The Social Sciences And Fieldwork In China: Views From The Field

1st Edition

Anne F Thurston, Burton Pasternak

Published September 13, 2019
Reference - 161 Pages
ISBN 9780367295844 - CAT# K431067

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Following the formation of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1977 and the beginning of a Sino-American scholarly exchange program in October 1978, a small number of foreigners has been able to conduct fieldwork in China after a hiatus of over thirty years. Welcomed though these new opportunities were by potential U.S. field researchers, the initial stage of enthusiasm was shortly overshadowed by both the difficulties foreign researchers faced in China and the imposition, in early 1981, of a temporary moratorium on long-term fieldwork by outsiders. Sober without being pessimistic, realistic without being discouraging, the contributors to this book describe the context in which fieldwork in China became possible, the constraints under which foreign fieldworkers have labored, and the potential rewards of field research to both Chinese and U.S. scholars. They also assess the relative value of fieldwork in China versus fieldwork at its gate, Hong Kong. The book includes substantive reports by U.S. and Chinese scholars (among them Fei Xiaotong, China's preeminent social anthropologist) as well as concrete advice to those contemplating field research in China.

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