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Course Outline – SOC 290

Demography of China

The first of its kind in Canada, SOC 290 Demography of China will discuss the central features of China’s transformation into a global power. Such features include China’s modern history events, economic models, state-society relations, urbanization processes, and population governance strategies.

Prerequisites: 2nd year standing required

Course Objectives

  • To establish China competency from a broad sociological point of view among CUE students and expand their world outreach.
  • To provide CUE students the opportunity to understand contemporary Chinese society, politics, and economy, and the governance models that led to China’s transformation into a global power.
  • To equip CUE students, especially business and management students, with specific knowledge and practical strategies to improve the business relationship between Canadian and Chinese firms and partners.

Lecture Topics

China 101

  • Village and town life in China during Imperial times

 The Communist Revolution (1949)

  • The Communist Revolution: Agrarian Reform and the Recreation of New Social Categories

 The Effects of the Communist Revolution on Chinese Society

  • A Century of Change in Lengshuigou Village
  • Changes in Village Politics and Village Elites
  • Changes in the City: a new elite?
  • Communist Policies Going Off Track (part 1): the “Great Leap Forward” and the “Great famine”
  • Communist Policies Model Going Off Track (part 2): the Household Registration System and the Birth of Rural-Urban Inequality
  • Cultural Revolution in the City and Countryside
  • Back to Lengshuigou Village: Family and Social Life During Communist (the 1960s)

 Changing Gears: China’s Opening Up Policy

  • The One-Child Policy: a Strategy of Population Governance
  • The “Opening Up” Policy
  • The Effects of the “Opening Up” Policy in the Countryside
  • The Made in China Era (part 1)
  • The Made in China Era (part 2): Stories and Lessons from a Factory in Shanghai

 China as a Global Power

  • Changes in Family Relations and Social Interactions
  • Rethinking Urbanization and the Urban People
  • The Future of “Rural China”
  • The Future of China as a Global Power and Canada’s Second Most Important Trading Partner


What Weight
5 short-answer assignments on the topics discussed in class (homework). 25% of the total grade
Participation in class discussions with questions or comments that demonstrate proficiency in the topic under discussion. Each student must participate in the discussion of at least 5 topics. 25%
1 research paper (homework) on a topic that intersects the student’s specific major and any of the topic discussed on China. 25%
1 multiple-choice exam (in class) on the topics discussed in class: 25% of the total grade. 25%


To register, please visit SOC 290.