Deborah Davis, PhD

  • Professor of Sociology
Deborah S. Davis (Ph.D. Boston University, 1979) is a Professor of Sociology at Yale University. Her primary teaching interests are historical and comparative sociology, inequality and stratification, contemporary Chinese society, and methods of fieldwork. In addition to teaching at Yale, she runs a summer fieldwork seminar where Yale students work collaboratively with students from Hong Kong and China. In past summers the seminar has investigated such topics as transformations of childhood consumption, changing concepts of privacy and property rights, the uses of public space in new and old residential communities in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and interaction of household and village level resources for predicting school attendance in rural Yunnan.

Davis is currently a member of the National Committee on US China Relations and in 2004 helped launch the Yale China Health Journal. At Yale she has served as Director of Academic Programs at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Chair of the Department of Sociology, Chair of the Council of East Asian Studies, Director of Graduate Studies in both East Asian Studies and Sociology, Member of the Publications Committee for Yale Press, co-chair of the Women’s Faculty Forum and Member of the Tenure Appointments Committee for the Social Sciences.

Past publications have analyzed the politics of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese family life, social welfare policy, consumer culture, property rights, social stratification and occupational mobility. In 2008 Stanford University Press will publish Creating Wealth and Poverty in Post-Socialist China, co-edited with Wang Feng. Currently she is completing a monograph entitled A Home of Their Own, a study of the social consequences of the privatization of real estate in urban China.

  • PhD, Boston University , 1979
  • MA, Harvard University , 1970
  • BA, Wellesley College , 1967
  • (with Pierre Landry and Shiru Wang) “Competition without Parties: Elections in Rural China”, CPS (Comparative Political Studies) 43.6:763-790 (2010)
  • “Who Gets the House? Re-Negotiating Property rights in Post-socialist Urban China,” Modern China 36.5:463-92 (2010)
  • “China's New Upper Middle Classes: The Importance of Occupational Disaggregation.” (with Jianying Wang) In China’s Emerging Middle Class; Beyond Economic Transformation, edited by Cheng Li (Washington DC; Brookings Institute 2010):157-178
  • Creating Wealth and Poverty in Postsocialist China, (edited with Wang Feng), Stanford University Press, 2009
  • SARS: Reception and Interpretations in Three Chinese Cities, (edited with Helen Siu), Routledge, 2007
  • "The Consumer Revolution in Urban China" (University of California Press 2000)
  • "Urban Spaces in Contemporary China," edited with R. Kraus, B. Naughton, and E. Perry (Cambridge University Press 1995)
  • "Competition without Parties: Elections in Rural China," (with Pierre Landry and Shiru Wang), CPS
International activities
  • Conference
    China (2011-2011)
    Organized conference for "Marriage in Cosmopolitan China: Hong Kong, Taipei, and Shanghai" at Hong Kong University, July 5-6, 2011

  • Advisor to Tsinghua University
    China (2008-Present)
    Professor Davis is an advisor for the Department of Sociology and New Journal at Tsinghua University.

    Tsinghua University, Tsinghua University

  • Teaching
    China (1998-1998)
    Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Sociology, Visiting Professor, 1998

  • Teaching
    Japan (1967-1971)
    Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan, Department of English, Instructor, 1970-1971 Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Lecturer, 1967-1969