syllabus_1_12 - Social Issues in Contemporary China...

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Social Issues in Contemporary China Instructor’s Contact Information: Office: Price Hall 8E Phone: 610-758-3820 Email: [email protected] Office Hours: Tuesday 3:00-4:00 or by appointment Course Information: SSP198/ASIA198, Spring 2008 TR 10:45-12:00 Lewis Lab 512 Course Description: Dramatic economic, cultural and social changes that are undergoing in China today has aroused much debates among social scientists East and West. Social problems such as poverty, inequality and disunity are of special interests. At the same time, the priority that Chinese policy makers place on reducing poverty and inequality and promoting cohesion appears to be increasing. In this class, we will investigate the following social issues that are critical for understanding China’s development trajectory: inequality and poverty; rapid demographic shifts; provision of health care services; provision of education services; and the becoming an “information society.” We will explore how these issues intersect with major old hierarchies in China, the urban-rural differences and gender differences. The objectives of the course are to offer exposure to a selection of critical social issues in contemporary China; to offer a basic overview of inequalities in Chinese society today; and to provide a survey of the diverse research approaches taken by social scientists working in the China study field; and to familiarize students with resources for learning about Chinese society. The class will combine lectures, academic readings in sociology, political sciences and anthropology, agency and government documents, narrative accounts, films, and discussion.
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