I was very pleased to accept Dr Xiangqun Chang’s invitation to write an article about Professor Xiaotong Fei’s lost manuscript, ‘The Relationship between Protestantism and the Spirit of Capitalism’, for the special issue of the Journal of China in Comparative Perspective dedicated to ‘Max Weber and China’. Fei was my thesis supervisor while I was studying for my master’s degree from 1982 to 1984. As we all know, sociology was banned as an academic discipline in China after the school-department adjustment in colleges and universities of 1953. Thirty-five years ago, in 1981, on Fei’s advice, and with the support of the Ministry of Education and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Nankai University held the first training programme in sociology after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. A total of 43 students, selected from 18 universities across the country, signed up for this class. The programme lasted one year, after which graduates still needed to continue training, in order to undertake teaching and research in the field of sociology. I had the great good fortune to be one of those students. After I finished this class, I was once again lucky enough to skip a grade and pass the postgraduate exam, with the specific approval of the Ministry of Education, becoming one of the first four postgraduate students to be personally mentored by Fei after the Cultural Revolution. Under his direct guidance, I conducted research on Jiang Village and the changes in Chinese society. On this ground, it is not only logical but also appropriate I further study Fei’s thought by interpreting his lost manuscript.
Xun (George) Wang is a full professor of Sociology at University of Wisconsin-Park-side. His research focuses on global social change, organizational studies and China studies. He has published four books including Global Sociology, Human Resource Management and more than sixty articles in major international journals. He is the recipient of 2012 Research and Creative Activity Award at the University of Wisconsin-Park-side. He directed international exchange programs with the funding from the US Department of States, the US Department of Education and the Furbright Foundation. He is the founding and current director of the Center for Nonprofit Organizational Studies at Jianghan University of Wuhan.
Cite this article
Xun (George) Wang
Lost and found Xiaotong Fei’s lost manuscript on ‘the relationship between Protestantism and the Spirit of Capitalism’
Journal of China in Comparative Perspective
Vol.2 Issue 1. 2016, p96-105