- Ph.D., Sociology, University of Chicago
- M.A., Sociology, University of Chicago
- B.A., East Asain studies, McGill University
Born in Toronto, Ethan Michelson received his B.A. in East Asian studies and sociology from McGill University. He has an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He is currently serving as the James and Noriko Gines Department Chair in East Asian Languages and Cultures, as well as Academic Director of the IU China Gateway. His research on Chinese lawyers and social conflict in rural China has been published a variety of disciplinary and area studies journals, including the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, The China Quarterly, Law & Society Review, Social Problems, and Journal of Conflict Resolution. His research has been funded by the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the U.S. Department of Education (Fulbright-Hays), the American Bar Foundation, and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.
His new book, Decoupling: Gender Injustice in China’s Divorce Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2022), is a “big data” analysis of almost 150,000 divorce trials from all 252 basic-level courts in two Chinese provinces, Henan and Zhejiang. It reveals and explains routine and egregious violations of China’s own laws upholding the freedom of divorce, gender equality, and the protection of women’s physical security.