Introduction

The Lee-Campbell Research Group constructs, analyzes, and disseminates Big Social Science Data collections largely from historical and contemporary China.  Group members include faculty, postdocs, and students who collaborate with James Z. Lee and Cameron D. Campbell on these projects and attend weekly group meetings to discuss their research.  We also work closely with other professors, students, and research assistants on more discrete sub-projects.

Our main data projects include the China Multi-Generational Panel Datasets CMGPD, the China University Student Datasets CUSD, the China Siqing Social Class Datasets CSSCD, and the China Government Employee Database CGED.  Please see their Project pages for information on each project’s main co-investigators/collaborators, background, history, funding, research output, user guide, and data access.

Much of our early work focused on the production and analyses of multi-generational, longitudinal, individual and household-level datasets for the CMGPD, two of which, CMGPD-LN and CMGPD-SC, are in public release through ICPSR.  Many of our publications, including three prize winning books, continue to be derived from these and other similar socio-demographic data. Recent works using such data have appeared in such journals as American Sociological Review, Demography, Evolution and Human Behavior, History of the Family, Social Science History, and Social Science and Medicine.  See James Lee’s CV and Cameron Campbell’s website for details.

We have also begun three other Big Social Science Data projects on

  • Social origins of university students in China, including Hong Kong, 1890-2010 in the CUSD
  • Rural wealth composition and distribution in the Peoples Republic of China, 1945-1966 in the CSSCD
  • Civil service careers in Qing and Republican China, 1700-1950 in the CGED

Initial analyses for the first of these data projects, China’s Silent Revolution: the Social Origins of Peking University and Soochow University Undergraduates, 1949-2002,  have been published as a Chinese article, 无声的革命: 北京大学、苏州大学的学生社会来源 1952-2002, in the January 2012 issue of 中国社会科学 and as a book with the same title in August 2013 by Beijing Joint Publishing. These publications inspired over one hundred news and editorial print articles, interviews, webcasts, and broadcasts posted on one thousand Chinese websites.  The book version was also awarded the 2014 third prize for Outstanding Achievement in Philosophy and Social Science by the Jiangsu Academy of Social Science.

Preliminary analyses of our project on the Qing Civil Service based on quarterly published lists of Qing salaried government officials called 缙绅录 published in 清史研究 2016 4期, and of our project on rural wealth composition and distribution in the Peoples Republic of China, 1945-1966 based on household and individual records of rural wealth and political status from the Four Clean-ups Movement (1964-66) called 四清登记表, are equally promising in terms of producing important new findings about early modern and contemporary China.

We are confident that in the decades ahead, all four Big Data projects, including our multi-generational longitudinal individual population datasets, will continue to produce a Scholarship of Discovery, which, similar to our earlier work on Chinese population behavior, 1700-2000, should transform our understanding of the Chinese state and Chinese stratification, social organization, and social-economic mobility during the last three centuries.

For a preliminary summary of some of these research findings, please see Understanding China, 1700-2000: A Data Analytic Approach available both as a shorter Coursera MOOC and as a longer advanced undergraduate / beginning postgraduate on-line course. We use these course videos in our teaching at HKUST and elsewhere to develop flipped classroom approaches to train students to work together in groups rather than individually, to improve their oral and written communication skills as well as their thinking, and to develop their EQ as well as their IQ.

We have also started to share some of our experiences in historical dataset construction, data analysis, and data analytic teaching in a series of methodological articles published in such major Chinese language journals as 《历史研究》 (Historical Research), 《社会》 (Society), 《文史哲》 (Literature, History, Philosophy), and 《清华大学学报》 (Journal of Tsinghua University), which also won the 2015 Parkson Best Article Award, to encourage new efforts in construction, analysis, and teaching of Big Social Science Data from archival sources in China.

Lee-Campbell group news and updates are available here.

Current Members

Faculty and postdocs:

  • Shuang CHEN, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Iowa
  • Hao DONG, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center on Contemporary China, Princeton University
  • Chen LIANG, Associate Professor, School of History, Nanjing University
  • Matthew NOELLERT, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Iowa
  • Yuxue REN, Associate Professor, Department of History, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Xi SONG, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago

Graduate students

  • Bijia CHEN, PhD student, Division of Social Science, HKUST (Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme Awardee)
  • Xiaowen HAO, PhD student, Department of History, UCLA
  • Xiangning LI, MPhil student, Division of Social Science, HKUST (Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme Awardee)
  • Yunzhu REN, MPhil student, Division of Social Science, HKUST
  • Yuqian WANG, MPhil student, Division of Social Science, HKUST
  • Dan XU, PhD student, Department of History, Fudan University

Research assistants

  • Weiran CHEN
  • Xiaodong GE
  • Yang JI
  • Xiulan LI
  • Beiyi LIU
  • Yubai REN
  • Huicheng SUN (retired)
  • Xing XIAO
  • Mi ZHAO

Group Alumni

  • Samuel CLARK, Professor of Sociology, Ohio State University
  • Dwight DAVIS
  • Fei HUANG, Junior Professor of Chinese History and Society, Tuebingen University
  • Byung-Ho LEE, Researcher
  • Ji LI, Assistant Professor of China Studies, The University of Hong Kong
  • Lan LI , PhD student in Education, Peking University
  • Feng WANG, Chair Professor of Sociology, UC Irvine, and Fudan University
  • Hongbo WANG, Lecturer of Social Science, HKUST
  • Linlan WANG, Assistant Research Fellow of Sociology, Beijing Academy of Social Science
  • Emma ZANG, Ph.D student in Public Policy, Duke University
  • Hao ZHANG, Associate Research Fellow of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Science