Name: Langou Lian
Degree program: sociology Ph.D. program, fourth year
Awards: Charles A. Lave Paper Prize Award for “Unprecedented Changes in Americans’ Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Relations From 1974 to 2016: Sociohistorical Contexts, Explanations and Heterogeneity”
Hometown: Chengdu, China


What major milestones have highlighted your journey to UCI?

I came to the U.S. by myself at age 15, and was able to get into a Ph.D. program after going through a language school, a community college and my undergraduate program at UCI. Being in a foreign country by myself since 15 definitely made me who I am today. I have learned to stand on my own, make my own decisions, and solve problems when no families and friends are around. At the same time, the situation of being far away from family is the biggest challenge for me. I have to often worry about their situation back home, and I have to deal with a lot on my own.

Why did you decide to come to UCI for your Ph.D. program?

The program focus matches my interest, and I had received a lot of support from my mentors as an undergraduate here. My interest in gender and family study, as well as my interest in quantitative data analyses, are well-matched at UCI. I have received several grants from the Long-China institute, the Center for Asian Study, and Robin Williams Award (undergraduate) at UCI in support of my work.

Explain your research paper that earned you the Lave paper prize this year.

The paper that helped me earn the prize uses quantitative analysis of the 1974-2016 General Social Survey dataset to identify the role of societal transformations in explaining changes in individuals’ attitudes toward homosexuality, and explore how social changes over time modulate the effects of individuals’ social background on attitudes toward same-sex relation.

What are your future plans?

I plan to finish my degree during Spring 2022, and my hope is to find a research position in academia.





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