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GED3002 Global Genealogies of Chinese Social Science: Home

Course Description

This course aims to trace and discuss the cross-boundary construction of Chinese social science in global history. In doing so, we try to understand the present from the past.

Recommended Books



Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature

This book collects 10 Pierre Bourdieu’s major essays on art, literature and culture, published between 1968 and 1987. Part One deals with the field of cultural production, the production of belief, and the market of symbolic goods. Part Two looks into the writings of Gustave Flaubert, especially Sentimental Education, to discuss topics such as structure of social self-analysis, field of power, etc. Part Three contains essays on sociology and art perception, on Manet’s aesthetic revolution and the institutionalization of anomie, and on the historical genesis of a pure aesthetics addressing the relationship between art and power.

What Is the History of Knowledge?

This book writes about history of knowledge. Chapter 1 explains what is distinctive about the history of knowledge and how it differs from the history of science, intellectual history, the sociology of knowledge or from cultural history. Chapter 2 discusses some of the main concepts such as order of knowledge, situated knowledge and knowledge society. Chapter 3 tells the story of the transformation of relatively raw information into knowledge via processes such as classification and verification, the dissemination of this knowledge and its employment for different purposes. Chapter 4 identifies central problems in the history of knowledge, from triumphalism to relativism, together with attempts to solve them.

A Social History of Knowledge: From Gutenberg to Diderot

This book maps the main types of knowledge that were in existence between the invention of printing with movable type in Germany to the publication of the Encyclopédie. Mostly, it is based on texts published between the 16th and 18th centuries, but it also takes account of oral knowledge, images (including maps) and material objects such as shells and coins collected for display. It explores the difference between the old sociology of knowledge and the new, as well as the changing composition of the European clerisy since the Middle Ages. It also deals with the geography, anthropology, politics and economics of knowledge, as well as the way readers appropriated knowledge.



A Social History of Knowledge II: From the Encyclopédie to Wikipedia

This book offers a general view of changes in the world of learning from the Encyclopédie (1751-66) to Wikipedia (2001). Part 1 argues that activities which appear to be timeless- gathering knowledge, then analyzing, disseminating and employing it- are in fact time-bound and take different forms in different periods and places. Part 2 tries to counter the tendency to write a triumphalist history of the growth of knowledge by discussing losses of knowledge and the price of specialization. Part 3 offers geographical, sociological and chronological overviews, contrasting the experience of centers and peripheries and arguing that each of the main trends of the period coexisted and interacted with its opposite.

The Archaeology of Knowledge

This book aims to suggest how rhetoric can be studied and understood in its relationship with power and knowledge. It begins at the level of things said and moves to illuminate the connections between knowledge, language, and action. Archeology is the term Foucault gives to his method, which seeks to describe discourses in the conditions of their emergence and transformation- Archeological analysis studies discourse only at its level of positive existence, and never takes discourse to be a trace or record of something outside of itself. It is the analytical method that Foucault used in his works including Madness and Civilization, The Birth of Clinic, and The Order of Things.







Social Engineering and the Social Sciences in China, 1919-1949

This book presents the origins, hopes and visions, and achievements of the social science movement in China during the first half of the twentieth century. Focusing in particular on the efforts of social scientists at three institutions- Yanjing Sociology Department, Nankai Institute of Economics, and Chen Hansheng’s Marxist agrarian research enterprise, this book relates their disciplines to the needs of Chinese Society. Because all three groups received funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, their stories constitute a unique window onto Sino-American interactions, revealing how the social sciences became a lingua franca of the cultural frontier as patron and clients negotiated through the medium of social science agendas and methodologies.

The Intellectual Foundations of Chinese Modernity: Cultural and Political Thought in the Republican Era

This book examines the interrelatedness and the interplay between different ideologies- those of radicalism, conservatism, liberalism and social democracy, which are central to the understanding of Chinese modernity. It observes the ideas of the Westernizers who stood opposed to the cultural conservatives; the pull of cultural conservatism; the culture-politics nexus by rethinking Benjamin Schwartz’s ideas about conservatism in China; Chinese liberal thought; the issues of state, government and rule of law from a liberal perspective; the rise of reformist socialist thought in the wake of World War I; and state socialism. In fact, Fung argues that Republican ideologies are best understood as a triad of liberal, radical and conservative thought.

The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy

This book is concerned with how to maximize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of a political system that aims to select and promote political leaders of superior virtue and ability, particularly in the contemporary Chinese context. It discusses four key flaws of democracy understood in the minimal sense of free and fair elections for the country’s top rulers, and suggests which qualities matter most for political leaders in the context of modernizing meritocratic states. It also discusses three key problems associated with any attempt to implement political meritocracy, the pros and cons of different models of democratic meritocracy, as well as three basic planks of the China model.

Recommended Databases