Skip to Content

Department of Sociology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Jun Zhao

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-3123
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Jun Zhao


Jun Zhao received her doctoral degree in Sociology in 2017 from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the University of South Carolina in 2023, she was a postdoctoral fellow with the Program of Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth College (2017-2019) and worked as an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University (2019-2023).

Her work has appeared in Social Psychology Quarterly, the American Behavioral Scientist, Socius, and the Journal of Educational Psychology, among others. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Georgia State University, and the University of Georgia. She is currently on the editorial board for Social Psychology Quarterly.


Substantive research interests: social networks; social psychology, gender and race; health

Research Overview: Zhao’s research broadly centers on social inequality and exclusion, with an emphasis on networks, health, and gender and race. Much of her work involves analysis of longitudinal datasets and large-scale surveys. Zhao also collects her own data by designing and conducting original survey experiments.

Current projects:  

“Vicarious Discrimination and the Proliferation of Stressors through Social Networks”: Drawing on theories of “linked lives” and stress proliferation, this project tests the idea that exposure to discrimination not only affect the chronic stress levels of those directly experiencing such events but also reverberates through social networks, generating additional stressors among its members. By examining data from 983 dyads encompassing various network ties such as spouses, kin, and friends, this study hopes to go beyond the conventional focus on the individual effects of racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination on health but instead, takes a sociometric approach to study health inequality within social contexts.

 “The Spillover Effect of External Threat on Intergroup Relations.” Amidst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and in response to calls for moving beyond a dyadic paradigm in studying intergroup relations, Zhao designed a series of online experiments to examine the impact of exposure to information about a global pandemic from Asia on Americans’ prosocial behaviors towards both in-group and out-group members. This investigation seeks to establish a causal link between the COVID-19 pandemic and racial discrimination and provide valuable insights into the spillover effect of external threats on intergroup relations.



SOCY 301 –Sex and Gender

SOCY 703 –Statistical Analysis in Sociology


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.