Yunsong Chen_Nanjing university SSBS


Yunsong Chen

Yunsong Chen is a Changjiang Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Nanjing University. He earned his DPhil in sociology from University of Oxford, Nuffield College. From 2017 to 2020 he served as the Chinese Co-director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. His main research interest lies in computational social science, advanced quantitative methodology, social capital and networks, and big data in social science. His recent academic work has appeared in leading sociological journals including Social Networks, Social Science Research, Poetics, Social Science & Medicine, and British Journal of Sociology, as well as first tier Chinese journals. He was awarded the Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award by the Lu Xueyi Sociology Development Foundation. His newer research agenda extends his earlier research to broader fields with novel data extracted from enormous volumes of digitized data (e.g., Google Books N-gram corpus, Baidu Search Engine, Sina-Microblog, Complete Tang Poetry, to name a few) and machine learning method to conduct quantitative sociological analysis.

  •  Research Project 

  •  Academic Visit & International Conference 

  •  Publication 

  •  Awards 

  •  Further Information 



Refereed Articles in English Journals

He, Guangye, Yunsong Chen*, Senhu Wang, Yiqun   Dong, Guodong Ju and Buwei Chen. 2020. “PM2.5 Exposure and Depression: The   Use of Baidu Search Data as Proxy of Depression in China.” Dose   Response. (forthcoming)

Zhang, Liangliang, Guangye He, Annan Shi,   and Yunsong Chen*. 2020. “Migration   Status, Emotional Engagement and Social Exclusion in Chinese Schools.”Journal   of Adolescence 80:192-203

Chen,Yunsong*, Fei Yan, Guangye He,   and Wei Yan. 2020. “The Werther Effect Revisited: Do Suicides in Books Predict Actual Suicides?”  Poetics  81(forthcoming)

He, Guangye, Xiaoshan Lin, Guodong Ju, and Yunsong Chen. 2020. “Mapping Public   Concerns of Electronic Cigarettes in China.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 52:1,13-19

Chen Yunsong*, Guangye He, Buwei Chen,   Senhu Wang, Guodong Ju, and Ting Ge. 2020. “The Association between PM2.5   Exposure and Suicidal Ideation: A prefectural panel study.” BMC   Public Health 20:293.

Chen, Yunsong, Guangye He, and Shuanglong   Li. 2019. “Guanxi Networking, Associational Involvement, and Political Trust   in Contemporary China.” Journal of Contemporary China29(125): 714-730.

Chen,Yunsong and Xiaoguang Fan. 2019. “Subjective Social Status, Income   Inequality and Subjective Perceptions of Mobility (2003-2013).” Social Science in China  40(3):70-88.

Li Shuanglong, Yunsong Chen*, and Guangye He. 2019. “Mapping Public Concerns   about Class Immobility in China.” Social Indicators Research144(2): 745-765.

Yan, Fei, Guangye He, and Yunsong Chen*. 2018. “The Health   Consequences of Social Mobility in Contemporary China” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(12):2644.

Chen, Yunsong*, and Fei Yan. 2018.   “International Visibility as Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment: An   empirical study of Chinese provinces.” Social Science Research76:23-39.

Li, Shuanglong, Yunsong Chen*, and Guangye He. 2018. “Laugh and Grow Fat:   Happiness affects body mass index among urban Chinese adults.”Social   Science & Medicine 208:55-63.

Chen, Yunsong*, and Mark Williams. 2018.   “Subjective Social Status in Transitioning China: Trends and   determinants.”Social Science Quarterly   99(1):406-42  

He, Guangye, Yunsong Chen*, Buwei Chen, Hao Wang, Li Shen, Liu Liu, Deji   Suolang, Boyang Zhang, Guodong Ju, Liangliang Zhang, Sijia Du, Xiangxue Jiang,   Yu Pan, and Zuntao Min. 2018. “Using the Baidu Index to Predict the Incidents   of HIV/AIDS in China.”Scientific Reports 8 (1):   9038.

Chen,Yunsong*, Fei Yan, and Yi Zhang. 2017. “Local Name, Global Fame: The International Visibility of Chinese Cities in   Modern Times.” Urban Studies 54(11):2652–2668.

Chen,Yunsong and Yi Zhang. 2016. “The Inequality Effects of   Urbanization and Social Integration.”  Social Science in China 37(4):   117-135. 

Liu,Weifeng, Yunsong Chen* and Yanjie Bian. 2017,   “Occupational Interactions and Income Level.” Journal of Chinese Sociology4:3.  

Chen, Yunsong, and Beate Völker. 2016.   “Social Capital and Homophily Both Matter for Labor Market Outcomes.”  Social Networks45:18-31. 

Chen, Yunsong*, and Fei Yan. 2016. “Economic   Performance and Public Concerns about Social Class in 20th Century Books.” Social Science Research59:37-51. 

Chen, Yunsong*, and Mark Williams. 2016. “Subjective Wellbeing in the New China: Religion, social capital, and social status.”British Journal of Sociology 67(4):719-46. 

Chen, Yunsong*, and Fei Yan. 2016. “Centuries   of Sociology in Millions of Books.” Sociological Review   64(4):872–93. 

Chen,Yunsong and Xiaoguang Fan. 2015. “Discordance between Subjective   and Objective Social Status in Contemporary China.” Journal of Chinese Sociology,   2:14

Chen,Yunsong*. 2012. “Do Networks Pay off   Among Internal Migrants in China: An instrumental variable analysis.”Chinese   Sociological Review 45(1):28-55    

Chen,Yunsong*. 2011. “The Causal Effect of   Social Capital in the Labor Market: Identification challenges and   strategies.” Chinese Sociological Review 44(2):76-100.

Selected Chinese Articles 













Books and Translation Works

Chen, Yunsong, Guangye He and Fei Yan, 2021.  Understanding China Through Big Data: Applications of Theory-oriented Quantitative Approaches, Routledge.



Translation Works:


 Original work: Oxford Dictionary of Sociology (4TH Edition), John Scott (ed.)  Oxford University Press


Original work: Peter Hedström, 2005, Dissecting the Social: On the Principles of Analytical Sociology, Cambridge University Press

Selected Professional Service

Member of International Advisory Board, Sociology (flagship journal of British Sociological Association) 2021

Member of Editorial Board, Chinese Sociological Review 2021-

Member of Editorial Board, Social Science Research  2020-

Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Social Computing 2020-

Editor-in-chief,《中国研究》China Studies2020-

Vice Secretary-General, Chinese Sociological Association 2020-