Skip to content
Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
PIIRS Global Seminar China - 2017
Beijing, China (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Partner Institution/Organization Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Dept Offering Program: PIIRS Program Type: Study Abroad (summer)
Language of Instruction: English
Program Description:
Great Wall

Contemporary Chinese Society

Yu Xie, Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Sociology and PIIRS
Peking University
Beijing, China
July 8 - August 18, 2017

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 Peking University 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 where ancient Buddhist art survives. The trip will also include an opportunity to examine rural life in China. Another weekend excursion is a visit to Shenzhen in southern China, a unique economic zone located in Guangdong Province. The visit will include tours of manufacturing facilities and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. China is unique in its manufacturing model, where employees live on the factory grounds in dormitory-style housing and dine in communal kitchens. 

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 can be reached at or by calling 609-258-7149. 

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.

Cost: The cost of the Global Seminars ranges from $6,500 -$8,000. 

Co-sponsored by the Center on Contemporary China.

Dates / Deadlines:
This program is not currently accepting applications. Please consult the sponsoring department's website for application open dates.
This program is currently not accepting applications.