Chapter

Introduction

TONG LAM

in A Passion for Facts

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267862
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950351 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267862.003.0001
Introduction

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Social survey, a mode of knowledge production, is best understood as a cultural and political practice. This book approaches the rise of the social survey as a part of the larger epistemological disturbance in which Chinese intellectuals used the claims of science and reason to construct new organizing principles for cultural production and political life. Readers will be enlightened on the Chinese activities involving the collection of social facts known as the Chinese “social-survey movement,” and not only because the practitioners of survey-based social science used the phrase themselves. The Chinese effort in surveying their nation was not a short-term movement, but one that aimed at mobilizing the elites as well as the masses for the purposes of nation building and social transformation.

Keywords: China; survey; intellectuals; social transformation

Chapter.  7821 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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