Globalisation Studies: Social Identity and Alternative Modernities in Comparative Perspectives a course in Sociology/Anthropology at the Nordic Centre, Fudan University, Shanghai September 5 – November 4, 2005

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Globalisation Studies:

Social Identity and Alternative Modernities in Comparative Perspectives
A course in Sociology/Anthropology

at the Nordic Centre, Fudan University, Shanghai

September 5 – November 4, 2005.
The Nordic center at Fudan University in Shanghai invites applications for its annual 8 weeks master course in Globalization Studies. The Course, which is jointly arranged by the Department of Social Anthropology. University of Bergen, and Department of Sociology, Fudan University, will be given entirely in English by Chinese and University of Bergen scholars. The course provides 15 credits under the European system, equal to 1/4 of an academic year.

  • Professor Gunnar Haaland, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen

  • Professor Fan Lizhu, Department of Sociology, Fudan University, 5538-7810, 1348-2222-695

  • Professor Yu Hai, Department of Sociology, Fudan University, 6530-4777,1332-1859-728

  • Programme Coordinator Gry-Irene Skorstad, Nordic Center, Fudan University,, 6564-2627

1. Course content.

The course aims to give an introduction to the interplay between globalization of interactions (flows of material goods, of political influence, and of information) and people construction of social identities giving meaning and direction to their daily life. Today, the revolution in information technology, in speed and costs of transportation, in the restructuring of capitalism, and in the development of means of mass destruction create new tensions in this interplay - transforming societies, challenging received ideologies, restructuring the distribution of material wealth, as well as dramatically changing lifestyles and consumption patterns.

In China this transformation is particularly dramatic, e.g. as manifested in a yearly GDP growth of about 10%, of large scale urban developments, in enormous infra-structural investments, in rural-urban migrations of mega scale, in extremely rapid spread of new information technology. In peoples’ struggle to improve their material conditions by increased participation in global networks of organization, new disjuncture between economy, politics and culture, between the local and the global emerge. At the same time as participation in global interactions stimulates trends towards shared lifestyles on a worldwide scale, a counter-trend challenging the hegemonic western modernity by articulating alternative modernity emphasizing social identities anchored in non-western cultural traditions is emerging. As the ideologies of Marxism and liberalism are being contested on different levels of society from rural to urban areas a space for discourse about new ideologies is opened. The course aims at introducing students to some dimensions of these disjuncture as they are played out in modern Chinese communities.
2. Syllabus

Chinese Society and Social Transformation

Obligatory reading

  • Sun Liping: Cleavage: Chinese Society Since 1990s (20 Pages)

Recommended reading:

  • Xie Xialing: Chinese Society is a Ethical Society

Heritage of Redistributive System and Multi-Logics of Social Transition

Obligatory reading

  • Bian,Yanjie and John R.Logan.1996.Market Transition and the Persistence of Power: The Changing Stratification System in Urban China . American Sociology Review 61:739-58

(20 pages)

Recommended reading:

  • Nee,Victor.1989.A Theory of Market Transition: From Redistribution to Markets in State Socialism. American Sociology Review 54:663-81.

  • Walder,Andrew G.1992.Property Rights and Stratification in Socialist Redistributive Economies. American Sociological Review 57:524-39.

Shanghai Development as a National Strategy

Obligatory reading:

  • Hanlong Lu: To be Relatively Comfortable in an Egalitarian Society (15 pages)

Recommended reading:

  • Deborah S. Davis: A Revolution in Consumption

Social communication and residential space

Obligatory reading:

  • Li Zhang, Migration and Privatisation……( Need your help with the complete title)

Recommended reading

  • Fan Wenbing: The Conservation and Renewal of Lilong (Alleys) Housing in Shanghai, the third Chapter, Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 2004


Obligatory reading:

  • Smart Alan, Gifts Bribes and Guanxi: A Reconsideration of Bourdieu’s Social CapitalCultural Anthropology, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Aug., 1993), 388-408

  • Yang Mayfair, Putting Global Capitalism in its Place. Current Anthropology 2000.
    Vol 41 No 4

  • Lisa Rofel: Rethinking Modernity: Space and Factory Discipline in
    China. In Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson (eds): Culture, Power and Place. 1997
    Duke University Press. Durham and London.

Recommended reading

  • Fredrik Barth: Towards greater naturalism in conceptualizing societies. in

  • Kuper, Adam (ed) Conceptualizing Society) Routledge.

  • Yunxiang Yan: The flow of gifts (English and Chinese editions)


Chinese Culture Heritage in Modern World


  • Ambrose Y. C. King, Kuan-his and Network Building: A Sociological Interpretation, The Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today, edt. By Tu Weiming, Stanford University Press (17 pages)

Recommended reading:

  • Berger, Peter Secularity: West and East

  • Yan, Yunxiang, Introduction, The Flow of Gifts---Reciprocity and Social Networks in a Chinese Village, Stanford University, 1996 (21 pages)

From Spiritual Hunger to Spiritual Nourishment


  • Fan Lizhu, and Whiteheads, "Fate and Fortune: Popular Religion and Moral Capital in Shenzhen", Journal of Chinese Religion, Febuary, 2005, vol. 32. (28 pages)

Recommended reading

  • Fan, Lizhu, Popular Religion in Contemporary China, Social Compass, Volume 50 Issue 04, 12/2003, SAGE Publication, Cambridge (29 pages)

NGOs and Civil Society


  • Yu, Keping, The Emerging of China’s Civil Society and Its Significance to Governance, The Emerging of China’s Civil Society and Its Significance to Governance in Reform China, edt. Keping Yu, Beijing, Social Sciences Document Publishing House, 2002 (54 pages)

Recommended reading

  • Madsen, Richard, Public Sphere, Civil Society, and Moral Community: A Research Agenda for Contemporary China Studies, Modern China, Vol. 19 Number 2, April 1003 (16 pages)

Migrant Issues in Big Cities

Obligatory reading:

  • Chan, Anita, The Culture of Survival: Lives of Migrant Workers through the Prism of Private Letters, Popular China: The Unofficial Culture in a Globalizing Society, edited by Perry Link, Richard Madsen, Paul Pickowicz, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2002. (24 pages)

Recommended reading:

  • Dorothy Singer: The floating Population in the Cities: Chances for assimilation? In Deborah Davis,

  • Richard Knaus, Barry Naughton, Elizabeth Perry (eds): Urban Spaces in Contemporary China

(19 pages)

3, Course Arrangement

Two lessons (each two hours) and one student discussion per week for six weeks. The lectures will complement rather then summarize the week syllabus. It is thus essential that students read the syllabus carefully. The course is based on full-time participation from the students.

Week 1 (September 5-11)

Introduction to the Social Ecology of Shanghai

September 5 (Monday)

7.30 Congregation in the Joy Inn lobby.

Student assistant Wang Jingwalk with the group to the first lecture.

8:00pm-9:45am Lecture By Prof. Yu Hai, Introduction to Shanghai

10:00am-10:30: Information meeting at the Nordic Centre

6:00pm Welcome dinner

September 7 (Wednesday)

8:00pm-9:45am Lecture By Prof. Yu Hai

September 9 (Friday)

3:15-5:00pm, Student discussion

Week 2 and 3 (September 12-25)

Analytical perspectives on the study of Social Scale and Globalization

September 12 (Monday)

8:00pm-9:45am Lecture By Prof. Yu Hai

Written exam module 1
September 14 (Wednesday)

8:00pm-9:45am Lecture By Prof. Gunnar Haaland

Comparative perspectives on cultural and social contexts of capital conversions.
Chinese case material.
Literature: Alan Smart
Recommended readings: Yunxiang Yan

September 16 (Friday)

3:15-5:00pm, Student discussion

Weekend Excursion to Pu Tuo shan

September 19 (Monday)

8:00pm-9:45am Lecture By Prof. Gunnar Haaland

THE GLOBAL IN THE LOCAL.Comparative perspectives on the scale of interactions systems and their articulation in local contexts.
Chinese case material.
Literature: Lisa Rofel, Mayfair Yang

Recommended reading: Fredrik Barth, Kuper, Adam
Written exam for module 2
September 21 (Wednesday)

8:00pm-9:45am Lecture By Prof. Fan Lizhu

NGOs and Civil Society
September 23 (Friday)

3:15-5:00pm Introduction to field work, by Gunnar Haaland

After three weeks, pairs of Fudan and UoB students should be formed for the purpose of preparing joint mini field work and essay papers.

Week 4 (September 26-October 2)

Lessons on literature relevant for fieldwork theme

September 26 (Monday )

8:00pm-9:45 Lecture By Prof. Fan Lizhu

Migrant Issues in Big Cities
September 28(Wednesday)

8:00pm-9:45 Lecture By Prof. Fan Lizhu

Written exam for module 3
September 30 (Friday)

3:15-5:00, Introduction to field work and essay writing by Prof. Yu Hai and by Prof. Fan Lizhu

October 1-7 Public Holiday

Week 5 and 6 (October 7-16)

Mini fieldwork by pairs of students focused on aspects of Globalization in specific localities. Supervision by Fudan and UofB staff members.

Week 7 and 8 (October 17-29)

Essay analysis of field material

End of Week 8. Written and oral exams

4 Examinations
The joint essay paper (4-6000 word) counts for 70% of the total Course mark. The students in a pair share the same mark.

The three written exam which will take place after each module will count for the remaining 30% of the total mark.

The marks will be given according to Fudan system of marking and this will be translated to the UofB system.)

The essays will be graded according to international standards (A- F)

October 31 (Monday) Presentation by students

October 02 (Wednesday) Presentations by students

October 04: Deadline for handing in essay (should be sent by e-mail to Yu Hai, Fn Lizhu and Gunnar Haaland

  • Sheshan (She Mountain, holy pilgrim site of Catholic in Asia)

  • Searching for real Shanghai, excursion to the old architectures of Shanghai)

  • Putuoshan (Putuo Mountain, holy pilgrim site of Buddhism)

Weekend excursions:

  • Shanghai Bund

  • Learning Chinese cooking

  • What is Shanghai style: close watching daily life in Shanghai local family

  • Park observation

  • How Shanghai develops: Construction site observation

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