Li Youmei: China’s Sociological Development Should Be Oriented to Address the Responsibilities of the Times
Created On : 2018-05-30    Views : 55

China is not only undergoing the broadest and the most profound social reform in the nation’s history, but is also carrying out the most ambitious and unique practical innovations in human history. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has proposed that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics has entered into a new era and embarked on a new journey. New missions call for new responsibility, which raises higher requirements for the development of China’s social sciences. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out in his “May 17” speech that, only by taking China’s actuality as the starting point for research, proposing a theoretical viewpoint with subjectivity and originality, and constructing a subject system, academic system, and discourse system with its own unique quality, can China’s philosophical and social science have its own characteristics and advantages. We have profoundly recognized that, to obtain new outstanding achievements and make new contribution in the new era, China’s sociology should not remain at the level of absorption, assimilation, and transformation of Western sociological theory. We should pay more attention to the reality of Chinese society, create theories and methods with insight and explanation power to the practice of the socialism system with Chinese characteristics, and enable a Chinese discourse system to enter into mainstream discourse systems of the international academic community, to let the world more fully and better understand China in exchanges and dialogues..

In the past decades, the social structure of Western developed countries changed greatly with the rapid flow of capital in the world. Original Western sociological theories have encountered serious challenges in explaining those significant changes. However, these serious challenges did not alter Westerners’ habit of using their sociological theories to judge and predict the social transformation in today’s China. Although China is establishing deeper and deeper links with globalization, it always sticks to socialism with its own characteristics. China’s inner confidence in road, theory, system and culture cannot be truly profoundly understood and explained by sociological theory that is formed based on Western practical experience. Chinese society experienced unprecedented profound changes in 40 years of reform and opening-up. The social reform not only covers change in social organization and social division of labor systems, the complexity of social structures, acceleration of social mobility and other changes. More importantly, contemporary China actively explores to find a social governance & transformation path which is different from that of other countries. The contemporary transformation of China’s social governance is being continuously advanced under the socialism system with Chinese characteristics. This progressive reform path is quite different from the evolutionary path characterized by European and American civil society, keeping abreast with modern democracy and the abrupt path characterized by large-scale social movement and social democratization in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Therefore, those efforts directly interpreting China’s realities through Western theories are difficult to accurately reveal the essence of the time. Accurate analysis of the driving force and internal logic of Chinese social governance depends on Chinese sociological theory with subjectivity and originality. For this reason, Chinese sociology must have a clear understanding of its own capabilities and mission.