Xuemei Cao

  • Assistant Professor, Sociology
  • Ph.D. Sociology University at Albany, SUNY
  • M.A. Sociology, Sun Yat-sen University
  • B.A. Journalism, Sun Yat-sen University

Teaching Interests

SO132 Issues and Investigations in Sociology
SO252 Health, Illness, and Everyday Life

Research Interests

Immigration; Health; Aging and Life Course; Racial and Ethnic Minorities; Family; Sex and Gender; Asia and Asian American Studies; Social Networks; Qualitative Research Methods.


Xuemei Cao is an assistant professor in the sociology department at Bentley University. Her research examines immigrants’ local and transnational social support networks, with a particular focus on family relations and aging experiences within the Chinese American community. She is generally interested in the studies of older adults’ health and community lives, aging and social services organizations, Asian Americans, race and ethnicity, and qualitative research methods. With an intention to engage in public discussions on immigration through the sociological lens, she has also written op-eds for broader audiences in The New York Times and USA Today. She is an active member of the American Sociological Association, the Association for Asian American Studies, and the Gerontological Society of America. She has also served as an ad hoc reviewer for Family Relations, The Gerontologist, and The Journal of Gerontology: Series B.


Journal Articles

  • Sun, K. C., Cao, X. (2022). Intimacies Compared: The Emotional Responses of Family Caregivers to Internal and International Migration. American Behavioral Scientist, (66) 14 1846–1862.
  • Cao, X. (2021). Intergenerational Relations of Older Immigrants in the United States. Sociology Compass , (15) 8 e12908.
  • Cao, X., Sun, K. C. (2021). Seeking Transnational Social Protection During a Global Pandemic: The Case of Chinese Immigrants in the United States. Social Science & Medicine, (287) 114378.
  • Torres, S., Cao, X. (2019). Improving Care for Elders Who Prefer Informal Spaces to Age-Separated Institutions and Health Care Settings. Innovation in Aging , (3) 3 igz019.

    Book Chapters

  • Chung, A., Cao, X. (2024). Emotional Kinscripting: Managing Gender, Emotions, and Kinship among Children of Korean and Chinese Immigrant Families In Asha Jeffers and Catherine Bryan, (Eds.) The Daughters of Immigrants: A Multidisciplinary Study. 89-110. Forthcoming.

  • Book Reviews

  • Cao, X., Torres, S. (2018). [Review of the book Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-Life Splits ]. Gender & Society , (32) 6

  • Other(s)

  • Torres, S., Cao, X. (2020). Opinion | Coronavirus on College Campuses: Fight Fear and Racism Along with the OutbreakUSA Today. (Link)
  • Stacy, T., Cao, X. (2018). Opinion | The Immigrant Grandparents America Needs.The New York Times. (Link)
  • Presentations

  • Smith, C., Rawls, A. W., Everett, D., Cao, X., Mohammadpour, A., Carney, N. (2024). “Making “Taken For Granted” Racism Visible” Presented at the Bentley University MLK A day of Social Justice, Celebration, Listening, and Learning Waltham, MA
  • Service

    Department Service

  • Committee Member for The Sociology Department DEI Professional Committee 2024 - Present
  • Committee Member for The Sociology Department MLK Day Committee 2024 - Present
  • University Service

  • Panelist for Bentley University MLK 2024 Day of Social Justice 2024 - 2024
  • Performer for Bentley University MLK 2024 Day of Social Justice 2024 - 2024
  • Fall Open House 2023 - 2023
  • DEI Research Showcase 2023 - 2023
  • Academic Exploration Days 2022 - 2022
  • Professional Service

  • Inaugural Research Coordinator for Association for Asian American Studies 2023 - Present
  • Reviewer, Journal Article for The Gerontologist 2024 - 2024
  • Social Media Co-coordinator for Association for Asian American Studies 2021 - 2023
  • Reviewer, Journal Article for Journal of Gerontology Series B 2022 - 2022
  • Reviewer, Journal Article for Family Relations 2022 - 2022