Methodology

‘China in comparative perspective’ was coined by Professor Stephan Feuchtwang to use as a title for an MSc Programme which was established in 2006 at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This Programme was built at LSE’s interdisciplinary resources, ranging from anthropology, economic history, government, to international relations and international history. ‘China in comparative perspective’ is also the core course of the Programme which covers 20 topics.

The subject position of 'China in comparative perspective' needs to be clarified methodologically

Methodologically China in comparative perspective is interdisciplinary and comparative. However, when China is used as a comparator and there are so many China related studies it requires the subject position to be clarified methodologically. In 2008 CCPN people put forward a new paradigm: ‘Advanced study on China’. It was inspired by:

Coincidentally, an innovative undergraduate course ‘LSE 100’ was established in 2010. This can be seen as the crystallization of the wisdom of the LSE’s ‘thinking like a social scientist’. On the 19 November 2012 at the LSE100 prize-giving ceremony there was a public lecture entitled ‘Dazed and Confused: making sense of an uncertain economy, by Gillian Tett, a social anthropologist and US managing editor of the Financial Times, who examined the current uncertain economic environment and how it emerged from the financial crisis, including the roles of institutional failings, culture and human choices.

The topic of uncertainty had been discussed earlier in 2012 in China

The topic of uncertainty is clearly topical: a few months before the above lecture there were three occasions when people talked about ‘uncertainties’ in China:

  • on the 17th July, at the China-U.S. Investment Cooperation Forum Mr Carlos M. Gutierrez, the Vice Chairman of Citi Bank group, and the former Minister of Commerce of the US, concluded that the world can be characterised by one word: uncertainty, after talking about the uncertainties in Europe and the USA.
  • Another occasion was at the 5th International Forum for the Contemporary China Studies (IFCCS5), 8-9th August. In the opening speech Professor Thoma B. Gold, University of California, Berkeley, told about how the global society continues to change at a furious rate and different combinations of world leaders meet regularly to try to make sense of this change and uncertainty. He asked what kind of China models could help in understanding this uncertain world?
  • At the IFCCS5 Dr Xiangqun Chang, China in Comparative Perspective Network (CCPN), LSE, presented a paper ‘How an alternative ‘China model’ (Lishang-wanglai 礼尚往来) can help in understanding this uncertain world’? It summarised the so-called ‘China model’, and introduced the alternative lishang-wanglai model with its bottom up approach and use of social creativity as a driver. It then drew on data from empirical studies to demonstrate the mechanisms by which the alternative ‘China model’ works in shaping a local or global society and understanding an uncertain world.

Nearly 60% of all prize winners of the LSE 100 (2011-12) were Chinese

Interestingly, at the LSE100 prizegiving ceremony 8 out of 14 prize winners for students’ outstanding academic achievements on LSE100 in 2011-12 were Chinese. See the top two in the photo below and a list of names in the table.

(L-R: Professor Craig Calhoun, Director of LSE, Kenneth Lim (LSE100 prizewinner), Jessica Hui (LSE100 prizewinner), Sir Robert Worcester, Dr Jonathan Leape, Director of LSE100.

Prizewinners'
Chinese names        

Written form Pinyin (Mainland China) Wade-Giles (Taiwan)   Min Nan (Hokkien) / Teochew (Indonesia/
Malaysia/Singapore)
Hakka (worldwide)      Cantonese
(Hong Kong/
Malaysia)
Jessica Hui 许/古/
丘/邱
Xu/Gu/Qiu Hsü Koh/Kho/Khoh/Khor/Khaw
/Hee/Kho/Khouw/Khoe
Hii/Hee/Ku/Koo/Khu/ Hui/Hua/Hooi/ Koo/Khu/Ku
Kenneth Lim Lin Lin Lim/Liem Liem/Lim Lam
Wei Ang 汪/洪 Wang/Hong Wang Ang Fung Hung/Hoong
Yi Jie Gwee Wei Wei Gwee    
Hannah Kam Jin Chin Kim Kam Kam
Louise Kang 康/江 Kang/Jiang K'ang/Chiang Kang Kong Kong
Xuan Kai Low 刘/罗 Liu/Luo Liu Low/Lau/Lauw/Law Liew/Lieu/Liu/Low Lau/Lauw/Law
Wen Hao Wong 王/黃 Wang/Huang Wang/Hwang Ong/Heng/Oei/Oey/Ng/Wie Wong Wong/Bong

