Yao Lu



Professor Lu received her MS in public health and PhD in sociology from UCLA. Her research focuses on how migration intersects with social and political processes in China. Her current work examines how migration affects the political consciousness and collective action of people who remain in rural China, how the feminization of migration reconfigures gender attitudes and practices in rural areas, and how the migration of parents shapes family dynamics and the well-being of left-behind children.

Professor Lu’s research has been funded by three grants from the National Science Foundation, two grants from the National Institutes of Health (including a K01 Career Development Award), and grants from the Russell Sage Foundation and Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. She have also collaborated with a team of international scholars to develop and conduct a national survey on the effect of migration on children in China. 

Research Interests

  • How migration intersects with sociopolitical processes to shape inequalities in receiving and origin societies
  • How social and demographic processes influence political development, especially in Chinese society
Columbia Affiliations
China Center for Social Policy