History and the Current State of Sociology in Taiwan

History and the Current State of Sociology in Taiwan

Jin Junkai

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Assistant Research fellow (postdoc) at School of Health and Humanities, Peking University, Beijing, China; Associate Researcher, Sociological Institute, RAS, Saint Petersburg, Russia j530519513@126.com

Deriugin P.P.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Prof., Department of Applied and Industrial Sociology, Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University «LETI», Saint Petersburg, Russia. ppd333@rambler

Veselova L.S.

Cand. Sci. (Hist.), Assoc. Prof., National Research University «Higher School of Economics» (St. Petersburg), St. Petersburg, Russia lveselova@hse.ru

Lebedintseva L.A.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Assoc. Prof. St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia. llebedintseva879@gmail.com

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Jin Junkai, Deriugin P.P., Veselova L.S., Lebedintseva L.A. History and the Current State of Sociology in Taiwan. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 12. P. 126-136


This article discusses specifics of the formation and development of sociology, which arises in the local conditions of the island East Asian region of Taiwan in the context of general trends of world sociology. It is shown that in the historical development of sociology in Taiwan there are several key points and «forces of influence». The first was associated with political interests and Japanese influence in Taiwan in 1930–1945. The next turning point in the history of Taiwanese sociology is associated with the sociologists’ resettling from mainland China to Taiwan (Lung Kung-Hoi, Hsieh Cheng-Fu, Chang Ching-yu and etc.). These sociologists did not agree with the political course in the People’s Republic of China headed by Communist Party. During this period, research developed in the spirit of Japanese-Western-American traditions. The article notes that up to the 1980s attention of Taiwanese sociologists was focused on the study of issues of population, family, juvenile crime, urban development. The rapid economic development and rising confidence in the future by the Taiwanese society makes it possible to emerge the new character of sociology in Taiwan in the 1980s together with the beginning of indigenization and liberalization processes. The emphasis in the article is on the fact that by the end of the first half of the 20th century existing scientific sociological trends in mainland China had a strong influence on the discipline. In the 21st century there were taking place two multidirectional processes – «Sinicization» of the Taiwanese sociology and, at the same time, the moves of the Taiwanese sociological community towards creation of own unique sociological academic characteristics. Nowadays there are several sociology departments at the largest universities on the island, the Taiwan Sociological Association; specialized journals and monographs are being published. In general, public impact of sociological knowledge in Taiwan is high, because of its focus on the study of new social processes and active ties of sociologists with the socio-political life of society. The authors conclude that the prevailing trend in the development of sociology in Taiwan is the desire to preserve identity while being involved in the globalization processes.

sociology; Taiwan; localization; internationalization; Taiwanese Sociological Association; Taiwan sociological journals


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