The focus of this project is the remarkable change of concepts and practices related to the individual and its position in Chinese society, community and family since the late 19th century, and especially in the past 60 years. We see today a rising focus in China - as in many other parts of the world - on claims for individual rights to move, work, organise private life, consume and fulfil individual desires. These changes are not merely superficial redressing of the social image of the individual. They r epresent deep structural transformations of social practices and the mentality of the Chinese individual. In order to understand the background and profound consequences of this remarkable individualisation process, we now need thorough research and acade mic publications focusing on this significant feature of current Chinese society.
The project is multi-disciplinary and involves scholars from Europe and China working from the disciplines of history, sociology, law, anthropology and sinology. Central to the project is the understanding of China as part of the world rather than as an isolated geographic, political and cultural entity. All the studies within the project demonstrate the relevance of increasing global contacts for understanding negotiations of the individual in China, and they contribute in different ways to social studies of globalisation from below, its institution, its horizons, and its vocabularies. Three dimensions to the study of the individual?s negotiations of rights and responsibil ities will be in focus: Intellectual discourses; institutional change; and social practices.
Dr. Lisa Stearns har trukket seg fra prosjektet av personlige årsaker. Vi har engasjert Dr. Mattias Burell (Uppsala Universitet) til å videreføre forskningen på det samme temaområdet som Stearns stod for. Burell har imidlertid ansettelsesmessige forpliktelser som gjør at vi er nødt til å utsette ansettelsen av ham til 2007. Dermed må 3 månedsverk til forsker overføres til budsjettet for 2007 (se punktet Økonomi), jfr. avtale gjort med NFR via telefon/e-post.