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PIIRS Global Seminar China - 2018
Beijing, China (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Summer
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Dept Offering Program: PIIRS Program Type: Study Abroad (summer)
Language of Instruction: English Time Away: Summer
Program Group: PIIRS
Program Description:
Program Description:
2018 PIIRS Global Seminar China
Peking University, Beijing

lanzhou group
Contemporary Chinese Society
Yu Xie, Sociology and PIIRS
July 9-August 17, 2018
After its unification in 1949, following a “century of humiliation,” between the Opium War that began in 1840 and the end of World War II, China remained poor, undeveloped and isolated from the rest of the world until 1978, when economic reform initiated a new era. Since then, China has been undergoing an unprecedented and rapid social transformation. All aspects of Chinese society are changing fundamentally and forever. 

The seminar will offer an introduction to some of the most prominent features of Chinese society, including work organizations, the education system, the urban/rural divide, migration, social inequality, marriage and family, ethnicity and religion. Through in-class lectures and presentations and interesting field excursions to sites within Beijing and western and southern China, the seminar will provide you with a substantive introduction to sociological perspectives of China that will allow you to understand social changes in China and their long-term impact on not only the 1.3 billion Chinese now living in China  - the largest population in the world today - but also people living elsewhere in developed as well as developing countries. 

Classes will be held at Yuanpei College, Peking University’s preeminent residential college, and there will be numerous excursions throughout the country to examine China’s growing wealth and social disparities and the impact of fast-paced economic growth on society as well as the regional differences in culture and traditions of China. Among the excursions will be a weekend trip to Western China to examine rural life in China.  This trip includes a visit to the Mogao Buddhist Caves in Gansu Province where ancient Buddhist art survives, see the Singing Sand Dunes, and visit the Labrang Tibetan monastery.  Another weekend excursion is a visit to Guangdong Province in southern China, including Shenzhen, the first special economic zone established in China. The visit will include tours of manufacturing facilities, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, GAC Motor Trumpchi automotive factory, and the African section of Guangzhou. China is unique in its manufacturing model, where employees live on the factory grounds in dormitory-style housing and dine in communal kitchens, and students will be able to see aspects of such factory life in the southern China excursion.

Faculty Director

Yu Xie joined Princeton University in 2015 as the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Sociology and PIIRS. His main areas of interest are social stratification, demography, statistical methods, Chinese studies and the sociology of science. 

Seminar Manager

Yan Bennett
365 Wallace Hall

Distribution Requirements

The course fulfills the Social Analysis (SA) requirement and the departmental requirements for Sociology (SOC) and East Asian Studies (EAS). It may be used to fulfill the requirements for the East Asian Studies Program Certificate or the East Asian Studies Department Language and Culture Certificate. Language instruction will be offered at the beginner (no prior training) and advanced (conversational) levels.

Costs and Financial Aid

The course fee is $5,300, which includes all housing, required course excursions, related academic expenses, visa, and estimated airfare ($1,400). World Travel, the University travel agency, will book all participants’ flights. Details on the required booking process will be provided by the seminar administrator.
All participants should budget an additional $600 for personal expenses. Participants should also be prepared to cover costs of required and routine immunizations as recommended by University Health Services. The immunization costs are covered in full for students enrolled in the University’s Student Health Plan. For students covered by families’ health insurance or other insurance plans, the associated costs will vary.
Financial Aid
PIIRS provides generous funding to help meet these costs to participants who receive term financial aid. Students accepted into a Global Seminar and receive term financial aid will automatically receive funding toward the course fee based on the level of term aid. Possibilities for additional financial support may be available through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). Princeton Subsidized Student Loans, available from the Office of Financial Aid, are also highly recommended over charging costs to a credit card. Please consult Financing Options for Students and Parents 2017–18, specifically pages 1 to 2 and table 3, and contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
To ensure a place in the seminar, a $500 nonrefundable deposit will be charged to participants’ accounts on April 1. The balance of the course fee will be charged to accounts on May 15.
Students who accept a place in a Global Seminar and then, before the seminar begins, withdraw or cannot participate because they are no longer enrolled at Princeton will lose the nonrefundable deposit and any unrecoverable costs. There are no refunds after the start of the program.
This seminar is cosponsored by the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China and generously funded by the Drs. Charles C. and Marie S. Yu P83 Global Seminar Fund. PIIRS Global Seminars are also made possible in part by the generous contributions of alumni and friends and ongoing efforts of the Office of Development.

Students admitted to the seminar will be notified by email on or before March 9, 2018. Admitted students should confirm their participation by email by March 16, 2018. A non-refundable deposit payment of $500 (which will go towards the program fee) will be charged to their student account. Students who accept a place and then, before the seminar begins, withdraw or cannot participate because they are no longer enrolled at Princeton will lose the non-refundable deposit and any unrecoverable cost. There are no refunds after the start of the seminar.

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Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 04/01/2019 04/15/2019 TBA TBA
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