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Sinologie in Würzburg

Chair of Contemporary Chinese Studies

Against the backdrop of China’s economic rise, a comprehensive social transformation is also currently taking place. In politics, the Chinese Communist Party is trying to defend and consolidate its monopoly on power through institutional reforms. The consequences of these processes, some of which run counter to each other and are characterized by a series of contradictions, call for systematic academic investigation. 'Contemporary Chinese Studies', chaired since October 2008 by Prof. Dr. Björn Alpermann, is dedicated to social science-based research on current processes of social change and political institutional reforms in the People’s Republic of China.

One research focus is the ongoing project 'Social Worlds: China's Cities as Spaces of Worldmaking', which examines the social effects of globalization in Chinese urban areas. A special issue in the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, edited by Prof. Alpermann and with contributions from members of the department in Würzburg, presented findings on the topic in 2021 (https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/ccaa/49/3). A second area of research is population policy issues, such as ageing, elderly care and birth policies, but also ethnic minorities (especially the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang).

From 2010 to 2016, questions on social stratification and its political consequences were investigated in the research project ‘Social Change and Political Culture in Contemporary China’s Cities’. Findings from this project serve as a base for further research at the Chair. Other topics that have been the subject of regular research are the political economy of rural China and inquiries on rural local government, especially village self-governance (see list of publications). A common theme in the Chair’s research is a fundamental understanding of empirically-oriented research guided by social science theories on contemporary China.

Current Dissertation Projects at the Chair of Contemporary Chinese Studies

  • Isabel Dettmer: HRM, Qualifications and Recruitment in China – Mismatch Problems in the Case of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Antonia Enßner: Labour relations in foreign invested enterprises on China’s Eastern Coast – The case of the electronics industry
  • Franziska Fröhlich: Discourses of the Environment: ‘Green’ Consumption and Lifestyles in China
  • Birgit Herrmann: Late Marriage and Voluntary Childlessness in Contemporary Urban China
  • Michael Malzer: Urbanization in Yinchuan (Ningxia).
  • Baris Selcuk: Individualization and the Chinese Middle Class Family. A Qualitative Study of 24 Beijing Families. (2015)
  • Florian Thünken: Urbanization Strategies in Chongqing: A View from Below on New Style Urbanization. (2019)
  • YAN Zhe: Eldercare in China
  • Katja Yang: Social Change and Prospects of Socio-Political Activism in Contemporary Urban China. (2017)
  • YANG Weiyue: Implementation of China's Two-Child Policy

Research Output

Below you will find the "research output" (articles, contributions to edited volumes, monographies) from doctoral candidates, research assistants, staff and associates of the Chair of Contemporary Chinese Studies. For a complete list of all of Prof. Dr. Björn Alpermann's publications please follow this link.

  • Alpermann, Björn, und Franziska Fröhlich. 2020. "Doing Discourse Research in Chinese Studies: Methodological Reflections on the Basis of Studying Green Consumption and Population Policy", Asien - The German Journal of Contemporary Asia, 154/155, 111–128.
  • Alpermann, Björn, und Weiyue Yang. 2020. "'Bereaved Single-Child Families' (Shidu Jiating): Dealing with an Unintended Consequence of China’s One-Child Policy", in Jianguo Gao et al. (eds.), Social Welfare in India and China (Singapore: Palgrace Macmillan), 131-154.
  • Malzer, Michael. 2020. "No more Arabian Nights at the Yellow River: The End of Yinchuan’s Image-Building Strategy as China’s Flagship Muslim City", in I. Pardo, G. B. Prato, J. Rosbrook-Thompson (eds.), Ethnographies of Urbanity in Flux: Theoretical Reflections. Special Issue of Urbanities - Journal of Urban Ethnography, 10 (Suppl.3), 147-164. anthrojournal-urbanities.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/13-Malzer.pdf
  • Yan, Zhe. 2020. "Glimpses into Care Work in Chinese Nursing Homes", Anthropology News website, May 29, 2020. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1409
  • Yan, Zhe. 2020. "An Ethical Glimpse into Nursing Home Care Work in China: Mei banfa", Ethics and Social Welfare, 14(4), 417-424.
  • Yang, Katja. 2020. Social Change and Prospects of Socio-Political Activism in Contemporary Urban China. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

  • Harbrecht, Isabelle. 2019. Entering Society: The Adolescence, Identity and Development of Vocational Education Students in Shanghai. Würzburg: Würzburg University Press.

  • Alpermann, Björn, und Florian Thünken. 2018. "Technologie gegen den Werteverfall? Chinas 'soziales Bonitätssystem' im Kontext der Modernisierung", Forschung & Lehre, 6/2018, 474-476. (https://www.forschung-und-lehre.de/zeitfragen/technologie-gegen-den-werteverfall-669/)
  • Dettmer, Isabel. 2018. "Der Arbeitsmarkt in Chinas Hotelindustrie: Mismatch, Generationenkonflikt und Wertewandel", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 135-166. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_6)
  • Enßner, Antonia. 2018. "Das Verhältnis von Arbeit und Privatleben in China: Chinesische Arbeitnehmer auf der Suche nach Balance", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 207-235. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_8)
  • Fröhlich, Franziska. 2018. "Wie kommt das Essen auf meinen Tisch? Subjekte im Diskurs chinesischer ökologischer Bauernmärkte und städtischer Kleingärten", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 299-324. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_11)
  • Harbrecht, Isabelle. 2018. "Verlierer im Bildungswettbewerb? Einstellungen von Berufsschülern in Shanghai zu ihrer Ausbildung", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 99-132. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_5)
  • Herrmann, Birgit. 2018. "Individuelles Paarglück statt 'Kinder vom Fließband': Gewollte Kinderlosigkeit im städtischen China", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 39-70. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_3)
  • Selcuk, Baris. 2018. "Erziehungsziele und erzieherische Praxis im Spiegel des chinesischen Bildungsdiskurses", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 17-37. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_2)
  • Thünken, Florian. 2018. "'Neuartige' Urbanisierung im Hinterland: Reformen, Experimente und Reaktionen im ländlichen Chongqing", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 265-297. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_10)
  • Wieland, Eva. 2018. " Diskriminierung – (k)ein neuer Aspekt des chinesischen Arbeitsmarktes", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 167-205. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_7)
  • Yang, Katja M.. 2018. "Perzeptionen sozialer Aufstiegschancen und politische Einstellungen im städtischen China der Gegenwart", in: Björn Alpermann, Birgit Herrmann, Eva Wieland (Hrsg.), Aspekte des sozialen Wandels in China: Familie, Bildung, Arbeit, Identität (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), 239-263. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-658-21543-9_9)

  • Dettmer, Isabel. 2017. HRM, Qualifizierung und Rekrutierung in China - das Mismatch-Problem dargestellt am Beispiel der Hotellerie. Würzburg: Würzburg University Press.

  • Alpermann, Björn, Baris Selcuk, und Katja Yang. 2015. "中国城市中社会地位变迁与政治价值观 (Social Status Change and Political Values in Contemporary Urban China)", in: Yu Keping 俞可平, Thomas Heberer , Björn Alpermann (eds.), 中共治理与适应: 比较的视野 Governance and Adaptability of the Chinese Communist Party--a Comparative Perspective (Beijing: Central Compilation & Translation Press), 362-388.

  • Yang, Katja M., und Björn Alpermann. 2014. "Children and Youth NGOs in China: Social Activism between Embeddedness and Marginalization", China Information Vol. 28, No. 3, S. 311-337.