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Course Guide to SOC 389: Contemporary Chinese Society and Culture

This Course Guide is created to provide library resources for the students who take the class of Contemporary Chinese Society and Culture. Students can visit this Guide to get library books, journal articles, database materials and writing tools

Class Aims

This course aims to gain a deeper and broader understanding of the structures and processes that constitute the contemporary Chinese society and culture. It starts with a review of the Chinese society in the period of 1949-1976. The main part of the course introduces students to many aspects of Chinese social life since 1976, including social stratification, urban and rural communities, cultural objects and industry, interpersonal relations, civil society, identities, collective memory, etc.

Class Textbook and Readings

Major Textbook and Readings:

(W&C) Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom & Maura Elizabeth Cunningham. 2018. China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press.

Journal articles can be downloaded from the library’s website.

Other readings (scanned book chapters) will be distributed via Canvas.


Class Final Paper and Style

You are expected to write a final paper which addresses one of the topics about contemporary Chinese society and culture. The topic should be more specific than the chapter topics in Contemporary China. For example, “China’s education” is not proper (think about whether you can finish writing a paper with this title in three weeks). A paper on “education of migrant workers’ children” will be great.

  1. The length should be at least 10 double-spaced pages.
  2. Please follow Chicago Style: (author-date version,
  3. The deadline of the final paper: TBA