The Drs. Charles C. & Marie S. Yu P83 Global Seminar

While the Center is not currently sponsoring a Global Seminar, please check the PIIRS site here for the application process for future seminars.   

If you have any questions, please contact Yan Bennett, ybennett@princeton.edu.


Tserang talking about stuffThis is a particularly exciting time to know what is going on in China today. After its unification in 1949, China remained poor, undeveloped, and isolated from the rest of the world until 1978, when economic reform initiated a new era. Since initiating market reforms in 1978, China has shifted from a centrally planned to a market-based economy and has experienced rapid economic and social development. GDP growth has averaged nearly 10 percent a year — the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history — and has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty. China has been undergoing a social transformation of which the scope, rapidity and impact are unprecedented in human history; all aspects of Chinese society are changing fundamentally and forever.

Dana Harris and boyfriendThe seminar will offer an introduction to some of the most prominent features of modern Chinese society; the government; politics and the economy; the educational system; differences between rural and urban China; wealth disparity and social inequality; migration; marriage and family; minorities and ethnicity; and religion. Through in-class lectures, student presentations, and field excursions, the seminar will provide a substantive introduction to sociological perspectives of China that will allow an understanding of social changes in China and their long-term impacts not only on the 1.3 billion Chinese now living in China — the largest population in the world today — but also on people living elsewhere in developed as well as developing countries.

girls jumpingPrevious guest lecturers have included: Jet Li, Chinese actor and producer, to speak about his philanthropic activities; C.H. Tung, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, to speak on Sino-US relations; venture capitalists; Chinese health care experts and lawyers; among others.

The group will make numerous excursions throughout the country to examine China’s growing wealth and social disparities and the impact of fast-paced economic growth on society as well as the regional differences in culture and traditions of China. Excursions will include a weekend Yungang Buddhist Prayer Grottoes and Hanging Monastery in Datong, where students will learn about rural life, minorities, and religion in China. The ancient town of Pingyao may also be included. Another weekend excursion is a visit to Shanghai, a highly historical city and unique economic zone. China is unique in its economic development model and Shanghai is representative of China’s phenomenal growth. The visit to Shanghai will include tours of its stock exchange, factory and business incubators, and other historic facets of Shanghai.

This seminar fulfills the Social Analysis (SA) general education requirement.
chinese men

Faculty Director

Yu Xie joined Princeton University in 2015 as the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Sociology and PIIRS. His main areas of interest are social stratification, demography, statistical methods, Chinese studies and the sociology of science. 

Seminar Manager

Yan Bennett | 609-258-7149 | 365 Wallace Hall

Distribution Requirements

visit to an incubatorThe course fulfills the Social Analysis (SA) requirement and the departmental requirements for Sociology (SOC) and East Asian Studies (EAS). It may be used to fulfill the requirements for the East Asian Studies Program Certificate or the East Asian Studies Department Language and Culture Certificate. Language instruction will be offered at the beginner (no prior training) and advanced (conversational) levels.

little girl in doorFinancial Aid
PIIRS provides generous funding to help meet these costs to participants who receive term financial aid. Students accepted into a Global Seminar and receive term financial aid will automatically receive funding toward the course fee based on the level of term aid. Possibilities for additional financial support may be available through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE).

This seminar is sponsored by the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China and generously funded by the Drs. Charles C. and Marie S. Yu P83 Global Seminar Fund.