanford University Press ; 2009.

Whyte MK. Paradoxes of China's Economic Boom. Annual Review of Sociology [Internet]. 2009;35 :18.1-18.22.

Whyte MK. Views of Chinese Citizens on Current Inequalities. Sociological Research. 2009;1 :96-120.

Whyte MK, Maocan G. How Angry are Chinese Citizens about Current Inequalities? Evidence from a National Survey. In: Kwok-bun C, Ku AS, Yin-wah C Social Stratification in Chinese Societies. The Netherlands: Brill ; 2009. Publisher's Version



Whyte MK, Han C. Popular Attitudes toward Distributive Justice: Beijing and Warsaw Compared. Journal of Chinese Political Science [Internet]. 2008;13 :29-51.



Whyte MK. Chinese Families and Economic Development: Obstacle or Engine?. In: Xinchu L, Sjujun Z Family Enterprises: Organization, Behavior, and the Chinese Economy. Shanghai: People's Press ; 2005.



Whyte MK. Filial Obligations in Chinese Families: Paradoxes of Modernization. In: Ikels C Filial Piety: Practice and Discourse in Contemporary East Asia. Stanford: Stanford University Press ; 2004.



Whyte MK. China's Revolutions and Intergenerational Relations," and "The Persistence of Family Obligations in Baoding. In: Whyte MK China's Revolutions and Intergenerational Relations. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies ; 2003.



Whyte MK. Society. In: Buoye T, Denton K, Dickson B, Naughton B, Whyte MK China: Adapting the Past, Confronting the Future. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies ; 2002.



Whyte MK. Chinese Social Trends: Stability or Chaos?. In: Shambaugh D Is China Unstable? Armonk: M.E. Sharpe ; 2000.

Whyte MK. The Perils of Assessing Trends in Gender Inequality in China. In: Entwisle B, Henderson G Redrawing Boundaries: Work, Households, and Gender in China. Berkeley: University of California Press ; 2000.

Whyte MK. The State of Marriage in America. In: Whyte MK Marriage in America: A Communitarian Perspective. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield ; 2000.



Whyte MK. Social Change and the Urban-Rural Divide in China. In: The Irish Asia Strategy and Its China Relations 1999-2009. Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers ; 1999. pp. 45-60.

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies