What can a hair salon tell us about the current state of the Chinese economy? How does studying at a barber school in Fuzhou influence marriage prospects of barbers from the countryside?  Why has the cost of a haircut stagnated, while the cost of most other goods and services in China has risen severalfold?

These are the types of questions I’m asking as I conduct my dissertation research on the Chinese Hairstyling Industry. Currently a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago.  This blog is a sandbox for my ideas and observations.  I’m always curious to hear readers’ ideas, perspectives, and critiques on my research, so please feel free to comment.

I split my time between Chicago where I work as a Mandarin medical interpreter specialized in healthcare, Beijing where I am a program/teaching assistant at the University of Chicago Beijing Center, and Fuzhou where I mostly hang out in barbershops, sipping tea, inhaling second hand smoke, and compiling the anecdotes you’ll read on this blog.

Contact/Social Media:
email: bendross (at) gmail dot com
twitter: @BenRoss