Deborah S. Davis (PhD, 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