Chinese Sociology

State-Building and the Institutionalization of Globally Circulated Knowledge

  • Hon Fai Chen

Part of the Sociology Transformed book series (SOTR)

About this book


This book examines the institutional development of Chinese sociology from the 1890s to the present. It plots the discipline’s twisting path in the Chinese context, from early Western influences; through the institutionalization of the discipline in the 1930s-40s; its problematic relationship with socialism and interruptions under Marxist orthodoxy and the Cultural Revolution; its revival during the 1980s-90s; to the twin trends of globalization and indigenization in current Chinese sociological scholarship. Chen argues that in spite of the state-building agenda and persistent efforts to indigenize the discipline, the Western model remains pervasively influential, due in large part to the influence of American missionaries, foundations and scholars in the formation and transformation of the Chinese sociological tradition. The history of Chinese sociology is shown to be a contingent process in which globally circulated knowledge, above all the American sociological tradition, has been adapted to the changing contexts of China. This engaging work contributes an important country study to the history of sociology and will appeal to scholars of Chinese history and disciplinary historiography, in addition to social scientists. 


Chinese sociology American sociology institutional approach state-building globally circulated knowledge classical sociology Marxist sociology modernization theory social stratification gender studies post-positivism sociology of consumption globalization indigenization professional sociology public sociology history of sociology sinicization

Authors and affiliations

  • Hon Fai Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social PolicyLingnan UniversityNew TerritoriesHong Kong

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-58219-5
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-58220-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site