Wan He Award Statement
Wan He’s dissertation, "Choice and Constraints: Explaining Chinese Americans' Low Fertility," constitutes first-class social demography. She examines both affirmative choices and social structural constraints on the fertility decisions of Chinese American women. The results are consistent with the concept of opportunity costs of childbearing as Chinese American women attempt to achieve social and economic mobility, particularly in the first generation. She has done an admirable job of trying to situate choice and constraint constructs within theoretical traditions. The dissertation addresses interesting questions, and is theoretically and methodologically sound, a contribution of qualitative work to quantitative analysis. As a writer, Wan He’s dissertation is a page-turner in the parlance of novel readers, beautifully written in a simple and elegant style, every word is crafted to achieve a purpose, and the narrative provides evidence of a strong and compelling story.