Deborah S. Davis primary teaching interests are 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. Davis is currently a Trustee of the Yale China Association and serves as Associate Editor of The Journal of Asian Studies, and on the editorial board of The China Quarterly and The China Review. In 2004 she 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, and co-chair of the Women Faculty Forum .
Author or editor of 10 books, past publications have analyzed the politics of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese family life, social welfare policy, consumer culture, property rights, social stratification, occupational mobility, and impact of rapid urbanization and migration on health and happiness. In 2009, Stanford University Press published Creating Wealth and Poverty in Post-Socialist China, co-edited with Wang Feng, and in 2014, Wives, Husbands and Lovers: Marriage and Sexuality in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Urban China, co-edited with Sara Friedman. Currently she is completing a book entitled His, Her and Their Marriages that analyzes the social consequences of the one child policy and privatization on the institution of marriage and urban kinship.
A graduate of Wellesley College, Davis received a Masters degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard, a Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston University and post-doctoral research grants from ACLS, SSRC, the National Academy of Sciences, NIA, and the Luce, Rockefeller, and Templeton Foundations. In 2013 she was awarded the Yale College Lex Hixon ’63 Teaching Prize for Excellence in the Social Sciences.
- (2014) Re-Placing the Rural Urban Binary. Tan Chin Tuan lectureship, Yale-NUS College.
- (2011) The MacMillan Report: Marriage and Divorce Trends in China. Professor Davis organized a workshop at Hong Kong University as part of a larger project on post-socialist marriage and sexuality. During this online interview, she talks about the changing trends of marriage and divorce in China.
- (2009) Great Issues Forum: Power of Education. Held at the CUNY Graduate Center, this forum features James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan; Deborah Davis, former director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; Enrique Dussel Peters, Professor of Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico; and Yu Lizhong, President of East China Normal University. William Kelly, President of the Graduate Center, moderates.
- (2014) Wives, Husbands, and Lovers: Marriage and Sexuality in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Urban China. Edited by Deborah S. Davis and Sara L. Friedman, Stanford University Press
- (2009) Creating Wealth and Poverty in Post-Socialist China. Edited with Wang Feng, Stanford University Press. Chapter One.
- (2007) SARS: Reception and Interpretation in Three Chinese Cities. Edited with Helen Siu, Routledge Contemporary China Series.
- (2003) 中国城市的消费革命 (The Consumer Revolution in Urban China) with new introduction by Lu Hanlong, (Shanghai Academy of Social Science)
- Davis, Deborah and Jianying Wang (2010) “China’s New Upper Middle Classes: The Importance of Occupational Disaggregation.” in China’s Emerging Middle Class; Beyond Economic Transformation, edited by Cheng Li (Washington DC; Brookings Institute):157-178.
- Davis, Deborah (2006). “Urban Chinese Homeowners as Citizen-Consumers,” in S. Garon and P. Maclachlan (eds.), The Ambivalent Consumer, pp. 281-299. Cornell University Press.
- Davis, Deborah (2004). “Talking About Property in the New Chinese Domestic Property Regime,” in F. Dobbin (ed.), The New Economic Sociology, pp. 288-307. Russell Sage Foundation.
- Davis, Deborah (2003). “From Welfare Benefit to Capitalized Asset: The Re-Commodification of Residential Space in Urban China,” in R. Forrest and J. Lee (eds.),Chinese Urban Housing Reform, pp. 183-196. Routledge.
- Davis, Deborah (with Kin-man Chan) (2003). “The Consequences of Home Ownership in Post-Handover Hong Kong,” in Indicators of Social Development: Hong Kong 2001, pp. 233-248. Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.
- Davis, Deborah (2002). “When a House Becomes His Home,” in P. Link, R. Madsen and P. Pickowicz (eds.), Popular China, pp. 231-250. Rowman and Littlefield.
- Chen Juan, Deborah Davis, Kaming Wu, Haijing Du (2015) “Life Satisfaction in Urbanizing China,” Cities 49: 88-97.
- Davis, Deborah (with Juan Chen, Shuo Chen, and Pierre F. Landry) (2014) “How Dynamics of Urbanization Affect Physical and Mental Health in Urban China.” The China Quarterly.
- Davis, Deborah (2014) “Privatization of Marriage in Post-Socialist China.” Modern China, 40:6 (Nov. 2014) :551-577. Published online before print June 4, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0097700414536528, Direct Download.
- Davis, Deborah (2014) “Demographic Challenges for a Rising China” MIT Press/Daedalus.
- Davis, Deborah (2013) “Who Gets the House? Renegotiating Property Rights in Post-Socialist Urban China.” Chinese Translation: Social Sciences Academic Press, Vol 4 in series entitled 家庭与性别评论 (Essays on Family and Gender) edited by 马春华 (Ma Chunhua) Direct Download>Chinese Translation.
- Davis, Deborah (2010) “Who Gets the House? Renegotiating Property Rights in Post-Socialist Urban China.” Modern China, first published on June 22, 2010 as doi:10.1177/0097700410373265 hard copy in fall 2010. Direct Download>English.
- Davis, Deborah (with Pierre Landry and Shiru Wang) (2010). “Elections in Rural China; Competition without Parties”, Comparative Political Studies, 43.6: 763-90.
- Davis, Deborah (with Pierre Landry, Yusheng Peng and Jin Xiao) (2007). “Gendered Pathways to Rural Schooling,” The China Quarterly, 60-82.
- Davis, Deborah (with Shaoguang Wang and Yanjie Bian) (2006). “The Uneven Distribution of Cultural Capital: Book Reading in Urban China,” Modern China, 32 (3): 315-345.
- Davis, Deborah (2005). “Urban Consumer Culture,” The China Quarterly, 183 (September): 677-694.
- Davis, Deborah (with Yanjie Bian and Shaoguang Wang) (2005). “Multiple Capitals,” Social Transformations in Chinese Society, 1 (November): 31-58.
- Davis, Deborah (with Yanjie Bian, Ronald Breiger, and Jospeh Galaskiewicz) (2005). “Occupation, Class, and Networks in Urban China,” Social Forces, 83 (4).
- Davis, Deborah (with Hanlong Lu) (2003). “Property in Transition: Conflicts Over Ownership in Post Socialist Shanghai,” Arch.europ.sociol.XLIV/European Journal of Sociology, April: 77-99.
- Davis, Deborah (2000) “Social Class Transformation: Training, Hiring and Promoting Urban Professionals and Managers after 1949,” Modern China (July): 251-275.
Courses and Seminars
- SOCY 086, Chinese Society Since Mao.
- SOCY 140, Four Giants of the Modern World: A Comparison of Societies.
- SOCY 325, Topics in Contemporary Chinese Society.
- SOCY 395, Wealth and Poverty in Modern China.
- SOCY 504, Research Methods: Design and Data Collection.
- SOCY 507, Social Science Workshop on Contemporary China.
- SOCY 561, Topics in Contemporary Chinese Society.