Everyday Life in Contemporary China

Everyday Life in Contemporary China

Spring 2015
Zhejiang University



Assoc.Prof. ZHANG Xingkui

School of International Studies
Research Area:Sociology of Everyday Life


Course Description

This course is an interdisciplinary study of everyday life of the average Chinese person in various aspects of their lives. The focus of the course is human action in collective contexts, with such topics as the family, love and intimacy, friendship, eating out, shopping, fashion, anxiety, housing, commuting, entertainment, etc. As a postgraduate level course, it is aimed at developing students’ skills in conducting researches of their own through qualitative approaches: participant observation, case studies, in-depth interviews, the interpretation of documents (i.e. spontaneously created personal records of experience such as letters, life stories and personal blogs), and analysis of films and TV programs. 

Students are guided to examine life experiences of ordinary Chinese people by focusing on what really occurs in contemporary Chinese society. The modes of delivery of the course include lectures, group discussions and presentations of students’ individual projects. Success in the completion of the course will be evaluated on the basis of students’ attendance in lectures and discussions, and a written paper based on their empirical studies.

Students will develop sociological and cross-cultural perspectives on the everyday life of the Chinese people. They are also expected to practice skills in quantitative methodology in social studies through the process of data collection and analysis.


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