From “common” to “public” : What tools for understanding opinion in contemporary China?

This event is organized as part of the EU-funded "China Horizons" project. 

The project “Dealing with a Resurgent China” (DWARC) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 101061700.
Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Isabelle Thireau, EHESS-CNRS Laurent Thévenot, EHESS Camille Salgues, Sciences Po-CERI
Organisé par
6 oct. 2023 à 9h00
Les Salons scientifiques (B108) and online via zoom
Contemporary Chinese society is extremely dynamic, characterized by profound and original opinion movements. However, this dynamism is often obscured by a lack of understanding of the Chinese context, as well as by the pervasive influence of the so-called "Western model," which frequently serves as a point of reference in academic discussions on the concept of opinion. The aim of this seminar is to shed light on the formation of opinions in both Chinese and non-Chinese contexts, as well as to address the specific challenges that China presents in this regard.
The social sciences teach us that individual opinion is never isolated but is always linked to the way in which individuals participate in collectives, where they express themselves, confront some and conform to others, engage with each other, remain on their own, and so on. Therefore, the question of personal opinion appears inseparable from the whole tangle of the social world; its roots espouse the forms of the most ordinary common world (family and friends), and its branches ramify as far as the most formal public platforms of expression (social conflicts, social networks).
The seminar offers a two-fold perspective, both through the experience gained in Chinese fieldworks and through a mirrored exploration of foreign fieldworks. The speakers have carried out pioneering work that very early on focused on the value of individual expression within the collective, and on taking account of regional specificities against the backdrop of a broader comparative horizon.
Les Salons scientifiques (B108), 1 place Saint-Thomas d'Aquin - 75007 Paris