Zheng Fu

Hello! I am a PhD candidate and a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in the department of Sociology at Columbia University. I employ a mix of computational, causal inference, and qualitative tools in my research.

I am broadly interested in social change and how social change is brought into being through networks (both humans and non-humans!). My dissertation looks at the change in the topography of rumors in the United States using tools from Natural Language Processing and social network analysis. In my previous work, I examined how the Chinese government promoted labor law implementation by mobilizing and enrolling a network of actors. I have also explored the relationship between social network and protest participation in the context of Chinese labor protests (an extremely abridged version of the story: the relationship is negative).

Another way to describe my interests is that I am interested in the politics of inclusion and exclusion. I have two ongoing online experiment projects. One of which is a conjoint experiment fielded across 22 countries that examines public attitude towards immigrants of different regional and national origins. Another is an online experiment about transphobia in China.

A third way to describe my research interests is my passion to study societies across national boundaries. Through my personal experience of traversing boundaries (both physically and intellectually), I have gained unique perspectives from always having a comparative case in mind. My previous work published in Sociological Forum compared expert narratives of mainland China, Hong Kong and the United States in the time of COVID-19 pandemics.

You can find my cv here.