Fellowships Awarded: 2011
Shaohua came to Johns Hopkins in 2006 to study historical sociology and international development with a focus on China. Prior to beginning his graduate studies in the U.S., he worked as a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing) between 2002 and 2006. His work focused on rural poverty and rural-urban labor migration.
Shaohua's dissertation research is based on historical research on 18th-century China and extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the contemporary Chinese countryside. He is exploring whether Chinese rural development, past and present, may provide a model for creating a resilient and sustainable food system for countries facing poverty, population pressure and resource scarcity.
Shaohua says his early findings suggest that an "industrious" revolution in rural China-based on labor-intensive production and market exchange among small producers-has resulted in a more resilient and equitable food system. Whether and to what extent these practices can be replicated elsewhere takes on great importance, especially as populations in many of developing countries continue to grow rapidly.
His advisors are Beverly Silver, professor in the Department of Sociology, and Joel Andreas, associate professor in the Department of Sociology.