The LSE 100 event on the 19th November 2012 raised a number of questions which have relevance for methodology:

  • When exercising ‘lishang-wanglai’ the ‘local sociology in its own terms’ (Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, a book reviewed in International Sociology March 2013 28: 188-190) on a topic of global significance, such as uncertainty in society, how it is applicable on a large scale in global society?
  • Why did students of Chinese origin win nearly 60% of all prizes at LSE100 in 2011-12? Is this – as has been often stated in the West - because Chinese work harder than their non-Chinese counterparts and could the Chinese way of thinking contain elements that helped them to achieve better?
  • The list of surnames shows these Chinese students do not come from mainland China or Taiwan, but more likely from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia. They can be viewed as later generations of migrants from mainland China. Such students appear to have achieved better (in this admittedly small and uncontrolled sample) than students who come from mainland China at the LSE 100. Is this because their English is better, or because they have benefited from the wisdom of the earlier generations of Chinese migrants in the process of integrating and shaping the Southeast Asian society, or possibly due to some other causes?
  • It is a well established fact that people worldwide who come from mainland China or Taiwan with strong English ability have demonstrated their strengths in different fields. How could we also gain knowledge both intellectually and methodologically, beyond the language barrier, from the majority Chinese people who created the 'China miracle' in the past three decades in mainland China and those Chinese migrants or trans-migrants from mainland China who are participating in shaping global society?

The CCPN Global has been engaging with these questions which are documented in the sections academic events, research projects, publications, workplace, especially the methodology sub-section below:

方法论研究

‘中国比较研究’一词是王斯福教授用来作为一个在2006年成立的伦敦政治经济学院硕士课程的名称。 这个课程是建立在 LSE 的跨领域资源上,从人类学,经济史,政府到国际关系和国际史。 ‘中国比较研究’是课程中包括20个课题的核心科目。

'中国比较研究' 的主体位置必须在方法论上作出阐明

中国比较研究在方法论上是跨领域及比较性的。 但是, 当中国被用来作为比较及有那么多中国相关的研究,主体位置便必须在方法论上作出阐明。 CCPN 在2008年提出一个新的范畴: ‘对于中国的高等研究. 这是受到下面的启发:

  • 伦敦经济学院'’跨学科方法论讲座系列' '像社会科学家那样思考', 英国
  • 中欧社会论坛的对话方法和公众参与, 法国
  • 复旦-高研院, 中国复旦大学国立社会科学高等研究院及世界中的高研院

巧合的是一个创新的本科科目 ‘LSE 100’ 在2010年被设立。这可以看作是LSE的“像一个社会科学家那样思考”的智慧结晶。2012年11月19日于LSE100颁奖典礼中有一个由社会人类学家和金融时报的美国管理编辑Gillian Tett主讲名为“茫然与迷茫:了解一个不确定的经济"的公开讲座,检讨当前的不明朗的经济环境,以及如何从金融危机中出现,包括机构性失败,文化和人的选择的角色。

不确定性的题目较早前2012年在中国已经被讨论过

不确定性的题目明显地是有题目性: 在上述的讲座前有三次有人谈到中国的不确定性:

