The mission of the journal is to facilitate the development of the discipline of sociology in China, and promote the academic progress of sociological studies on Chinese society around the world. The Journal aims to build a first-rate international platform for academic exchange and collaboration between Chinese sociologists and their overseas peers. ... publishes empirical studies on contemporary Chinese society with important theoretical and policy implications. Key topics include the changing social stratification/social inequality in China; social movements and contentious politics; the sociological studies on economic reform and development; social organizations and social governance; family and demographic studies; migration, migrant workers and urbanization; cultural and ideological change since the reform; the sociological understanding of the environment; social security and social policy.


Globethics Library has vol. 1(2014) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Why is rural E-commerce successful? A sociological analysis of the mechanism for actualizing technological dividends

    Shuqin Zhang; Zeqi Qiu (SpringerOpen, 2024-01-01)
    Abstract This article, based on the study of cases involving the application of e-commerce technology in Chinese rural areas, discusses the basic conditions for developing e-commerce villages and proposes a mechanism for actualizing the benefits of e-commerce technology. This study shows that the rise of e-commerce villages is due to two factors: on the one hand, the “differentiated demand market” engendered by e-commerce technology itself, and, on the other hand, the three mechanisms that result from the integration of e-commerce technology with rural industrial practices. The externality mechanism aggregates differentiated demands and reshapes the sales process of rural industries; the visibility mechanism displays the potential benefits of products and stimulates the intertwining of online trading information with rural interpersonal relationships; the verification mechanism uses a coded business process to help rural merchants accumulate internet capital. This study provides a sociotechnical analytical framework for examining the logic of rural industrial development in the digital age.
  • Three policy perspectives on Japanese female employment

    Yunwei Guo; Yiwei Yao; Xiao Yu (SpringerOpen, 2024-01-01)
    Abstract With a detailed historical analysis of postwar Japanese female employment, this article presents three underlying policy perspectives that shape the fact that women have less chance for high-quality employment despite the rising labor force participation rate. The three assumptions of women's role in policy-making are as follows: (1) women as housewives—dependent on males, do not earn a living salary and are thus marginalized in the labor market; (2) women as individuals pursuing gender equality should be treated without discrimination in the workplace; and (3) women as key drivers for economic growth can contribute to the solution to labor shortages. The postwar history of Japanese female employment is full of interaction among these three policy perspectives. Generally, it passes through phases of the dominance of the housewife perspective, the reformation from the equality perspective and the counterattack from the housewife perspective, as well as the mainstreaming of the economic actor perspective.
  • Family social and cultural capital: an analysis of effects on adolescents’ educational outcomes in China

    Gek Ling Claire Tan; Zheng Fang (SpringerOpen, 2023-12-01)
    Abstract Using a sample of 11,313 students in Grades 7 and 9 from the China Education Panel Survey, this study examines the effects of family social capital and family cultural capital on adolescents’ educational outcomes in the areas of academic effort, educational aspiration, and academic achievement. The results from structural equation modeling analyses showed that family social capital and family cultural capital had significant positive associations with adolescents’ educational aspirations. However, only family cultural capital had a significant positive association with academic effort, while family social capital showed a non-significant negative association, and both forms of family capital had significant negative associations with academic achievement.
  • Embeddedness at varying depths: interactions between rural e-commerce entrepreneurs and China’s local politico-economic contexts

    Tianlong You (SpringerOpen, 2023-12-01)
    Abstract Using data collected from face-to-face interviews, on-site observations, and other archival records, this article builds upon the mixed embeddedness framework to develop four concepts—hyper-, hypo-, governed, and dis-embeddedness—to capture the varied depths of rural e-commerce entrepreneurs’ embeddedness within multiple levels of contexts in response to four different local politico-economic conditions in China. This study finds that entrepreneurs in coastal province interiors are hyper-embedded in multiple levels of contexts that are interlinked through personal ties, while in the Pearl River Delta area, entrepreneurs’ hypo-embeddedness within multiple levels of contexts both enables and constrains their abilities to develop rural e-commerce businesses. Moreover, in the Yangtze River Delta area, in addition to entrepreneurs making their own efforts, local governments mobilize a variety of resources to affect the size, depth, and dynamics of entrepreneurs’ embeddedness, while in central and western provinces, entrepreneurs have not completely embraced the e-commerce economy because they face weak politico-economic conditions. This article further explores policy changes that would help entrepreneurs take full advantage of rural e-commerce in China.
  • From fatherhood premium to motherhood penalty: trends in the fertility effects on men's and women's wage in China (1989–2015)

