Social Responsibility


Jiping ZuoJiping Zuo

What is your vision of global social responsibility?
Global social responsibility should involve transnational cooperations of common concerns of such issues as social justice, environmental conservation, etc. And yet, cooperations should be achieved from mutual understanding/respect of various historical/social/cultural contexts of different nations/societies. No universal (imperial/colonial/solipsistic) standards in measuring the degree of “progress” across nations. As an individual, we should start with ourselves, instead of merely criticizing others for not taking on social responsibilities. E.g. we could start consuming less but saving more for the world.

What social and environmental justice issues do you feel passionate about?
Equality between Third World and Second World countries. Equality between those who own the means of production and those who perform the labor. There should be more equal distribution of resources between people with economic and political power and those without. We need to reduce our dependence on oil and natural resources. As far as relations among countries and people, there is so much animosity between people. We need to use a more relation-oriented approach, based on more than justice. It needs to be based on humanity, it needs to be human-based.

What areas of research or activism are you currently most engaged with?
I look at equality issues in a domestic sphere primarily in China. Particularly the division of labor of housework, marital power, power between partners and breadwinning. I try to help students understand national and global issues while striving to remain impartial. I was involved in an anti-war protest before the war began.

What presentations, publications, student support activities or community service projects have you focused on in the last couple of years?
Major Publications:
2003 From revolutionary comrades to gendered partners: Marital construction of breadwinning in urban China. Journal of Family Issues 24: 314-337.
2001 Gendered resources, division of housework, and perceived fairness: A case in urban China. (Jiping Zuo & Yanjie Bian). Journal of Marriage and Family 63: 1122-1133.

Articles in Chinese:
2002 Feminization of agriculture and marital inequality: An indigenous study. Tsinghua Sociological Review (Tsinghua She Hui Xue Ping Lun) 4, 40-67.
2002 Viewing the inequality between husband and wife in Chinese cities from an alternative angle. Collection of Women’s Studies (Fu Nu Yan Jiu Lun Cong), 44, 12-17.

Papers Presented:
2003 Women’s liberation and gender obligation equality in urban China: The experiences of married couples in the 1950’s. Workshop on gender, Socialism and Globalization in Contemporary Vietnam and China, Gender Relations Center, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University.

2002 Feminization of aggreiculture and marital inequality in rural China. XIV European Association for China Studies Conference, Moscow, August 26-31.

2001a Beyond resources and patriarchy: Marital construction of family decision-
making power in urban China (with Yianjie Bian). ASA meetings, August 18-
21, Anaheim, California.

2001b Marital inequality in urban China—a dialogue with Western theories (in
Chinese). Conference on Gender, Ethnicity and Community development, June
11-16, Guiyang, China.

2001c Impact of male farmer out-migration on marital inequality. International
Forum on rural labor mobility in China, July 3-5, Beijing, China.

2001d Methodological and policy issues in studies of gender and women’s
development in rural China (in Chinese). Workshop on Feminization of
Agriculture, Women’s Development and Policy Implications, December 19-
21, Nanning, China.

Also does guest lecture to social work students in methodology, writes letters of recommendations for students, and works with team members to bring speakers to campus. Last year they were able to bring a North Korean professor here and this year they will bring another speaker to talk about gender issues.

What skills do you teach that empower students to become activists/active global citizens?
I try to teach students to be open-minded and aware of what is going on in the world. I also encourage students to be critical thinkers, to be skeptical, raise hard questions and I strive to introduce a cross cultural perspective.

Where did you do your graduate work?
University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

What classes do you teach?
Sociology of Family, family classes including American and non-western, and statistics courses.

Which of these are available to graduate students?
Sociology of Family 572
Culture and Family 574
Gender, Work and the Family 562
Advanced Social Statistics 578

Do you have a description of those courses, possibly from a syllabus, that we may add to the website for students to view?
Culture and Family 574
Broaden your perspective by exposing you to families in non-Western societies. Enable you to understand various family patterns, including yours, within cultural contexts. Equip you with critical thinking skills as you encounter, “try-on”, and negotiate with multiple perspectives and paradigms. Help you prepare for upcoming challenges and opportunities resulting from globalization in the 21st Century.

This course will focus on such issues as household structures, marriage patterns, gender roles, childbearing and intergenerational relations. The above patterns will be examined closely in given cultural institutional and historical contexts.

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