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China studies become “mainstream” research agenda

| 2013-03-18 | Hits:
  Dramastic changes in China arouse scholars and experts' interest on China studies.   China has made great achievements in politics, economics and social construction over the past thirty years since the reform and opening up. It thus stirs attentions worldwide. China study is developed from a “marginal study” to “mainstream study”.  The 4th International Academic Conference of Chinese Society and China Studies was held in Nanjing University from October 27 to 28. More than 120 scholars from Asia and Europe discussed the contemporary social development trend of China and new ideas of Chinese Study from multiple disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science and history. Zhou Xiaohong, Director of School of Social and Behavioral Sciences of Nanjing University, said that China studies includes interdisciplinary studies on China’s economic, political, cultural and social aspects in western countries,  and Chinese scholars’ overall research on social development in China. Lui Tai-lok, Professor of Sociology Department of Chinese University of Hong Kong, indicated that China’s economic, social developing models and experience, or its social transition, all become the popular agendas in international social science. “Studies of Chinese culture should take the both international and native perspectives,” said Ma Rong, Professor of Department of Social Sciences from Beijing University. It is because “Chinese cultural development involves two aspects: one is inter-civilization dialogue between China and other countries; the other is the unified cultural based on multiple ethnic cultures. It is shaped by constant mutual exchanges and learning from different ethnic cultures. China studies experienced many transformations in terms of research views and paradigm. Zhou believed that cross-boundary flow brought by globalization makes a “perspective fusion” of different research topics, which establishes a new cognitive mode. The uniqueness of the social transition in China creates the possibility that Chinese local experience and materials would be touchstone for testing social theory, and the wisdom source for solving problems of social development in other countries and regions.  Li Youmei, vice President of Shanghai University, said that it is the responsibility for all Chinese sociological researchers to recognize and understand Chinese society. They should build sociological theory and method which are appropriate for China studies. Song Linfei, President of Chinese Sociological Association and Director of Counselors’ Office of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government, believed that theoretical innovation is the pivot for guiding social development. At present, the innovation in sociology mainly concentrates in social construction and management research, social modernization and social transition, social policy and welfare research, the relation between state and market, etc. Zheng Fei is reporter from Chinese Social Sciences Today Chinese Social Sciences Today,No.373, Oct.31, 2012 Edited by Yang Lu