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William Jankowiak


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William Jankowiak is an internationally recognized authority on urban Chinese society, urban Mongols, Mormon fundamentalist polygyny, and love around the world. Jankowiak is often invited to present the results of his research as well called on by media to provide background information on various topics. His research has been features in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Time magazine, NPR, History Channel, TLC, ABC Primetime, and NBC.

Jankowiak has authored over 115 academic and professional publications. He is the author of Sex, Death, and Hierarchy in a Chinese City: An Anthropological Account (Columbia University, 1993) and editor of Romantic Passion: A Universal Experience? (Columbia University, 1995), Intimacies: Between Love and Sex (Columbia University, 2008), and (with Dan Bradburd) Stimulating Trade: Drugs, Labor and Expansion (Arizona University, 2003). In addition, he has edited two special journal volumes: Well Being, Family Affections, and Ethical Nationalism in Urban China (Journal of Urban Anthropology) and (with Jiemin Bao) Polygynous Society: Ethnographic Overviews from Five Cultures. His current writing projects include completing City Days, City Nights: The Individual and Social Life in a Chinese City: 1981-2011 (Columbia University Press), a book-length overview (with Robert Moore) on the Chinese family (Polity Press), and an ethnography of a Mormon Fundamentalist polygamous community (Columbia University Press).

Jankowiak is a professor in the Anthropology Department, College of Liberal Arts, and serves as executive director of the Forum for Asian Studies. 


Ph.D. : University of California Santa Barbara, 1986

Research Interests

Cultural anthropology, urban anthropology, psychological anthropology, human sexuality, romantic love, family systems, human universals, Mormon fundamentalist polygamy, China, Inner Mongolia.