Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification
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Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification

An Analysis of the Sociology of Nan Lin

Edited by Ronald S. Burt, Yanjie Bian, Lijun Song and Nan Lin

This insightful book explores the spread of network imagery in three areas of sociology – social capital, social support, and China – using as its protagonist a man active in all three: Nan Lin. Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification provides a unique combination of Nan Lin’s core contributions to the field presented alongside new and original analyses.
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Chapter 8: Nan Lin and the sociolgy of China

Yanjie Bian


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.

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