Dr. Pao-yu Ching Chou was born in Beijing, China, the oldest of three children. Though of royal descent (Qing dynasty), her father grew up an impoverished orphan; her mother was a very wealthy member of the Han majority. Dr. Chou's early life was influenced by the 1911 and 1949 revolutions in China, by the tension over finances between her parents, and by the rise of communism. After graduating first in her class with an economics degree, she received a scholarship to attend graduate school at Bryn Mawr. There she was struck by the gap between her expectations of the United States (as an ideal, democratic country of equality) and the realities exposed by the civil rights movement. Dr. Chou married, and continued to work while completing her PhD dissertation on inequities in milk production and government subsidies. For a long period, China's importance in her life was minimal, but now China and the rest of the world have become a major interest. She says, "I think Ive become a Marxist. I have to throw away everything I learned in graduate school...The hardest thing is to clean up bourgeois economics. Clean it up and relearn."
Listen to Interview:
- Date Interviewed: Monday, 28 June 2010
- Interviewer: Dr. Dena Scher
Marygrove Archives ARC-SP 0100 File #26
You are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit) this work under conditions set forth in this Creative Commons license.
Example of proper citation/attribution:
Scher, D. (Interviewer) & Chou, P. (Interviewee). (2010). Pao-yu Chou: Immigration to the U.S. [Interview transcript]. Retrieved from the Novak Archive at Marygrove College: https://www.marygrove.edu/detroit-journeys