Cheris Shun-ching Chan

Dissertation Fellow, 2003

Cheris Shun-ching Chan Alumnae Dissertation Fellow, 2003 Cheris Shun-ching Chan is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA’s International Institute. Before joining the University of Hong Kong, she was an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellow of the Summer Institute on Economy and Society from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Chan’s research interests include culture, economic practices, healthcare, globalization, and Chinese societies. Her writings have appeared in the top-tier academic journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, British Journal of Sociology, Theory and Society, Social Psychology Quarterly, China Quarterly, and International Sociology. Some of her articles have received prizes from the American Sociological Association. Chan’s first book, Marketing Death: Culture and the Making of a Life Insurance Market in China (OUP, 2012), has won two awards and one honorable mention from the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Impact of the Alumnae Dissertation Fellowship Cheris Shun-ching Chan received NU’s Alumnae Dissertation Fellowship in 2003 – 2004. This fellowship not only allowed her to complete her dissertation on time, it enabled her to produce an outstanding thesis that generated a number of award-winning articles published in top-tier academic journals. By enabling Chan to concentrate on her writing in her last year of graduate study, the Dissertation Fellowship facilitated her to produce world-class scholarly works that eventually won her other prestigious fellowships and impressive career path. Chan received three job offers upon her graduation in 2004, including offers from the University of Arizona, the University of Pittsburgh, and the National University of Singapore. She was the awardee of a number of highly competitive fellowships, including of the Summer Institute on Economy and Society from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2006), the Global Fellowship from the International Institution at UCLA (2006-2008), and the Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford University (2006-2007, awarded but declined). Chan’s dissertation was subsequently turned into her first book, Marketing Death: Culture and the Making of a Life Insurance Market in China, published by Oxford University Press in 2012 (http://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Death-Culture-Making-Insurance/dp/019539... ).

Based on extensive ethnographic research, the book analyzes the role of culture in shaping the trajectory and features of a new market. It details how the Chinese cultural taboo on the discussion of premature death affects the organizational strategies of transnational and domestic life insurance firms in mainland China. This book has won two awards and one honorable mention from the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. It is also featured at an audio research talk show, Up Close, at the University of Melbourne, Australia and at the Chinese service on Radio Netherlands ( http://upclose.unimelb.edu.au/episode/202-china-life-managing-cultural-t... ).