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Seminar of Professor Liu Neng

Mars 5, 2015, Liu Neng, Professor, Beijing University, Sociology departement, “Chinese sociology in retrospection: theoretical focal concerns and methodological debates” at ENS Lyon



by Professor LIU NENG, Department of Sociology at Beijing University, Visiting Professor at ENS Lyon, Triangle

Axe Sociologies and New Cosmopolitisms

In this lecture, Liu Neng would like first to trace the trajectory of the reconstruction of the discipline of sociology (and partially, anthropology) in China from the late 1970s and early 1980s, up to the highly institutionalized post millennium era. Empirical areas such as developmental studies and migration, and theory-oriented interests such as social stratification and social capital, have become main threads that ultimately draw most Chinese sociologists’ attention. Generally speaking, three main theoretical concerns warrant extra considerations: 1) a unique state-society relation that embodied in everyday life social practices; 2) the long lasting impact of the legacy of communist practices on current social landscape, and 3) the Chinese way of social change in general. Second, three methodological debates have been discussed against the history of a general revival of Chinese social sciences in the last three decades: 1) globalization versus indigenization; 2) a policy oriented or a knowledge-production oriented academic world; 3) the so called qualitative and quantitative competition.

Liu Neng is currently professor and PhD supervisor at Beijing University’s sociology department, and deputy director of Center for Sociological Research and Development Studies, Beijing University. He received his PhD in sociology from Beijing University in 1998, and BA and MA in sociology from Nankai University [Tianjin, China]. His main research interests include: social movements, urban studies, deviance and social problems, and youth studies. In the year of 2013, he was working on three survey projects on people with disability, people living with hemophilia, and people who live in urban villages in the South China city of Shenzhen. For the last decade, his theoretical focus is on the Chinese way of social control over disruptive collective actions, and the socio-spatial transformation of contemporary urban China. His most influential academic publications include: “Grievance Interpretation, Mobilization Structure, and Rational Choice: On the Future of Chinese Urban Collective Actions” Open Times, 2004; “AIDS, Stigma, and Social Discrimination” Chinese Sociological Review, 2006; “Collective Actions in Changing Contemporary Chinese Society: An Overview of Three Waves of Collective Actions in the Last Three Decades”. Academia Bimestris, 2009 (4): 146-152 ;Perceiving Local Governmental Processes from a Social Network and a Hierarchical Perspective: A Case Study of North Town Social Sciences Litterature Press, Beijing, 2008. The Strength of Alliance. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2012 ; with Di, Lei, “Social Interactions and Community Identity in a Heterogeneous Residential Enclave in Suburban Beijing: The Case Study of Sha Village”. Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology (Social Sciences Edition), 2014 (2): 25-29.