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Dr Keming Yang

Associate Professor

MA in Statistics (Columbia University), PhD in Sociology (Columbia University)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology32 Old Elvet: Room 108 
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing  


My research has focused mainly on the social origins and meanings of loneliness and its consequences. Loneliness has been studied from the perspectives of psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, and gerontology. I have studied it as a social problem by examining the effects of social relations and social contexts (class, ethnicity, immigration, national culture, etc.). Ultimately, I see loneliness as a problem that is emblemic of the relationship between the individual and the society at large. Even more generally, I believe that the mission for all social scientists is to tackle genuine social problems, if it is unrealistic to talk about 'solving' them. I have also done some research on private business owners in the context of China's economic development in the earlier years of my career, and I am still doing research on issues related to China through supervising and supporting my PhD students. To me, studying their economic and political life is a key to understanding many seemingly paradoxical issues in contemporary China. Methodologically, I am open to all methodological approaches and capable to use a variety of technical methods. I use statistical methods regularly for analysing large-scale sample survey data, but I have also used case studies and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). In every study my aspiration is to integrate theory, substantive knowledge, and technical skills with logical rigour.

Currently I teach Sociology of Mental Health and Illness for senior undergraduate students and Intermediate Statistics for psotgraduate students in the MA in Research Methods programme. 

I welcome any inquiries about potential study for a PhD degree with me. Any topic in the areas of sociology of mental health and illness, economic sociology, political sociology, social gerontology, or any topic related to China or comparative cross-national studies will be considered.

Research interests

  • Sociology of mental wellbeing
  • Economic sociology and entrepreneurship
  • China
  • Statistical methods in social research
  • Social gerontology

Research groups

  • Health and Social Theory

Research Projects

  • The Political Participation of Private Business Owners in China

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Entrepreneurship / SME: China's economic, political and social development, entrepreneurship, research design, quantitative methods, loneliness among older people in comparative perspectives


Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Yang, Keming (2013). Keep Business for Business: Associations of private enterprises in China. In Chinese corporatist state: adaption, survival and resistance. Hsu, Jennifer & Hasmath, Reza London: Routledge. 66-82.
  • Yang, Keming (2013). ‘Auf welcher Seite stehst du? Chinas kommunistischer Staat zwischen KapitalistInnen und ArbeiterInnen’ (‘Whose Side Are You on? China’s Communist state between the capitalists and the workers’). In Arbeitskämpfe in China: Berichte von der Werkbank der Welt. Georg Egger, Daniel Fuchs, Thomas Immervoll & Lydia Steinmassl Promedia. 194-209.
  • Yang, Keming (2010). 从财富到权力?对私营企业主参政的观察与思考 (From Wealth to Power? Some Observations and Thoughts on the Political Participation of Private Entrepreneurs). In 当代中国政治报告 (Research Reports on The Politics of Contemporary China). Beijing: Social Science Academic Press (Beijing, China). 8: 92-105.
  • Yang, Keming (2007). ‘Causal Analysis’ (pp.123-125), ‘Logistic Regression Analysis’ (pp.550-555), and ‘Loglinear Analysis’ (pp.555-558). In Encyclopedia of Measurement and Statistics. Salkind, Neil Sage Publications, Ltd.

Edited book

  • Yang, Keming (2014). Categorical Data Analysis. Sage Benchmarks in Social Research Methods. Sage Publications, Ltd.

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Yang, Keming (2014). Loneliness has serious health risks and the solution is social. The Conversation

Supervision students