Fall 2016 - SA 275 D100

China in Transition (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3482

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2016: Mon, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150.



An introduction to culture, social structure and the processes of social, economic, and political transformation in contemporary China. Topics may include recent development of Marxism, feminism and neoliberalism in China; Western debates on China's rise and images of China as threat; human rights. Students with credit for SA 293 in 2000-1 term may not take SA 275 for further credit.


China rises? China collapses? China threatens? Do you want to go beyond “Western” media tales and see a different China? The course provides ethnographic depictions about China. It introduces China’s culture and sociopolitical structures as well as the social, economic and political processes with its transformation from a socialist planned economy to a neoliberal market economy. The first section of the course examines topics on new forms of governance, recent development of feminism, Marxism, and neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics. The second section will focus on the impact of postsocialist transformation on agency, subjectivity and mentality in China. The final section explores China’s political and economic status in a global context and Western debates on China rise, China threat, and human rights, etc. The course covers both ethnographic accounts about China and sociocultural theories. Through lectures, discussions and readings, students will become familiar with key issues, themes, and theories about contemporary China and anthropological scholarship in general.


  • Mid-term quiz 15%
  • Essay workshop (peer-review exercise) 5%
  • Final Essay 40%
  • Final test 20%
  • Discussion leadership and class presentation 20%


Students will receive an N grade if they do not complete any one of the following assignments: mid-term quiz; final essay; final test; class presentation.


Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐ S10.04).  Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.    



Some of the readings in the syllabus are available as electronic resources through the Simon Fraser University library (URL to be posted). Other readings are available as PDF files on the website or email attachments sent by the instructor.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html