Doctoral Candidate

B.A. (Highest Distinction), Sociology and Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

M.A., Sociology, University of Chicago


My research centers around the ontological question of gender: How is a gendered society possible? In what ways could gender be “undone” or “re-done”? As with many sociologists of gender, I first started tackling these questions by looking at the performance of gender. Taking the gender play in cosplay as my empirical case, I explored how gendered sensibilities of aggressiveness and softness are conveyed through nuanced body movements and modifications. During this project, I realized the danger of voluntarism in treating gender merely as an individual performance. My second project then shifted attention from performance to perceptions. By examining asexual people’s accounts of high school sex talk, I demonstrated how gender could be uncoupled from sexuality—while sociologists often see sex talk as an example of gender performance, its gendered connotation might not be picked up during interaction. My dissertation takes these questions a step further by revisiting the classic topic of gender and parenting and examining how parents make childhood happen through accounting and (de)gendering practices. In so doing, I hope to bring the ontological question of generation into the ontological question of gender, and extend feminist theories of gender into childhood studies. In a separate line of research, I have also reformulated Connell’s concept of hegemonic masculinity, and am working on another piece to advance her theory of multiple masculinities.


Yang, Yuchen. 2021. "Gender Uncoupled: Asexual People Making Sense of High School Sex Talk." Sexualities (online first).  DOI: 10.1177/13634607211033865.

Yang, Yuchen. 2020. "What’s Hegemonic about Hegemonic Masculinity? Legitimation and Beyond." Sociological Theory 38(4):318–333. DOI: 10.1177/0735275120960792.