Carolyn L. Hsu

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Carolyn L. Hsu

Professor of Sociology

Department/Office Information

Sociology and Anthropology, Asian Studies
408 Alumni Hall

My current research examines civil society in China, particularly the rise of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). NGOs are a new phenomenon in China -- they barely existed at all 30 years ago, but now there are millions. You can learn a little bit about this research by checking out my 2017 paper for the China Policy Institute or my talk at the Brookings Institute from Dec 2016 (the full video is here).

To see a more scholarly work on the subject, you can read my latest book: Social Entrepreneurship and Citizenship in China. You can also check out my most recent articles, published in the Handbook of Research on NGOs (2018), Voluntas (2017), The Asia-Pacific Journal (2016) and The China Quarterly (2015)

I also conducted the 2003 and 2009 Colgate Campus Climate Surveys. Working with my co-author, Dr. Landon Reid, we surveyed the entire student body to examine how students' experiences of campus life differentiated by race, gender, socioeconomic class, and other factors.

Download a copy of my CV, or see my profile on ResearchGate.

BA, Yale University, 1991; MA (1995), PhD (2000), University of California, San Diego

Contemporary Chinese society; Civil society, citizenship NGOs, activism, and social movements; Social entrepreneurship; Institutions and organizations; Post-socialist development; Political sociology; Economic sociology; Social mobility and inequality; Narratives; Morality and religion.

Books:

2017  Social Entrepreneurship and Citizenship in China: The Rise of NGOs in the PRC, Routledge UK: Research on the Politics and Sociology of China Series

2007 Creating Market Socialism: How Ordinary People are Shaping Class and Status in China, Duke University Press.

Articles:

Forthcoming  “How the Ideology of ‘Quality’ Protects Civil Society in Xi Jinping's China.” China Information.

2018  "The Rise of NGOs in the People’s Republic of China," Chapter in ​Handbook of Research on NGOs, edited by Aynsley Kellow and Hannah Murphy-Gregory. Edward Elgar Publishers.

2017 "NGO Strategies in an Authoritarian Context, and their Implications for Citizenship: The Case of the People's Republic of China." (Co-authored with Jennifer Y.J. Hsu and Reza Hamath). Voluntas 28 (3): 1157-1179. DOI 10.1007/s11266-016-9806-0

2016 “Is China’s New Overseas NGO Management Law Sounding the Death Knell for Civil Society? Maybe Not.” (Co-authored with Jessca Teets). The Asia Pacific Journal. 14 (4).

2015  - “China Youth Development Foundation: GONGO (Government-Organized NGO) or GENGO (Government-Exploiting NGO)?” Chapter in NGO Governance and Management in China, edited by Reza Hasmath and Jennifer Hsu. Routledge. 

2015 -  “An Institutional Approach to Chinese NGOs: State Alliance Versus State Avoidance Resource Strategies.” China Quarterly. 221: 100-122.

2011 - “Even Further beyond Civil Society: The Rise of Internet-Oriented Chinese NGOs (Response to Kin-Man Chan and Li Zhang), ” Journal of Civil Society. 7(1): 123-7.

2010 - “Beyond Civil Society: An Organizational Perspective on State–NGO Relations in the People's Republic of China.” Journal of Civil Society. 6 (3): 259 – 277

2010 - "Corruption or Social Capital?  Tact and the Performance of Guanxi in Market Socialist China,” (co-authored with Alan Smart) in Public Sector Corruption, Edited by Michael Johnston, Sage Publications

2008 - "Rehabilitating Charity in China: The Case of Project Hope and the Rise of Nonprofit Organizations". Journal of Civil Society. 4 (2): 81-96.

2008 - "The School in the City and the City in the School: Ideological Transformations in China.” Visual Studies. 23 (1): 20-33

2007 - "Corruption or Social Capital? Tact and the Performance of Guanxi in Market Socialist China," (co-authored with Alan Smart) for Corruption and the Secret of Law: A Legal Anthropological Perspective, edited by Monique Nuijten and Gerhard Anders. Ashgate. Pages 167-190.

2006 - "Cadres, Getihu, and Good Businesspeople: The Social Construction of Entrepreneurs in Early Post-Socialist China," Urban Anthropology, 35 (1): 1-38.

2006 - "Market Ventures, Moral Logics, and Ambiguity." The Sociological Quarterly, 47: 69-92.

2005 - "A Taste of Modernity: Working in a Western Restaurant in Market Socialist China," Ethnography, 6(4): 543-565.

2005 - "Capitalism Without Contracts Versus Capitalists Without Capitalism: Comparing the Influence of Chinese Guanxi and Russian Blat on Marketization." Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 38:309-327.

2001 - "Political Narratives and the Production of Legitimacy: The Case of Corruption in Post-Mao China." Qualitative Sociology, 24 (1): 25-54.

1996 - "Corruption and Morality in the People's Republic of China." Indiana East Asian Working Paper Series 8 1-26.

  • Environmental Problems and Environmental Activism in China (with Prof. April Baptiste)
    • This course includes a 3-week extended study trip to China.
  • Classical Social Theory
  • Nations and Nationalism
  • Senior Seminar in Sociology
  • High Honors Thesis Workshop
  • CORE Communities and Identity: China
  • Globalization, Culture and Everyday Life

I am married to Christopher Henke, who is also a sociology professor here at Colgate. We have one daughter, Lin, born in 2001.

I served as an elder at my church, Hamilton Bible Fellowship, although I don't feel old enough to be called an "elder."

In the winter of the 2011-12 academic year, I traveled to India with 26 other Colgate faculty members. Our mission was to confront questions of identity, culture, and knowledge across intellectual boundaries in order to support our instruction within Colgate's Core program. Read more about our experiences at our blog Reflections from India.