The Department of Sociology at the School of Social Development (SSD) of East China Normal University (ECNU) and NYU-ECNU Institute for Social Development at NYU Shanghai (the Institute) co-hosted a forum on the theme of "Urbanization Strategy and Social Governance" at the 2014 Chinese Sociological Association (CSA) Annual Conference, held on July 11-12. The CSA Annual Conference is the leading sociology conference in China, and this year's conference was the largest ever. Held at Wuhan University, the conference hosted 53 forum sessions with more than 1,200 papers presented and more than 1,500 official representatives from 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous districts.
Scholars and experts in the related fields from Nanjing University, Jilin University, Nanjing Normal University, Guangzhou University, and across the nation gathered for the July 11 forum co-sponsored by the Institute, which provided in-depth and thought-provoking presentations that inspired vibrant discussions on the current process of urbanization and imperative issues associated with urbanization and social governance. Topics included the integration of farmers into the city, community reconstruction, government responsibility, ecological environment, and spiritual culture. Professor Linfei Song, the eighth president of the CSA and the director of the advisory board of Jiangsu Provincial People's Government also attended the forum and gave an impromptu speech on the issue "Urbanization Strategy and Social Governance."
This is the first time a university organized the CSA annual conference, breaking the tradition of local Social Science Academy being the host. This not only represents an important innovation of the Association collaborating with different entitles for the annual conference, but also promotes the venues for exchanges of expertise and ideas between universities.
As China moves forward with educational and scholarly excellence, a large-scale annual conference puts forward refreshed demand on conducting rigorous social scientific research and provides opportunities for the development of China's social science studies. The conference included presentations on research offering nuanced and in-depth understanding and discussion of social issues in relation to the conference's theme "Comprehensive Reform and Social Governance in a Modern Society." Among the 53 forums, more than 20 directly addressed the subject of social governance. The conference also paid close attention to the evolving new policies corresponding to current social issues in China (e.g., migration, migrant labors, and rapid urbanization), which carries great implications to building a prosperous, democratic, and civilized modern society in China.
More than 10 faculty members from the SSD at ECNU, including the Institute's collaborating faculty such as Dr. Jun Wen, Dr. Xiangping Li, Dr. Chenxi Huang, Dr. Wenming Zhang, and Dr. Yeqin Zhao contributed to and presented at the conference. In addition, many doctoral and graduate students from the SSD at ECNU also made presentations. The CSA provides the Chinese Sociological Association Annual Conference Outstanding Achievement Award to 10 first-prize theses and 22 second-prize theses. CSA honored the Institute's co-director, Dr. Wen Jun, with a first prize for the article “From Anti-theory to theory consciousness: Reconstructing the relationship between social work theory and practice.” Two other papers presented by the faculty of the SSD at ECNU also won second prizes.