  • 花旗集团副董事长及前美国商务部部长 Carlos M. Gutierrez 先生在7月17日的中美投资合作论坛中在谈到在欧洲和美国的不确定性之后得出的结论是, 世界可以被一个词来形容:不确定性。
  • 另一个场合是8月8-9日的第五届当代中国研究论坛IFCCS5。在开幕演讲中, 加州大学伯克莱分校Thoma B Gold 教授讲述了全球社会如何在一个愤怒的速度不断变化, 和不同组合的世界领导人定期会面去设法了解这种变化和不确定。他问那种中国模式可以帮助了解这个不稳定的世界?
  • LSE全球中国比较研究网络(CCPN)的常向群在IFCCS5中发表了一篇文章 ‘一个替代的‘中国模式(礼尚往来)可以怎样帮助理解这个不稳定的世界'?  它总结了所谓‘中国模式’, 及介绍了带有其自下而上的方法, 并利用社会创意为驱动的替代礼尚往来模式。然后, 它根据从实证研究所得的数据去显示替代“中国模式”在塑造一个本地或全球社会和了解一个不确定的世界所运用的机制。

LSE 100 (2011-12) 的所有获奖者中差不多百分之六十是中国人

有趣地, 在LSE100 获奖仪式上, 2011-12度LSE100的14 位学生杰出学术成就奖得主中有8位是中国人。看下面照片中的上面两个及表内的一个人名表。

ix

(左-右: Craig Calhoun 教授, LSE 主任, Kenneth Lim (LSE100 获奖者), Jessica Hui (LSE100 获奖者), Sir Robert Worcester, Jonathan Leape 博士, LSE100 主任.

获奖者的中文名字       

Written form 拼音 (中国大陆)

Wade-Giles (台湾)  

闽南 (福建) / 潮州/
马来西亚/ 新加坡)
客家 (全球)      广东话
(香港/
马来西亚)
Jessica Hui 许/古/
丘/邱
Xu/Gu/Qiu Hsü Koh/Kho/Khoh/Khor/Khaw
/Hee/Kho/Khouw/Khoe
Hii/Hee/Ku/Koo/Khu/ Hui/Hua/Hooi/ Koo/Khu/Ku
Kenneth Lim Lin Lin Lim/Liem Liem/Lim Lam
Wei Ang 汪/洪 Wang/Hong Wang Ang Fung Hung/Hoong
Yi Jie Gwee Wei Wei Gwee    
Hannah Kam Jin Chin Kim Kam Kam
Louise Kang 康/江 Kang/Jiang K'ang/Chiang Kang Kong Kong
Xuan Kai Low 刘/罗 Liu/Luo Liu Low/Lau/Lauw/Law Liew/Lieu/Liu/Low Lau/Lauw/Law
Wen Hao Wong 王/黃 Wang/Huang Wang/Hwang Ong/Heng/Oei/Oey/Ng/Wie Wong Wong/Bong

2012年11月19日的LSE 100 活动提出了一些与方法论相关的问题:

  • When exercising ‘lishang-wanglai’ the ‘local sociology in its own terms’ (Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, a book reviewed in International Sociology March 2013 28: 188-190) on a topic of global significance, such as uncertainty in society, how it is applicable on a large scale in global society?
  • Why did students of Chinese origin win nearly 60% of all prizes at LSE100 in 2011-12? Is this – as has been often stated in the West - because Chinese work harder than their non-Chinese counterparts and could the Chinese way of thinking contain elements that helped them to achieve better?
  • The list of surnames shows these Chinese students do not come from mainland China or Taiwan, but more likely from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia. They can be viewed as later generations of migrants from mainland China. Such students appear to have achieved better (in this admittedly small and uncontrolled sample) than students who come from mainland China at the LSE 100. Is this because their English is better, or because they have benefited from the wisdom of the earlier generations of Chinese migrants in the process of integrating and shaping the Southeast Asian society, or possibly due to some other causes?
  • It is a well established fact that people worldwide who come from mainland China or Taiwan with strong English ability have demonstrated their strengths in different fields. How could we also gain knowledge both intellectually and methodologically, beyond the language barrier, from the majority Chinese people who created the 'China miracle' in the past three decades in mainland China and those Chinese migrants or trans-migrants from mainland China who are participating in shaping global society?

全球中国比较研究会一直都有参与这些问题,并在下面的学术活动, 研究项目, 出版物, 工作场, 特别在方法论研究中记录下来。

 

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