RUC Hosts the Second “China Studies Program” Online Workshop on Sociology for Ph.D. Candidates
(2022-07-04 11:07:09)

On the morning of June 27, 2022, the School of Sociology and Population Studies and School of Chinese Studies and Cultural Exchange co-hosted the Second “China Studies Program” (CSP) Online Workshop on Sociology for Ph.D. Candidates. The workshop theme is “China’s Social Transformation and Development in the New Era.” Fifteen Chinese and international students presented their papers in five parallel sessions. Seventeen scholars from the Renmin University of China, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Capital University of Economics and Business served as tutors for the students.

Professor Du Peng, Vice President of the Renmin University of China and Dean of the School of Chinese Studies and Cultural Exchange, and Professor Feng Shizheng, Dean of the School of Sociology and Population Studies, greeted and welcomed all participants with their opening speeches. In his remarks, Du Peng highlighted that 2022 is the tenth year of launching the “China Studies Program,” which aims to help young international scholars better understand today’s China by coming to and studying in China. Renmin University of China, as the Secretariat of the Expert Committee of the CSP, has been organizing forums for CSP fellows since 2013. In 2021, RUC tried a new model and did a workshop on sociology, which was further developed at the World Conference on Sinology. This year the workshop focused on a specific topic, China’s social transformation, and development. As General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out during his visit to Renmin University of China, upholding and developing the theory and practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics has raised many new questions that need to be answered. The world is undergoing profound changes and has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. It is imperative to answer the questions of the new era. The workshop embodies our hope for the younger generation to take root in China’s reality, observe social problems, answer the questions of the times, and expand the methods of studying China and ways of understanding China in the comparison of international perspectives.

Professor Song Yueping, Vice Dean of the School of Sociology and Population Studies, moderated the keynote speeches. Professor Zhou Xiaohong from Nanjing University offered a lecture on “Life Journey, Awareness of Problems and Academic Practice: The Case of 30 Sociologists of the Zhiqing (Educated Urban Youth) Generation”. Professor Zhou shared his research project on a group of Chinese mainland sociologists, who were the “educated urban youth” in the 1960s, received their college education in 1977 and 1978, and obtained an opportunity to study abroad in the 1990s. Their life journey witnessed the transformation and development of Chinese society, thus greatly influencing their academic studies. As a result, these sociologists have established a contextualized sociological discipline, relating the theories to Chinese practices. Prof. Zhou stressed the need to “bring research on life journey back to the studies on the history of sociology.”

Dr. Pan Wei-Lin, Associate Researcher from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, presented a talk on “The Current Situation and Challenges of Contemporary China Studies.” She briefly reviewed the history of sinology and China Studies, highlighting the development of overseas China studies after the 1980s. She pointed out that it is because of the interaction between Chinese scholars and international scholars in Chinese contexts that contemporary sociological research methods, conceptual systems, and findings can move to the “China-centered” model, asking questions out of genuine Chinese context. In the face of the unprecedented challenges of this age, Chinese Studies and Sinology Studies are confronting critical difficulties. It is necessary to strengthen training programs such as CSP for future scholars of Chinese Studies, providing opportunities to experience and study in China for more young doctoral students.

Students presented their papers in five parallel forums on the afternoon of the 27th and the morning of the 28th. At the same time, two experienced tutors gave them detailed and helpful suggestions on their academic writing. The topics involved various fields, such as life and employment, education and teaching, literature and culture, diplomacy and network, covering different age groups from children to the elderly. The students and the tutors showed their profound passion for academic studies and expressed gratitude for the workshop.

Tutors of this workshop: Cao Yongfu, Chen Wei, Fang Zhi, Fang Lijie, Li Long, Liu Qian, Lv Nan, Mao Jongyan, Qi Yaqiang, Song Yueping, Sun Juan Juan, Wang Chi, Wu Xiwei, Xie Lili, Xu Ying, Yue Yongyi, Zhao Jizi, etc. Students presenting papers at the workshop included: Faosta HAKA, TAO Shuyi, ZHANG Guangyin, KIM Jung Ha, CHEN Yanbing, LI Lingchun/ YAN Kangpu, LI Junjie/ LI JIAO, ZHANG Chen, Volha AZHGIREVICH, KIM Seung Won, KIM Doyoung, SUN Soo Jung, LIU Jinbao, PENG Keyu/ WU Xinyang, and WANG Yuanchao.

“China Studies Program” has sponsored nearly 800 doctoral students from 75 countries to come to China for study or exchange. The Institute for the Promotion of Chinese Language and Culture (IPCLC) of Renmin University of China has served as the Secretariat of the CSP Expert Committee since 2014. To provide a platform for students to receive more professional training, IPCLC organizes the “CSP Ph.D. Forum” every year.

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