Martin King Whyte

Martin King Whyte headshot

Martin King Whyte

Professorial Lecturer

Part-time Faculty


Martin King Whyte is John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Sociology, Emeritus, and faculty associate of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, at Harvard University. He received his BA (in physics) from Cornell University and MA (in Russian studies) and PhD degrees (in sociology) from Harvard. He taught at the University of Michigan from 1970 to 1994, at George Washington University from 1994 to 2000, and at Harvard from 2000 until his retirement in 2015. He specializes in the study of grass roots social organization and social change in the PRC in both the Mao and reform eras. He has published two books reflecting his ongoing research on inequality patterns and trends in China: One Country, Two Societies: Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China (editor, Harvard University Press, 2010) and Myth of the Social Volcano: Perceptions of Inequality and Distributive Injustice in Contemporary China (Stanford University Press, 2010). He has also published studies on China’s economic development patterns, continuity and change in Chinese family life, changing village and city social patterns, gender relations, and demographic and health trends, as well as on comparisons of the post-socialist transitions in China and Eastern Europe. His most recent book is Remembering Ezra Vogel (co-edited with Mary Brinton, Harvard Asia Center Publications Program, 2022), a volume of reminiscences to honor his mentor and friend, Ezra Vogel, who died in 2020.

sociology of contemporary China, sociology of development, sociology of the family, inequality and stratification, population trends

Phi Beta Kappa

ongoing research on patterns and trends in inequality in the PRC; ongoing research in population trends in the PRC; ongoing research on the social sources of economic development in the PRC

BA, physics, Cornell University, 1964
MA, Russian area studies, Harvard, 1966
PhD, sociology, Harvard, 1971

In Spring 2024 I am scheduled to teach an MA level course, Contemporary Chinese Society.

See my c.v., available on my Harvard University, Department of Sociology website, at the link listed earlier, or available below...

Curriculum vitae 

Harvard University website