1st Edition

Understanding China through Big Data Applications of Theory-oriented Quantitative Approaches

By Yunsong Chen, Guangye He, Fei Yan Copyright 2022
    272 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Chen, He and Yan present a range of applications of multiple-source big data to core areas of contemporary sociology, demonstrating how a theory-guided approach to macrosociology can help to understand social change in China, especially where traditional approaches are limited by constrained and biased data.

    In each chapter of the book, the authors highlight an application of theory-guided macrosociology that has the potential to reinvigorate an ambitious, open-minded and bold approach to sociological research. These include social stratification, social networks, medical care, and online behaviours among many others. This research approach focuses on macro-level social process and phenomena by using quantitative models to statistically test for associations and causalities suggested by a clearly hypothesised social theory. By deploying theory-oriented macrosociology where it can best assure macro-level robustness and reliability, big data applications can be more relevant to and guided by social theory.

    An essential read for sociologists with an interest in quantitative and macro-scale research methods, which also provides fascinating insights into Chinese society as a demonstration of the utility of its methodology.

    Part I Introduction  1. Bringing Big Data to Quantitative Macrosociology  Part II Mapping Public Discourse and Ideological Stratification  2. Social Stratification as a Public Discourse in China, 1949–2008  3. Public Concerns about Class Immobility and Economic Inequality  4. Self-Perceived Social Mobility and Class Solidification  5. Stratified Nostalgia for the Chinese Revolutions  Part III Portraying Social Transformations and Cultural Practices  6. The International Visibility of Chinese Cities in Modern Times  7. The Cultural Determinant of Foreign Direct Investment  8. The Effect of Cultural Familiarity on Inbound Tourism  9. Co-author Networks in China’s Humanities and Social Sciences  PART IV Revealing Public Health and Community Wellness  10. Evaluating Effect of PM2.5 Exposure on Suicidal Ideation  11. Forecasting Trends in Prevalence and Incidence of HIV/AIDS  12. Profiling the Vaping Epidemic and Public Favorites on E-Cigarettes  13. Measuring Public Concerns in LGBT Issues


    Yunsong Chen is Professor of Sociology at Nanjing University. He earned a DPhil in sociology from University of Oxford, Nuffield College. His main research interest lies in advanced quantitative methodology in sociology, social capital, and big data in social science. He has published in Social Networks, British Journal of Sociology, Social Science Research, The Sociological Review, Poetics, Journal of Contemporary China and leading Chinese journals.

    Guangye He is Associate Professor at Nanjing University, Department of Sociology. Her research focuses on family sociology, social stratification, and quantitative methodology in sociology. She has published in Social Science Research, Chinese Sociological Review, China Review, and Journal of Contemporary China.

    Fei Yan is Associate Professor of Sociology at Tsinghua University. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from University of Oxford and completed a postdoc from Stanford University. His research focuses on political sociology, historical sociology, and sociology of development. His work has appeared in Social Science Research, The Sociological Review, Social Movement Studies, Poetics, Urban Studies, and Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology.