School of Social Development and Public Policy
Conducting Research in Chinese Context
Instructor: Dr. Jiaming Sun
Office: Building of LA 1021
Meetings: M & W 9:55a.m. – 11:35 a.m. (LAB 1021) 2/25/2013 through 7/6/2013
Office Hours: T & Th. 9:00 am - 11:30 am; by appointment.
This syllabus is intended to help you understand clearly the course goals, expectations, testing
methods and topics we are going through so you may maximize your performance. It should also help you to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings that will affect your grade adversely.
Required reading articles will be post online.
Neuman, W. Lawrence. Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative
Approaches. Sixth Edition. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Publisher: Allyn &
Bacon. Copyright: 2006 (optional).
Jiaming Sun & Scott. Chinese Globalization Routledge Comtemporary China Series,
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN 978-0-415-67303-7 (optional).
Additional reading materials to be distributed in seminars.
Research is the heart of social inquiry. Conducting research in Chinese Context is the key to learn Chinese society and culture as well as the way to enhance research methods and techniques. As you may have known, in this English-Instructed Master Program, one important goal is to train graduate students to be disciplined, productive researchers about China. This course fulfills one of the core requirements in this graduate program. It is designed to give students a broad view of the variety of approaches for doing research in China and the ways of designing a good quality social research. Typically graduate students at English-Instructed Master Program in Chinese Society and Public Policy are required to take a research methods course as well as a research method in Chinese context course. The purposes or objectives of the course are:
To develop a better understanding and interests on rapidly changing of Chinese society and public policies;
To build up and discipline your curiosity and passion for inquiry about China by converting problems and puzzles into research questions and designs for empirical research;
To develop an ability to read with comprehension research reports, especially those found in professional journals. Primarily, the goal is application of information for one's professional pursuit and/or graduate study;
To learn to write with adequate organization, clarity, and scholarly style: a research proposal, a critique of published research, a graduate paper, and a research report;
To become familiar with the steps necessary to the writing of your master's thesis. This
includes survey, ethnographic field research, unobtrusive research, and experimental types of investigations.
This course is an eLearning online supporting course (http://elearning.fudan.edu.cn/portal).
eLearning is a campus wide web-enhanced internet teaching and learning support system.
Students taking this course will be able to surf online course website, get reading material,
download and upload assignments, take online quizzes and exams, check grades and cumulative points with percentiles anytime online while having regular face to face in class lectures. If you are not familiar with the use of eLearning, you may send email to: email@example.com or make phone call to 65643247, 65643207.
To meet those learning goals, this course requires you to demonstrate your critical
engagement with the readings and issues of research design through questions,
presentations and discussions in class, and proposal completion.
You will be required to prepare questions, presentations and discussions each class
meeting based on assigned readings. Your final grade will reflect your engagement of
questions preparation, class presentations (discussions) and research proposal
completion. At the final stage of the course, you will be required to submit a research
proposal of conducting a research in China.
Discussion and Participation:
Graduate study means learning to learn from every possible source -- from your
readings, your peers, your life experience, your professor, and your research practice.
Participating in discussions is one of the best ways to learn. You are expected to
contribute your questions and insights to the seminar.
The culture of the seminars will, I hope, be a congenial one for self-expression. I
cannot help you learn if you don't participate in discussion, however. Doing excellent
written work is not enough to demonstrate adequate performance in graduate study.
Whatever you do, don't suffer in silence. Say anything you can defend against
reasoned argument. Treat your colleagues' contributions with respect (which means
taking them seriously and challenging them as well as extending basic courtesy).
The attendance points will not be given to those who are tardy or leave early. Excuse
of absence is needed but will not alter your attendance records. Excessive tardiness 3
may result in a further loss of points from your overall performance points. It can
mean a difference of a final letter grade. Take it seriously.
Reading Summaries and Research Proposal:
Each student must be prepared to discuss all the readings assigned for a class meeting
unless the instructors explicitly specify otherwise. For selected readings, students must
submit your reading summaries to TurnItIn. (Please go to TurnItIn website
(https://www.turnitin.com) with class ID: 4744774, and password: emafd to create
We encourage students to discuss reading materials with each other; however, each
student must be the sole author of his/her written assignments. If you cannot complete
assignments on time due to an emergency, you must let me know before the
assignment is due.
An Initial Research Ideas (IRI) will be required to submit for your midterm exam.
The length of IRI will be about 2-3 pages. Your term paper is a Final Research
Proposal (FRP) with length no more than 12 pages. The proposal has the following
elements: specify a problem of sociological significance, convert problem into a series
of hypotheses, and specify the assumptions that are implicit and explicit, literature
review, operationalize the concepts, develop a questionnaire, and develop a code
Grading Policy: YOU EARN YOUR OWN POINTS :
Attendance/Virtual Discussion Activity 120
Reading Summaries/Abstracts 100
Initial Research Ideas (as for mid
Final Research Proposal (as for final
Overall performance 40
Overall performance points (40 points) based primarily on ranking percentile in class
will be added on your total points. For instance, student who is at the 80th percentile
will receive 36 points, and student who is at the 60th percentile will receive 28 points
and so on.
A: 450-500 (Truly exceptional and outstanding work)
B: 400-449 (Solid or near acceptable graduate-level work).
C: 350-399 (Not acceptable level for graduate work).
D: Less than 349 (poor performance in learning)4
F: Fail this course
Cheating & Plagiarism:
It should go without saying that every student is expected to do his/her own work. The
University policy provides that anyone caught cheating in any form or fashion will be
subjected to further disciplinary action by the university. Plagiarism (the use of others’
words, phrases, and ideas in your writing without giving credit to the original author)
is a form of cheating and not only violates academic ethical standards, but is against
the law. Don’t do it!
In this course, e-mail is an essential corresponding method and supplement to lectures.
This means that you can expect to hear from the instructor via emails regularly
throughout the semester, such as using e-mail for reminders, clarifications, last-minute
notifications, etc. Needless to say, students are expected to check email regularly in
daily fashion. Conversely, you should feel free to contact the instructor via e-mail with
questions, requests or problems that were not or could not be addressed clearly in
The course schedule is tentative and somewhat subject to change. Although I will do my best to keep us on schedule, it is possible that some adjustments will be made as we progress through the semester.
Week Dates Topic/ Readings Note
1 Feb.25/27 First meeting, introduction and preparation. Pre-lecture on conducting research in Chinese context.
2 Mar. 4/6 To be familiar with syllabus,
online material and templates, such as eLearning, TurnItIn, etc.
Warm up Assignment
Review for Research Methods
(1) The first reading section including the three articles (Group A):
China and Globalization (A-1) Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by March 8th. 5
3 Mar.11/13 Discussion on the reading A-1 on March 11th
Review for Research Methods
(2) Globalization and Regional Income Inequality Empirical Evidence From Within China (A-2) Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by March 15th.
4 Mar.18/20 Discussion on the reading A-2 on March 18st
Review for Research Methods
(3) China economic recovery and the China model (A-3)
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by March 22th.
5 Mar.25/27 Discussion on the reading A-3 on March 25h
Review for Research Methods
(4) The second reading section including the three articles (Group B):
Trans-nationalizing Chinese: Overseas Chinese Policies of the PRC's Central Government (B-1)
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by March 29th.
6 Apr. 1/3 Discussion on the reading B-1 on Apr. 1st.
Review for Research Methods (5)
Surveying Internet Usage and Impact in Five Chinese Cities (B-2)
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by April 5th.
7 Apr. 8/10 Field study, a seven-day tour Apr.15/17 Discussion on the reading B-2
on Apr. 15th.
Review for Research Methods (6)
Attitudes Toward Online Social Connection (B-3)
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by April 19th.
9 Apr. 22/24 Discussion on the reading B-3 on Apr. 22nd.
Review for Research Methods (7)
The third reading section including the three articles (Group C):
Value differences between generations in China (C-1)
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by April 26th. 10 Apr. 29/May 1
Discussion on the reading C-1 on Apr. 29th.
Review for Research Methods
Generation Cohorts and Personal Values A Comparison of China and the U.S. (C-2)6
(8) Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by May 3rd.
11 May 6/8 Virtual discussion of Initial Research Ideas.
Initial Research Ideas on China submission Due May 10th. May 13/15
Discussion on the reading C-2 on May 13th
Review for Research Methods (9)
Conflict management among American and Chinese employees (C-3)
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by May 17th.
13 May 20/22
Discussion on the reading C-3 on May 20th.
Review for Research Methods (10)
The forth reading section including the three articles (Group D):
Sea Turtles or Seaweed The Employment of Overseas
Returnees in China (D-1)
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by May 24th.
14 May 27/29
Discussion on the reading D-1 on May 27th.
Review for Research Methods (11)
A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Extramarital Sex in Contemporary
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by May 31st.
15 June 3/5 Discussion on the reading D-2
on June 3rd.
Review for Research Methods (12)
How Are Taiwanese Shanghaied (D-3)
Submit an article abstract to TurnItIn by June 7th
16 June 10/12
Discussion on the reading D-3 on June 10th.
Presentations and Discussions
Discussion on writing research proposal on China individually.
17 June 17/19
Individual meeting for writing proposal.
Writing Final Research Proposal on China
Final Research Proposal Submission
due June 28th
19 July 1/3 Review and Grading