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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Snow Fun With The Ballas And Blakes

You know it's been a weird winter when the four of us had to go all the way down to North Carolina just to play in the snow. Well done, Blakes...For a family of Southerners, you sure knew what to do with that white stuff!

~Steve

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Private Book Signing

During a college visit to Duke University (yes, Julie has begun contemplating which colleges she will apply to!), the four of us decided upon a quick diversion. In Perkins Library (my old haunt!), we tracked down the copy of my Bureaucracy and Democracy book. I then signed the copy, in a private family ceremony.

We know it was silliness, but we had fun!

~Steve

PS: Check out the author of the book next to us in the stacks...