Hsinchao Wu





Ph.D., Harvard University

Dr. Wu is a cultural sociologist whose work focuses on the interplay of culture, symbols, and markets. Her research addresses a perennial question of economic development: How does culture shape, instruct, and intertwine with economic activity? Examining the revival and transformation of kinship networks in rural China she shows that traditional symbols and ritual scripts are mobilized by local communities to respond socio-economic changes thereby reshaping economic life. A second project explores the global dynamic of diffusion and appropriation of culture through an exploration the markets of spirituality in North America that draw from Eastern religious practices, such as Buddhism and Hinduism.



Research and Teaching Interests


Sociology of culture

Chinese societies

Sociology of development

East Asian economic development


Sociology of religion

Hsinchai Wu