An Analysis of the Sociology of Nan Lin
Edited by Ronald S. Burt, Yanjie Bian, Lijun Song and Nan Lin
Chapter 11: Lessons learned from lifelong studying and conducting
After I successfully defended my dissertation, my committee members congratulated me. One of them said, “Nan, you should feel good. This is probably the high point of your knowledge!” I was shocked because I was impatient to finish the dissertation so that I could move on to a number of projects. I felt that there was so much more to be learned, and I was eager to learn it. His remarks taught me a great lesson: while respecting and learning from senior scholars and authorities, never accept their wisdom in their entirety. For the next five decades I followed this lesson and continued to benefit from it. In this reminiscent chapter, I recount some of the highlights of my lifelong learning and share this pleasure with the readers.
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