Beng Huat. Chua



Who is Beng Huat. Chua?

Chua Beng Huat is a Singaporean sociologist. He is a Provost Professor and the Head of the Department of Sociology at National University of Singapore, and concurrently the Cluster Leader of the Cultural Studies in Asia program at the Asia Research Institute.

Chua did not have an early start in social sciences or humanities. Instead, he studied Biology and Chemistry in his undergraduate years. In the 1960s where college campuses in North America were fertile ground for counterculture, his involvement with student political activities made him realize that he didn’t have the right personality for natural science. He headed to York University, Toronto, to take up Environmental Studies in 1970. A year later, he switched to Sociology and received a M.A and a PhD.

On whether his lack of an undergraduate degree in Sociology posed an obstacle in his graduate years, Chua remarked, “Probably it was a blessing in disguise. I think if I had done undergraduate degrees in Sociology, I would have sort of glossed over lots of important theoretical readings, feeling that I already know them. Because I didn’t, I read most of the classic texts during my first year in the M.A program. That probably was foundationally the most important thing that happened. I find that with that kind of grounding substantive fields are fairly easy to take up and put down. After twenty five years, I still think that is true.”

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Also known as
  • Chua Beng Huat
  • Singapore
  • York University

on July 23, 2013


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