The sociological imagination we all have learned from C. Wright Mills (1959) situates an individual biography in the historical process of a larger social context. In this chapter, I describe the post-1978 history in which sociology in China came to its rebirth and sociological research of Chinese society rose to global significance. Within this changing, larger social context, I offer a close observation on Nan Lin’s timely and unique contributions to the reestablishment of Chinese sociology and the sociology of reform-era China. On his research contributions, I pay special attention to Chinese social stratification and Chinese social networks, the two areas of research in which Lin’s creative scholarship has had the greatest impact.
Nan Lin and Yanjie Bian
This article argues that structural segmentation is a universal phenomenon in all complex societies and across political economies. Each political economy uses specific criteria in delineating segments of its economic and work organizations. Furthermore, it is argued that segmentation identification constitutes a critical destination status for individuals engaged in the status-attainment process.
Edited by Ronald S. Burt, Yanjie Bian, Lijun Song and Nan Lin
There are moments in the order of things during which scholarly thinking takes a turn. What was a productive way of looking at things is put aside in transition to something new. The transition is occasionally based on solid evidence, sometimes an escape from boredom, perhaps too often it is a group of scholars hoping to find identity by institutionalizing new words. Whatever the reason for it, the transition puts a spotlight on individual character. The conservative hangs onto the old, peeled away eventually at death’s door. The faddish jumps on the new, nervously eyeing the horizon for the next something new. Thankfully there are also people - in some circles known as entrepreneurs, or creatives, or network brokers - for whom transition is an opportunity to mix bits of the old and new to better understand the world.