The Space of Chinese Sociologists and Their Opinions on the Localization/Sinicization of Chinese Social Sciences


 2:00 - 3:30 pm
 HKUST, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Room 2405 (hybrid via Zoom)
Aurélien Boucher

The French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) present a hybrid seminar:

“The Space of Chinese Sociologists and Their Opinions on the Localization/Sinicization of Chinese Social Sciences”

Since the mid of the 1920s, Chinese sociologists have been debating the “localization” and the “sinization” of social sciences. In other words, they have been discussing the necessity to create new methodologies and paradigms to capture the specificities of Chinese society. At the end of the 2010s, this debate reappeared and became extremely virulent. While some sociologists argued that the “localization” of social sciences is a “pseudo-debate” or that this debate disappears once it has been made entirely “academic,” other sociologists defended local theories or presented them as a tool to combat Western hegemony.
By analyzing a representative survey (n=167), the present talk investigates how the opinions of Chinese sociologists on this matter depend on their position in the academic space. By adopting a Bourdieusian perspective, we explain why the majority of Chinese sociologists consider the development of indigenous theories to be compatible with the utilization of sociological theories originating in Western countries. We also demonstrate that those who perceive the localization/sinicization as a pseudo-debate possess a larger amount of international academic capital, while those who want to combat Western hegemony through the localization/sinicization of social sciences appear as dominated on both sides (i.e. by both those who possess national academic capital and those who possess international academic capital).

Date: 10 May 2024
Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm (Hong Kong time, UTC +8)
Location: HKUST, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Room 2405 / hybrid via Zoom: https://cnrs.zoom.us/j/93200513760?pwd=NFRqdTY5YnZSblBnUmhpQ052OE9OQT09
The seminar will be held in English.
Pr. Hon-Fai Chen (Lingnan University) will chair the session.

Dr. Aurélien Boucher

Aurélien Boucher is Assistant Professor at the School of Humanities and Social Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen). He graduated from Nantes University’s sociology department, which was established by Jean-Claude Passeron, a former collaborator of Pierre Bourdieu.

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