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Zepeng ZhouGraduate Student

Advisor: Timothy J. Dowd


  • MA, Sociology, Beijing Normal University, 2023
  • BA, Sociology, Beijing Normal University, 2020 

General Research Areas

  • Cultural Sociology
  • Digital Sociology
  • Work and Organization
  • Media Studies
  • Economic Sociology
  • Youth Studies
  • Mixed Methods

Current Research

I am particularly intrigued by the cultural, organizational, and economic transformations within the digital landscape. My primary research focus resides at the intersection between cultural sociology and digital sociology, encompassing topics about creative industries, social media, and the new economy.

My ongoing project seeks to understand how digital platforms facilitate and shape new organizational forms of collective cultural production. More specifically, I deploy a relational and organizational approach to examine the mass-production of beauty influencers in China based on ethnographic data from a content creation company. As an offshoot of this project, I am concurrently working on another study about pricing dynamics and inequalities among online influencers. Apart from this line, I am also drawn to the group culture and community of young generations. In a previous study, I analyzed the sociability of middle-class immigrant youth in Beijing and their meaning-making of public participation in a public space. Outside of my academic pursuits, you will likely find me immersed in feature films and K-pop.

Recent Publications

Zhou, Zepeng and Suowei Xiao. 2023. “Experiencing Authenticity: Sociability and the Double Lives of Middle-Class Migrant Youth in Beijing.” Chinese Journal of Sociology, 9(3), 429-452. [Translated from the Chinese Version of the Journal]

Zhou, Zepeng and Suowei Xiao. 2022. “Experiencing Authenticity: Sociability and the Double Lives of Migrant Youth in Beijing 体验本真性:北漂青年的社会交往与双重生活” (in Chinese). Chinese Version of Chinese Journal of Sociology (《社会》) 42(4): 104-133.

Liu, Bing, Zepeng Zhou, and Chendi Zhao. 2019. “The Change of Social Contradictions in China under the Background of Internet and its Countermeasures 互联网背景下我国社会矛盾变迁及其应对” (in Chinese). Social Governance Review (《社会治理》) (7): 70-76.