030301 Sociology: Chinese Society in Transition


I. Introduction

The program is aimed at helping students to gain insights into the changing Chinese society, the rich and diverse social life and people’s daily life through varied and vivid activities such as classroom study, field practice, thesis writing, and especially discussions on such topics as social stratification, economic activity, gender, family, media technology, religion and ethnicity. The program will enable students not only to gain solid foundational theories and knowledge about multiple aspects of Chinese affairs clearly, but also to improve their critical and analytical abilities so as to understand and interpret Chinese society from perspectives of sociology, anthropology and psychology, especially the mechanisms that dominate social change, the trend and the far-reaching impact of such social change. After completing all course work and succeeding in thesis defense, students will receive a graduate diploma in Sociology and be conferred a Master's degree in Law.

The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Nanjing University, has many disciplines including Sociology, Social Work and Social Policy, Demography, Anthropology and Psychology and has a first[1]rate faculty active in a wide range of teaching and research fields. In the most recent subject evaluation announced by the Ministry of Education, its Sociology ranked the third in China. The school boasts 26 professors, 20 associate professors and 8 full-time researchers, 17 of whom graduated from world-class universities in the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong. 

II. Objectives of the Program

1. Deepen students' understanding of the changing Chinese society;

2. Enable them to learn to conduct in-depth research and analysis of Chinese society;

3. Help them become specialists and scholars on Chinese affairs.


III. Requirements

1. Admission:

(1) Applicants should be non-Chinese citizens in good health.

(2) Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or above and with an interest in the systematic and in-depth study of the Chinese society.

(3) Applicants whose native language is not English should submit TOFEL or IETLS scores (minimal requirement: TOEFL 85; IELTS 6.0).

(4) Applicants should be willing to learn Chinese and reach Level 3 of Chinese Language Proficiency Scales For Speakers of Other Language (Elementary Chinese) before graduation.

2. Medium of Instruction: English

3. Study Duration: The program takes 2 years of full-time study, including classroom instruction, practicum and thesis writing.


IV. Tuition & Scholarships

Tuition: RMB 35,000 (about $5,000) per academic year

Scholarships: If you would like to apply for the international student’s scholarship, please contact the Institute for International Students.


V. Core Curriculum and Faculty

1. General Courses: Overview of China

        Chinese Language

2. Curriculum Introduction

Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Society, joint course by Wu Yuxiao, Chen Yunsong, Fan Ke, etc.

The course introduces a series of important issues in Chinese society in the form of special topics, including social stratification, ethnicity and religion, gender, family, education, social organizations and social work. Students can quickly increase their overall understanding of Chinese society. The course is co-taught by a number of professors from the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences who have research insights in these fields.


State-Society Relations in China, by Deng Yanhua

This course has two objectives: to expose students to major debates in the study of reform-era Chinese politics and society; and to explore characteristics of the Chinese state-society relations.


Religion in Chinese Culture, by Yang Derui

The course introduces three major religious traditions of the Han Chinese: Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. The first half of the course is a brief history of the three religions, and the second half demonstrates, from an anthropological perspective, the relationship between the life of the Han before 1949 and the three religious traditions.


Gender and Family in China, by Zhou Peiqin

This course is an introduction to the study of gender and family in contemporary China. Topics include China’s state feminism, masculinity and femininity, one-child policy, intensive motherhood and grandparenting, left-behind children in rural areas, leftover women, work-family balance, the rise of neo-familism, the crisis of elderly care, and other important nodes in the intersection of gender and family.


Economic Development in an Anthropological Perspective, by Chu Jianfang

This course reviews and discusses some basic anthropological explorations into economic and development issues, especially those concerning relationships between material items and human organizations and the ways to deal with them, including food foraging, farming, production, circulation, consumption, technology, innovation, gender and class differentiation, with consideration of people’s cognition(s), understanding(s), feeling(s) about and attachments to material items. It is aimed at helping students develop a new and different view on economy and development with a focus on people’s livelihood.


