This lecture introduces the Contemporary China Social Life Data and Research Center at Fudan University and the data the archive has collected. This archive contains data on Lianmin Village in north Zhejiang Province that provide exceptionally detailed information on economic, political, social, and cultural changes during the period from 1949 to 2000 in China. The archive also collects information on life at the grassroots level, mostly from Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and Shanghai, including documents from local government offices and work units. Among the documents collected at the archive, the meeting minutes are especially noteworthy. The archive’s unique collection of private correspondence, personal diaries, and work logs is also enormously valuable to our understanding of contemporary Chinese society.
Professor Letian Zhang is a Professor of Sociology in School of Social Development and Public Policy of Fudan University. He is also the Director of the Center for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Fudan University; Director of Contemporary China Social Life Data and Research Center (CCSLC), Fudan University; Co-director, UCLA-Fudan Joint Center for Comparative Studies of Social Life; Vice President of Shanghai Society of Anthropology (SSA) and Chair of the Cultural Anthropology Committee; and Co-Director of the CCPN Global (a global academic society for advancing China and the Chinese from a Comparative Perspective). Professor Zhang has been focusing on researching the development and transformation of rural China. His book Farewell to Ideal — Study on People’s Commune (1998, 2005 and 2012) is well recognized both in China and abroad. He is also interested in studying migrants, floating population, urban community governance, value, morals and institutes in social life and social change.