A Passion for Facts: Social Surveys and the Construction of by Tong Lam

By Tong Lam

During this path-breaking booklet, Tong Lam examines the emergence of the "culture of truth" in glossy China, exhibiting how elites and intellectuals sought to remodel the dynastic empire right into a geographical region, thereby making sure its survival. Lam argues that an epistemological become independent from from conventional modes of knowing the observable international begun round the flip of the 20th century. Tracing the Neo-Confucian tuition of evidentiary study and the trendy departure from it, Lam exhibits how, throughout the upward thrust of the social survey, "the truth" grew to become a easy conceptual medium and resource of fact. In concentrating on China’s social survey circulation, A ardour for Facts analyzes how details generated by way of various learn practices—census, sociological research, and ethnography—was mobilized by means of competing political factions to visualize, deal with, and remake the country.

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Additional info for A Passion for Facts: Social Surveys and the Construction of the Chinese Nation-State, 1900–1949 (Asia Pacific Modern)

Sample text

Chabuduo expressed no regret. 49 Indeed, since the publication of the story, Mr. Chabuduo has become a symbol of the failure of Chinese culture. Even decades later, the rural reformer James Yen, whose rural reconstruction project and related surveys will be discussed later in this book, lamented that the frequent use of the expression “cha bu duo” was an indication of the Chinese people’s lack of appreciation for the importance of facts and exactitude. Like other Chinese Lam, A Passion for Facts 38 / 8/18/11 12:58 PM Page 38 The Rise of the Fact intellectuals, he contended that the Chinese people were as alive as they were dead, and that the nation would never recover from its illness unless its people could get rid of their chabuduo attitude.

16 It is no surprise that Farr himself was an epidemiologist, a man who built his career on studying and controlling the spread of disease in populations. Michel Foucault has noted that the emergence of biopower and its incorporation with disciplinary power is a central characteristic of the modern liberal state. Whereas disciplinary power that emerged in earlier times sought to produce normative individuals by subjugating them to predefined parameters through methods of training, surveillance, and punishment, biopower regulated social life from the interior of the individual by compelling the individual to embrace and reenact such power.

Soon, I chose not to sit in the front row and instead moved to the middle section of the room and eventually to the back. . Other countries have statistics on the various kinds of social problems, but we do not have statistical data for even the most basic subjects of our country. . 52 Li’s personal experience resonated with those of other Chinese social scientists.

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