Friday, February 24, 2012

On The State Of Social Science In China

Here's an interesting piece, "Chinese Social Science, Stability and the State," written by Leta Hong Fincher, the first American doctoral student in Qinghua University's Department of Sociology.

On the one hand, China's incoming president Xi Jinping has called for field research on mass public opinion. On the other hand, Vice President Xi has emphasized the importance of tightening ideological control over professors and students.

From my perspective, how do I, as a western social scientist, plug into this system? How do I go about identifying colleagues with whom I can engage in research that is fruitful on both sides of the Pacific, given the oftentimes vastly different incentive systems that we each encounter in our professional lives?

It is a sometimes frustrating process, sometimes incredibly rewarding experience that I look forward to building upon this summer, in Beijing, Shanghai, and wherever else the quest for knowledge leads...

~Steve

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