Yang Hu’s research focuses on (changing) family, gender and sexual relations in East Asia and in a transnational context. His research contributes to advancing gender and social equalities, family justice, and understandings of how macro socio-economic, political and institutional developments and cultural changes (re)configure everyday family and intimate lives. Yang’s research follows three inter-related lines:

[1] Transnational families in a global world

The first strand of Yang’s research focuses on family relations in a transnational and global world, which sits at the intersection of family, gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, and migration. Yang’s first book Chinese-British Intermarriage examines how men and women negotiate, (re)construct and make sense of their intersecting gender and ethnic identities in Chinese-British inter-ethnic families in the UK. The book was nominated for the 2017 British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Prize. Yang has also published on the formation of transnational marital orientations, and the mobility of Chinese international students. Funded by The Sociological Review Foundation, Yang has organised (with D. Nehring) the 2017 Sociological Review Symposium on ‘Transnational Family Justice in Migration Crises’. Yang is currently editing (with D. Nehring) a journal special issue of the outputs from this event.

[2] (Changing) family, gender and sexual relations and values in regional and cross-national contexts

The second strand of Yang’s research focuses on the region-specific dynamics pertaining to family, gender and sexuality over the life course in regional (China and the UK) and cross-national contexts. Published topics include: cross-national variations in domestic gender inequalitiesfamily and gender values in Chinaideational impact of migrationsocial change and geographical variations in sex ideologiesintergenerational reproduction of gender inequalities, intergenerational marital mobilitylife-course trajectories of marital disruption and remarriageliving space and mental health, and new forms of intimate relationships such as living apart together. At Lancaster, Yang co-founded and co-convenes (with J. Fledderjohann) the LAARG (Lancaster Asia Area Research Group).

[3] Methodological developments in the study of family relations

Robust empirical research is not possible without rigorous and innovative research methodologies. Yang uses an eclectic range of both quantitative (e.g., survey design, statistical modelling, and data mining) and qualitative (e.g., ethnography, in-depth interview, and focus group) methods in his research. He is keen to combine the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative approaches in mixed methods research design. Yang co-led a British Academy funded project exploring the use of ‘big data analytics’ in understanding the internationalisation of higher education. He is also experienced in survey design, and is currently leading the development of the first nationally representative survey of parents in the UK family law system as part of the Nuffield-funded project on fathers in care proceedings.