SOAS University of London

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Contemporary Chinese Society

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 1

The module is designed to offer a critical overview of changes occurring in the late 20th century Chinese culture and society. The module will prepare students for the year abroad, by providing an overview of issues facing contemporary Chinese society.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a clear knowledge about the discourses dominating present-day Chinese culture and society.

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of present-day China

  • Bibliographic research methods in relation to contemporary China

  • Successfully gain the cultural and societal knowledge for their year abroad 


Total taught hours: 20 hours. 2 hours of lectures per week for 10 weeks.

Independent study: 130 hours

Total hours for module: 150 hours

Scope and syllabus

This module is designed to look at Chinese (popular) culture and society. Specific topics to be dealt with include: 

  • changes of gender roles
  • challenges of an ageing society
  • identity and minority issues
  • cross-strait relations. 

Method of assessment

  • Outline and bibliography (1500 words) 30%
  • Essay (2500 words) 70%

Suggested reading

Core Reading

  • Mittler, Barbara. A Continuous Revolution: Making Sense of Cultural Revolution Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.
  • Dai Jinhua. “Invisible Writing: The Politics of Chinese Mass Culture in the 1990s.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 11, no. 2 (Spring 1999): 31-60.
  • Exadaktylos, Aristomenis. Refugee, Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health. MDPI, 2019.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules