Chinese Marxist Sociology: Recent Developments and Future Trends

  • Barbara P. Hazard (Autor/in)

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Chinese sociology, which developed particularly during the 1930's and 40's, survived only three years into the People's Republic of China. Since 1979, it has again been permitted a place at universities and research institutes, however this time, of course, solely as "Marxist sociology". The paper raises the question as to the brand of Marxist sociology now being developed in China. Using both published material and firsthand data gathered during a stay in China as lecturer of sociology in 1981-82, the author concludes that the promoters of sociology and students alike are interested in creating a sociology which - although loyal to the general Party line and serving its overall goals - would be in a position to examine social reality critically, even if this means having to criticize specific measures already implemented by the Party. Although this definition of sociology's role in no way violates basic tenets of Party ideology, and in fact is even a logical derivation from them, the fate of sociology is still not entirely clear. In addition to possible changes in the composition of the political leadership, its fate will also be determined by the way Chinese sociologists in the future carry out and evaluate their investigations.