Xiaoshuo Hou Joins the Skidmore Faculty
Skidmore College welcomed Xiaoshuo Hou, an associate sociology and Asian studies professor to their faculty last spring. Hou is the Frances Young Tang ’61 Chair in Chinese Studies. This semester, Hou is teaching Sociological Perspectives and Economy and Society in the Sociology Department. She comes to Skidmore after teaching at Saint Lawrence for over five years.
Hou grew up in China, the daughter of two philosophy professors, which she notes as a childhood filled with “lots of debates and discussions.” Hou eventually found herself at Nanjing University in China, she initially did not think she wanted to go on to higher education, and even made a point to move away from that career, majoring in English with a concentration in business communication. However, when it came time to graduate, she realized she was not done with school and applied to Boston University (BU). Her learning changed focuses there after realizing that while economics interested her, it was the thinking behind economics that peaked her curiosity. She graduated from BU in 2008 with a PhD in Sociology.
After graduate school, she went on to work as a professor at University Massachusetts Amherst for a year. She then spent the next six years Saint Lawrence College where she eventually received tenure. There, Hou published her first book, Community Capitalism in China: The State, The Market, and Collectivism. Her research focused on how capitalist and collective ambitions co-existed in three Chinese villages. While she enjoyed her time at Saint Lawrence, she decided to come to Skidmore after receiving the Frances Young Tang ’61 Chair in Chinese Studies. In this position, she hopes that she will “make a more visible presence on campus.”
Despite her many professional accomplishments, Hou says that her biggest achievement “is to teach and witness the growth of my very talented students.” Hou is a liberal arts devotee and appreciates that her classes act as a forum for students to engage in and challenge different ways of thinking.
Photo from https://www.skidmore.edu/sociology/faculty/hou.php