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Becky Yang Hsu

Senior Fellow

Department of Sociology and Asian Studies Program

Latest Updates

May 8, 2023

Becky Yang Hsu Publishes New Article on Grave Sweeping in China

Published in SSM-Mental Health, this article by Senior Fellow Becky Yang Hsu and Roman Palitsky explores how continuing bonds may be maintained through the ritual of grave sweeping, which is part of the communal religion that is practiced by a majority of the population in China.


Becky Yang Hsu is an associate professor of sociology and senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, where she is also affiliated with the Asian Studies Program and the Graduate School's M.S. in Health and the Public Interest Program. She is directing a research group on the topic of Culture and Society as part of the Georgetown University Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues. She is the author of Borrowing Together: Microfinance and Cultivating Social Ties (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and co-editor, with Richard Madsen, of The Chinese Pursuit of Happiness: Anxieties, Hopes, and Moral Tensions in Everyday Life (University of California Press, 2019); Hsu is currently completing a single-authored book, Serenity: Happiness and Death in China (University of Chicago Press), which focuses on family, bereavement, and well-being. She was project leader (PI) of a John Templeton Foundation funded project, "The Concept of Fu in Contemporary China: Searching for Well-Being, Purpose, and the Good Life" (2013-2016). The Washington Post featured two videos from her fieldwork (“What people around the world mean when they say they’re happy,” February 3, 2016). She is on the editorial boards of two journals, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and Social Science and Medicine—Mental Health. She holds a B.A. from Yale University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

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