New Media Technologies in China, by Deng Guoji

From an anthropological perspective, this course introduces students to e-payment platforms, e-commerce, live-streaming, and other new media technologies in China

Visual Anthropology and Ethnographic Filmmaking, by Ran Guangpei

This course focuses on the meaning and significance of visual and sensory experience in contemporary China. As social and cultural phenomena, such experience cannot be reduced to the mechanics of perception and human physiology. Rather, they are continually undergoing transformations in relation to different social, cultural and media environments. The course looks closely at the diverse and complex relationships between the human eye, brain and body in relation to language, imagination, culture, gender and power, media, representation and advertising; war, illness and technology; everyday life; art and performance; life and death; and movement, architecture and cities. Students will familiarize themselves with theories in visual anthropology and at the same time undertake trainings in ethnographic film practices in order to better understand ways of “seeing” and “sensing” in different social-cultural contexts. The outcomes of the course will be ethnographic films produced independently by the students.


Demographic studies of family and aging, Chai Xiangnan

This course has three sections. The first section is on such core concepts as birth rate, fertility, and mortality, and some research tools in demographic studies such as different types of life tables. The second section focuses on how previous studies use these concepts and tools to explore family dynamics in the contexts of China and beyond. The last section examines research on aging from a demographic perspective. I will also introduce four middle-range theories or frameworks, including aging as a leveler, the fundamental course theory, cumulative inequality, and cumulative dis/advantage to extend our understanding of aging research from the life course perspective. Knowledge of basic statistics is required to take this course.


Doing Empirical Research & Writing, Liu Liu

This course is aimed at (1) preparing students for conducting research from social science perspectives; (2) teaching basic research methods in social science research areas; and (3) helping students grasp the standardized structure of academic writing.

3. Faculty Profiles

Prof. Chen Yunsong obtained his doctorate from the Department of Sociology, Oxford University. His research focuses on big data and computational sociology, social mentality and social governance, social networks and social capital. He has published many papers in British Journal of Sociology, Social Networks, Poetics, Chinese Social Sciences and Sociological Studies.


Prof. Fan Ke obtained his doctorate from the Department of Anthropology, University of Washington (Seattle). His research interests lie in identity politics, cultural anthropology, transnationalism and globalization, and Muslim society and culture in Southern China. His major publications include Others and I: Difference and Commonness in the Anthropological Context, Globalization at Large: Mobility, Trust and Identity and dozens of papers in Chinese and English.


Prof. Wu Yuxiao studied at the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University in the United States, obtained a doctorate in philosophy. His research interest lies in social stratification and mobility, educational sociology, occupation and labor market and quantitative research methods. He has published many papers in Chinese Social Sciences, Sociological Studies, Society and Sociological Perspectives.


Prof. Chris K. K. Tan obtained his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests center on new media, gender, sexuality, and their intersections. He has previously published in Information, Communication & Society, Urban Studies, Journal of Consumer Culture, and Anthropological Quarterly.


Prof. Yang Derui received his doctorate in anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and served as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology, the National University of Singapore. His research focuses on anthropology of religion, anthropology of cultural transmission, Daoism and Chinese folk religions.


Prof. Chu Jianfang obtained his doctorate in anthropology from Peking University and worked as a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on economic anthropology, ethnic culture research, ritual and symbol research, ethnic research in Southwest China and Southeast Asia, and social and cultural anthropology theory and methods.


Prof. Zheng Zuoyu obtained his doctorate in sociology from the Freie Universität, Berlin, and is a visiting professor at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. His research focuses on social theory, journalism and communication research, and qualitative research methods.


Prof. Deng Yanhua obtained her doctorate from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on political sociology and environmental sociology. Her major publications include her monograph Environmental Protest in Rural China and many papers published in such journals as China Quarterly, China Journal, Journal of Contemporary China, Modern China, Political Studies, Chinese Social Sciences, Sociological Studies and Management World.


Prof. Liu Liu obtained her doctorate from the University of Hong Kong and worked as a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on criminology, drug problem research and social welfare and social policy.


Prof. Zhou Peiqin obtained her doctorate in mass communication from the University of Alabama and worked as a Fulbright visiting scholar at Drake University in the United States. Her research focuses on gender studies and media culture studies.


VI. Application Method

Please turn to https://hwxy.nju.edu.cn/_t486/6140/list.htm for the detailed application instructions.

VII. Contact

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Nanjing University

Contact: Zhou Peiqin

Tel: 86-25-89680951

Email: peiqinzhou@nju.edu.cn

Website: https://sociology.nju.edu.cn/


Institute for International Students

Contact Person: Lu Yishuo

Tel: 86-25-83593586

Email: luyishuo@nju.edu.cn


地址(add):南京市金银街18号 邮编:210093/18
传真(fax):86-25-83316747 Email:issd@nju.edu.cn