SOAS University of London

Centre for Translation Studies

Professor Xiangqun Chang

  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Xiangqun Chang
Centre for Translation Studies (CTS)

Professorial Research Associate

Professor Xiangqun Chang
Email address:


Professor Xiangqun Chang, BA in Political Science, MA in Sociology, PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology

Xiangqun is Director of Global China Institute and CCPN Global (a global academic society for advancing the study of China and the Chinese from a comparative perspective), Editor of the Journal of China in Comparative Perspective (JCCP), Chief Editor of Global China Press, and Senior Consultant of Global China Unit, a knowledge based think tank for social consultancy, UK.

She is also Honorary Professor of UCL (University College London), Visiting Professor of University of Westminster, Professorial Research Associate of SOAS, University of London in the UK; and holder of several Professorships and Senior Fellowships at Peking, Renmin, Fudan and Sun Yat-Sen Universities in China.

Xiangqun works at the SOAS Centre of Translation Studies (CTS) for developing 'Chinese for Social Sciences', a  branch of 'Chinese for Specific Purposes' (CSP), and Chinese and English dual language publications.

The only UK based sociologist trained in both China and the UK, Xiangqun has been working at universities on social scientific studies of China interdisciplinarily since 1991, when she came to the UK as a Visiting Fellow. She is a leading scholar working on the study of China and the Chinese from a comparative perspective in the world. Her academic publications amount to over two million Chinese characters and English words.

In addition to her academic work, Xiangqun is now acting in the role of intellectual entrepreneur, via CCPN Global, with a mission to produce both global public goods and global public good through knowledge transfer, consultancy and publications, to build a bridge between China and the rest of world, the Chinese and the non-Chinese, the better to serve a global society.


Xiangqun had a reputation as an excellent teacher when she was a university lecturer in China. In the UK she does not hold a formal teaching post. However, as well as playing a role as co-supervisor for Masters and PhD students, acting as internal and external PhD examiner and providing advice to CCPN team members worldwide at all levels, she also gives seminars and lectures, and often participates in conferences.

Based on her research work, Xiangqun has given nearly 100 seminars and lectures in recent years. It is expected that some of the recent talks will be published as two essay collections entitled: Study of Fei Xiaotong’s theories and restudies on Kaixiangong Village (Vol. 1); and China Studies and Relationship Research on China (Vol. 2), due to be published in 2018.


Xiangqun’s research interests are broad including contemporary China studies and comparative studies on China; reciprocity and social networks; personal, institutional & social relationships; social support and welfare; social work and charitable organizations; social creativity; local identity, transcultural practice, autonomy and governance; global society and global governance; migrants and immigrants; women and gender studies; discourse analysis, bidirectional translation between Chinese and English; media and communication; fieldwork and general methodology; and Marxist sociology.

In the past two plus decades Xiangqun has conducted about two dozen research projects and acted with many roles in her career including research assistant, data analyst, researcher, independent investigator, and co-principle investigator.

Based on a thorough and detailed ethnography of a Chinese village with longitudinal comparisons, she developed a general analytical concept --  'reci-propriety' (lishang-wanglai 礼尚往来) -- a Chinese model of reciprocity, relatedness and social networks (see Guanxi or Li shang wanglai? -- Reciprocity, Social Support Networks, & Social Creativity in a Chinese Village (Taipei: Scholarly Publishing Business, Airiti Press, Inc. 2010). According to Deng Zhenglai, ‘Chang Xiangqun's book … can be seen as a “virtual icon” in which the so-called ‘China model’ is embedded. This book is an excellent outcome based on the author's transdisciplinary training in both China and the West, and long term in-depth empirical studies on contemporary China. It is the first Chinese scholar’s book in nearly 100 years to systematically challenge important Western social theories on social exchange and reciprocity.’ She has been testing the lishang-wanglai model on many projects, e.g. the area of Chinese entrepreneur relationships, inside and outside China with both inter-disciplinary and comparative approaches. Recently Xiangqun invented the concept of ‘reci-propriety’ as an English word for the concept of lishang-wanglai (see: Recipropriety (lishang-wanglai): A Chinese model of social relationships and reciprocity – state and villagers’ interaction 1936–2014, Journal of Sociology, March 2016 vol. 52 no. 1 103-117.).

Xiangqun published extensively when she worked in China. Her publications now amount to two million Chinese characters / English words. Xiangqun's publications encompass both Chinese and English languages and comprise books, book chapters, edited volumes, dictionaries and handbooks, journal articles, and shorter publications. Below are selected recent and forthcoming publications (excluding conference or seminars papers, lecture notes and editorial work):



Caldwell, Ernest and Chang, Xiangqun and Leoussi, Athena and Whimster, Sam (2014) 'Editorial on Max Weber and China: Culture, Law, and Capitalism'. Max Weber Studies, (14) 2, pp 137-145.

Edited Books or Journals

Caldwell, Ernest and Chang, Xiangqun and Leoussi, Athena and Whimster, Sam, (eds.), (2014) Max Weber and China: Culture, Law, and Capitalism, Part 1. Special Issue of Max Weber Studies 14.1. Berlin: Quotus Publishing.

Caldwell, Ernest and Chang, Xiangqun and Leoussi, Athena and Whimster, Sam, (eds.), (2014) Max Weber and China: Culture, Law, and Capitalism, Part 2. Special Issue of Max Weber Studies 14.2. Berlin: Quotus Publishing.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 18:58 Europe/London.