/ Séminaire de l’axe Sciences Sociales et circulation des savoirs - LIA Post-Western Sociology in Europe and in China

Qu Jingdong et Svetla Koleva : « Socialist time and construction of sociology »

12 février 2018, de 9h45 à 13h, ENS de Lyon, site Descartes, salle D4 260

Présentation de la séance

Qu Jingdong, Professor of sociology at Peking University : « Post-Western Sociology and Chinese Sociological Classics »

Résumé de l’intervention

  • Chinese Socialism has many resources of thoughts and institutions from traditional Chinese Society and the Western world. In order to understand the reality of Chinese society, it should be return to the theme and context of modern transformation of Chinese social thoughts. By re-interpretation on theory of the Three Eras from classics - Spring and Autumn Annals, Kang Youwei proposed that if the Chinese society successfully moves to the Era of Peace from Era of War, the Idea of Cosmos Unity should be established as the universal value for world history, and Confucius Religion should be built for cultivation of mores. Influenced by Western Missionaries from 1700s, Kang Youwei made a connection between the thought of Utopia and its theological instruction with Gongyang version of Spring and Autumn Annals, and have come up with a theory for Datong world (Great Harmony) by abolishing Gender, Family and State. This kind of thought had laid the foundation for the process of modernization in China and socialist or communist practices in the future.

Svetla Koleva, Research Director at the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences : « Creativity and multifaced sociology in Central and Eastern Europe »

Résumé de l’intervention

  • How to do sociology in a society whose truth had been pre-established and controlled by the main political-state actor that had been the Communist Party ? The experience of sociologists in Central and Eastern Europe during the socialist era shows a multitude of cognitive, discursive and institutional strategies for studying the society of the time according to the “rules of the method”. This paper will focus on research creativity and examine the different facets of inventiveness, putting them in perspective with the development stage of society itself. On the basis of case studies from different countries and periods of the communist regimes, the following thesis will be defended : taking into account the political and ideological constraints of the time, sociologists who defend the scientific profile of their work use a range of strategies and instruments to arrive at the “structural” truth of their society. The inflections or deviations of facts established through research were at the level of interpretation or dissemination of results.

Qu Jingdong

Executive Deputy Director, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor in Department of Sociology, Peking University, the former Deputy Director, National Institute of Social Development and Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences(CASS)

Research Fields :

  • Social Theory, Sociology of Organization, Studies on Social Structure and Social Development.

Education :

  • MA.(Philosophy, Fudan University), PH.D (Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences ).

Main Works :

  • Absence and Break : A Sociological Study on Anomie, Shanghai : Shanghai People Publishing House, 1999.
  • Durkheim’s Theory of Education and Human Nature, Shanghai : Shanghai Sanlian Press, 2005.
  • Social Process of Organizational Innovation, Shanghai : Oriental Publishing Centre, 2004.
  • Freedom and Education : On Philosophy of Education of John Locke and Jean Jarques Rousseau. Beijing : Sanlian Publishing House, 2012.
  • La sociologie chinoise avant la Revolution(with Li Peilin). Editions de la Maison des science de l’homme, 2016.
  • Collected Works of Emile Durkheim (10 Vols. Editor and Translator), Beijing : The Commercial Press, 2017.
  • An Introduction to Chinese Sociological Classics (Ed. With Li Peilin), Social Sciences Academic Press. Main Papers : “From total dominance to technical governance : an analysis on thirty years during reform period”, Social Sciences in China, vol.6, 2009.
  • “The Project System : A new form of State Governance”, Social Sciences in China, vol.5, 2012.
  • "Possession, operation, and governance as three conceptual dimensions of town and township enterprises : An analysis going back to the classical social sciences", Chinese Journal of Sociology, Vol.2 No.1 January 2016.
  • “After Sacred Society : To Commemorating 100th Anniversary of Emile Durkheim’s Death”, Chinese Journal of Sociology, Vol.4 2017.


Research Director at the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, a member of the Editorial Board of Sociological Problems, journal of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Bulgarian Sociological Association, of the Editorial Board of Studies of Changing Societies (SCS Journal), Ukraine, of the International Editorial Advisory Board of Global Sociology, India, and of the Editorial Board, Brill, Series Post-Western Social Sciences and Global Knowledge. She was awarded the Soros Foundation Fellowship, Prague (1999-2000), the Advanced Academia Fellowship of Center for Advanced Study, Sofia (2012-2013), the Foundation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Fellowship, Paris (2013).

Research Fields :
Her central research interests are in the fields of history of sociology, sociology of science and knowledge, sociology of politics.

Main Works :

  • Totalitarian Experience and Knowledge Production. Sociology in Central and Eastern Europe, 1945-1989, Brill Publishers , 2017.
  • Sociology in Bulgaria through the Eyes of Generations. Interviews with Bulgarian Sociologists (2012, in Bulgarian, co-editor)
  • Sociology as a Projest. Scientific Identity and Social Challenges in Bulgaria, 1945-1989 (2005, in Bulgarian)
  • Mutations de société et quête de sens. Une rencontre entre des sociologues bulgares et québécois (2001, co-editor)
  • and more than 60 articles about problems of culture and ideology, social transformation and conflicts, mass consciousness and values, local development, new forms of civic activeness.
  • She edited the special issue of Sociological Problems on “Non Hegemonic Sociologies : From Contexts to Practices” (2015) and co-edited the issue on “New Objects of Sociology” for Cahiers de Recherche Sociologique (2016, no 59-60).


Nacira Guénif, Professor of sociology, University Paris VIII

Julien Barrier, Assistant Professor of sociology, ENS Lyon, CNRS Chair

  • Olivier Quéré
/ Séminaire de l’axe Sciences Sociales et circulation des savoirs - LIA Post-Western Sociology in Europe and in China
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