A Passion for Facts: Social Surveys and the Construction of the Chinese Nation State, 1900-1949

By Tong Lam | Go to book overview

Notes

INTRODUCTION

1. Barbara J. Shapiro, A Culture of Fact: England, 1550–1720 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000).

2. Bernard S. Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India, Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), 5.

3. Indeed, during this time writers, journalists, and artists also made references to the idea of the social survey and experimented with new modes of literary and artistic expression such as fiction, news reportage, and photography to conceptualize the social world, though these works are not the focus of this study. A Peking University social science thesis from the 1930s, for instance, considered political surveys and economic surveys as subcategories of social surveys. See Liu Yuren, “Zhongguo shehui diaocha yundong” [The Chinese Social Survey Movement], M.A. thesis, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Yenching University, Beijing, 1936, 41.

4. Although the expression existed centuries before Mao Zedong, many people have mistakenly believed that Mao was responsible for inventing the motto “seeking truth from facts.” For how evidential research was one of the two competing epistemologies in the Chinese intellectual scene prior to the nineteenth century, see Benjamin A. Elman, From Philosophy to Philology: Intellectual and Social Aspects of Change in Late Imperial China (Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1984).

5. Although this early modern intellectual paradigm was not a rejection of the moral authority of the sages and the established truth, it was a profound intellectual movement that accentuated as the new method for truth seeking the importance of textual evidence and empirical proof as opposed to the hermeneutic and reflective speculation that characterized the philosophical inquiry of the earlier periods. This shift from philosophy to philology, as Benjamin Elman has argued, would establish evidential research, along with the existing classi-

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A Passion for Facts: Social Surveys and the Construction of the Chinese Nation State, 1900-1949
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Asia Pacific Modern Takashi Fujitani, Series Editor ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- The Rise of the Fact and the Reimagining of China 19
  • 2- From Divide and Rule to Combine and Count 50
  • 3- Foolish People versus Soulstealers 75
  • 4- The Nationalization of Facts and the Affective State 91
  • 5- Time, Space, and State Effect 117
  • 6- China as a Social Laboratory 142
  • Epilogue 171
  • Notes 175
  • Glossary 223
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 253
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