    Qi Xu (SpringerOpen, 2023-11-01)
    Abstract Investigating the impact of fertility on the wage earnings of men and women and its trends is important for understanding and coping with both the widening gender wage gap and the continuously declining fertility rate in China. Through an in-depth analysis of China Health and Nutrition Survey data from 1989 to 2015, the study finds that in the late 1980s, fertility had a significant positive impact on the wage earnings of men in China, while the negative impact on women's wages was not significant. Over time, the fatherhood wage premium has been declining, while the motherhood wage penalty has been rising at a faster rate, and the gender wage gap has been widening. The expansion of the market sector in China since the deepening of reforms in 1992 is an important reason for the rapid increase of motherhood wage penalty.
  • Observations of Chinese fandom: organizational characteristics and the relationships inside and outside the “Fan circle”

    Mao Dan; Wang Jingya; Chen Jiajun (SpringerOpen, 2023-11-01)
    Abstract Chinese “Fan circle” oscillate between receiving praise for their charitable endeavors and being shunned by society because of their “toxic fan culture”. This study reveals that “Fan circle “are quasi-organizational communities that heavily rely on cultural links, emotional discipline, and consent to commercial interference. While they may have some understanding of the structural benefits that social changes bring to the entertainment industry, they seem to lack the ability to comprehend the limitations imposed by national policies. Additionally, they struggle to adhere to established norms and public order when organizing internal or external interactions. “Fan circle” are advised to understand the limitations of policies, and the uniqueness and complexity of these quasi-organizational communities should also be considered in the formulation of regulatory policies.
  • The interplay of gender, motherhood, and the digital economy in China: exploring the experiences of urban mothers in WeChat businesses

    Hong Zhang; Xintuantuan Sun; Ziyao Ding (SpringerOpen, 2023-10-01)
    Abstract In recent years, there has been tremendous growth in the e-commerce industry in China. This study focuses on the experiences of urban mothers who engage in e-commerce on the WeChat platform. Through in-depth interviews with 35 urban mothers as digital laborers on WeChat, our findings reveal that career disruptions due to childbirth and the lack of public support for domestic care work often drive urban mothers to engage in e-commerce. However, only a small number of highly educated mothers who strategically exemplify the practices of intensive motherhood ideology are able to generate sufficient income. This study sheds light on the commercialization of the online mother communities on WeChat and how these communities reinforce the intensive motherhood ideology. The separation of the public and private spheres in China after the economic reforms has resulted in urban mothers with young children engaging in precarious digital work. Meanwhile, the commercialization of the private sphere has blurred the boundaries between the public and private spheres with market logic, further perpetuating gender inequalities in contemporary China. Further research is needed to understand the impact of the digital economy on female digital labor in China, especially for mothers with young children.
  • Digital sociology: origin, development, and prospects from a global perspective

    Yizhang Zhao; Mingyu Wang (SpringerOpen, 2023-11-01)
    Abstract To explore the rapid development of digital technology and its profound impact on human behavior and social functioning and to study the mechanisms by which digital technology and the social environment interact, a new branch of sociology—digital sociology—has emerged and rapidly entered a stage of vigorous development. This article briefly introduces digital sociology and outlines the research progress of digital sociology in six areas: labor economy and production, digital politics and power, social relations and interaction, body and self, social inequality, and methodological innovation. Based on this, the article compares digital sociology research in China and the West. The rapid development of digital technology in China provides a superb opportunity for sociology, and digital sociology has great potential for development in China.
  • Resonance as a medio-passive, emancipatory and transformative power: a reply to my critics

    Hartmut Rosa (SpringerOpen, 2023-10-01)
    Abstract This is a response to a critique of my theory in the Journal of Chinese Sociology. In this response, I take the relationship between resonance theory and the tradition of critical theory as the starting point, and discuss the contributions of the five commentators in terms of the focus of resonance theory and its extension to critical theory, the questions and concerns that such an extension may raise, and the overcoming and reflecting on Eurocentrism in resonance theory. Finally, I will conclude with some reflections on their approach.
  • Can family determine competition within the college campus? the effect of family background on college students’ human capital accumulation

    Chunling Li; Yaping Guo (SpringerOpen, 2023-07-01)
    Abstract Using the Panel Survey of Chinese University Students, this paper systematically analyzes the effect of family background on the human capital accumulation of college students. This study finds that family background has little influence in elite universities, where the selective elimination effect is a determinant. In nonelite universities, however, family background and cultural reproduction mechanisms have significant influence, although individual efforts also factor in the process. In vocational colleges, neither cultural reproduction nor meritocracy is significantly effective. The universalization of higher education has caused divergence in different types of institutions, sorting college students into different competitive fields with different rules. Both the cultural reproduction mechanism and the selective elimination hypothesis can be identified in all kinds of colleges, but their effect varies in relation to institutional types.
  • The ethical implications of resonance theory

    Charles Taylor (SpringerOpen, 2023-06-01)
    Abstract In the first part of this paper, I want to look at the ethical implications of Hartmut Rosa’s Resonance theory for a critical theory of society. I know that this widening of the scope of critical theory is an important objective which Hartmut has pursued. Then I will look at some of the sources of resonance theory in the poetry of the Romantic period. These still provide the basis for important Resonanzachsen today. At the end of this essay, I deal with the issue of the epistemic status of the convictions this poetry inspires.
  • Technological dividend sharing mechanism of internet platforms

    Maoyuan Zhang; Wei Huang (SpringerOpen, 2023-06-01)
    Abstract Taking the sharing economy as an example, the article discusses the social basis for the development of the internet platform. It shows that the development of the sharing economy and internet platform not only benefits from its economic efficiency and social benefits but also relies on the sharing of technological dividends constructed by its technical characteristics and application, which have expanded the beneficiary groups and broadened the social basis of new technology.
  • Tuning into Harmut Rosa’s systematic romanticism

    Frédéric Vandenberghe (SpringerOpen, 2023-06-01)
    Abstract The article reconstructs the intellectual itinerary of the German social theorist Hartmut Rosa. It follows the development of his oeuvre, from his doctoral thesis on Charles Taylor and his book on social acceleration to his more recent work on resonance and responsivity. It shows that throughout the four phases of his career, the social philosophy of Charles Taylor has had a decisive influence on his philosophical anthropology, theory of society and moral sociology. It calls for a new rapprochement between the different generations of critical theory to think through societal pathologies without giving up on the promises of modernity.
  • On the quadrants of the thing-world relations: a critical revision of Hartmut Rosa’s resonance theory in terms of thing-world

    Tsuo-Yu Cheng (SpringerOpen, 2023-05-01)
    Abstract The most valuable contribution of Hartmut Rosa’s social theory is the extension of the scope of Critical Theory from the individual world and the social world to the thing-world. However, Rosa’s analysis of the thing-world is somewhat insufficient. The present article provides an attempt to apply new materialism to the thing-world to compensate for the missing elements of Rosa’s resonance theory. An examination and integration of two of the most representative theories of new materialism, namely agential realism and object-oriented ontology, yield four types (or quadrants) of thing-world relations based on intra-action or inter-action and on inclusion or exclusion: namely resonance, alienation, appropriation, and catastrophe. This quadrant can provide a clearer criterion for resonance in Rosa’s Critical Theory, and manifest that the problem in contemporary society we have to concern might exclusion instead of alienation.
  • Gender in mathematics: how gender role perception influences mathematical capability in junior high school

    Guihua Xie; Xinyu Liu (SpringerOpen, 2023-05-01)
    Abstract Based on the China Education Panel Survey, this study discusses how gender role perception influences the mathematical capability of female students from the multilevel perspectives of individual, family, school, and region. This study finds that the stereotypical view of gender roles held by students and parents has a significant impact on the mathematical capability of both sexes, with a positive effect on male students and a negative effect on female students. However, the threat of gender stereotypes does not have a negative impact on female students. In addition, the number and sex of children in the family and the local sex ratio have no significant impact on the mathematical capability of either male or female students. Therefore, the major factors affecting ‘females’ mathematics learning are the stereotypical views of the relationship between gender and mathematics held by female students and families rather than the tradition of favoring men over women.
  • Negotiating filial care in transitions: an ethnographic study of family involvement in China’s nursing homes

    Xinyue Wu (SpringerOpen, 2023-05-01)
    Abstract Based on ethnographic research conducted in two nursing homes in China, this article examines how institutional eldercare reshapes the expectations and practices of filial piety. It finds that families accept institutional care as a solution to the elderly care deficit. They expect a new division of care between labor and love, assigned to paid care workers and family members, respectively. This ideal of care division is rooted in the “intimate turn” in Chinese family life. Nevertheless, many family members go beyond this care division and remain deeply involved in nursing homes. On the one hand, adult children take on the responsibility to manage surrogate caretakers to improve the quality of care. On the other hand, they continue to provide personal care and companionship. Sharing family time is made the highest priority, especially in the face of impending death. This study goes beyond the binary division between commercial care and family care and sheds light on the transformation of filial piety in the commodification of eldercare in contemporary China.
  • Globalizing the sociology of the arts and culture: East Asian perspectives

    Jun Fang (SpringerOpen, 2023-05-01)
    Abstract In this editorial, I argue for a globalized sociology of the arts and culture that transcends West-centered theories and practices. To this end, two interrelated perspectives—global and decentering—are needed. The article commences with a brief overview of the emergence of the sociology of arts in the West, and synthesizes major themes emerging from articles in the thematic series and the existing literature on creative cultures in East Asia. These themes include local–global dynamics (such as flows, legitimacy, and the centrality of the local), regionalization, state support and control, and theorizing beyond the arts. Finally, I highlight several promising directions for future research, and emphasize that East Asian perspectives present distinct opportunities to advance the sociology of the arts and culture.
  • Stabilization and structuralization: transformations of China's labor market from the perspective of new institutionalism (2006–2017)

    Bin Zhu (SpringerOpen, 2023-04-01)
    Abstract Precarious work in China has drawn increasing attention, and this paper examines its changing trends from 2006 to 2017. It finds that as the state intensifies its intervention in the labor market, employers face a conflicting institutional environment with the demands of the technological environment. Employers meet the legitimacy requirements of state policy by increasing the number of stable jobs on the one hand and reducing the labor costs of unstable workers on the other hand to smooth out the increase in labor costs caused by the increase in stable workers, resulting in a stronger segmentation of the “stable–unstable” dichotomy. These two processes are more pronounced in the private sector because of the stronger tensions between legitimization and performance maximization.
  • Ritualized world relations: a Confucian critique of Rosa’s limitations on resonance

    Geir SIGURÐSSON; Paul J. D’Ambrosio (SpringerOpen, 2023-03-01)
    Abstract Hartmut Rosa argues that our modern and post-modern societies can be understood through the notion of dynamic stabilization—institutions require growth to maintain themselves. Part of the impetus behind the acceleration that drives dynamic stabilization is the desire to make the world more available, attainable, and accessible. On both the institutional and individual levels, this is translated into making the world more within our reach, more engineerable, predictable, and controllable. Paradoxically, success in these areas is often accompanied by the world becoming increasingly silent, cold, and unresponsive. We feel alienated or that our world relation has failed. Rosa’s solution is to reestablish resonance with the world. In this paper, we argue that his notion of resonance depends on a degree of atomic agency that muffles its own efficacy. The Confucian notion of ritual offers a more dispersed notion of agency. Rather than seeing oneself, others, and the world as distinct agents or indivisible entities, a ritualized approach sees them as mutually constitutive. It is true even on the level of agency, which drastically changes our relationship with the world.
  • Familial affections vis-à-vis filial piety: the ethical challenges facing eldercare under neo-familism in contemporary China

    Yunxiang Yan (SpringerOpen, 2023-03-01)
    Abstract The present study demonstrates that the values and practices of neo-familism are altering the ethical foundation of eldercare in a similar way as they did in other areas of family life. The chief ethical challenges include the shift of the center of gravity from ancestors to children or grandchildren, the inversion of the hierarchical order within the oneness of parent–child identity, the saliency of eldercare qinqing discourse derived from the intimate and emotional turn in family life, the importance of family history as the keeper of the balance sheet of qinqing interactions, and the emerging pursuit of distributive justice in the sphere of private life. Working together, these challenges have effectively destabilized the principle of filial piety as the ethical foundation of eldercare and, at the same time, they have contributed to the formation of a dining ethics of eldercare. The article ends with a sketch of the main features of the emerging qinqing ethics and a call for more innovative thinking out of the gatekeeping box of filial piety paradigm in the sociology of Chinese family.

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