CASER Symposium Honors 20th Anniversary of Chinese General Social Survey

caser symposium group photo
Jul 10 2023

Over 50 scholars and students from across the globe gathered at NYU Shanghai for the Symposium on Urban Social Survey and Quantitative Social Science in Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS). The symposium, organized by NYU Shanghai’s Center for Applied Social and Economic Research (CASER), was co-hosted by the National Survey Research Center at Renmin University of China, Peking University’s Institute of Social Science Survey, Tsinghua University’s China Center for Social Survey and Research, and the Joint Urban Survey and Intervention Lab (JUST Lab), a collaboration between NYU Shanghai, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) and Shanghai University.

The CGSS, launched in 2003, is the longest continuous national representative survey project run by Chinese academic institutions. “The establishment of CGSS marked a golden era for social science surveys in China,” explained Professor Wu Xiaogang, Yufeng Global Professor of Social Science and the founding director of CASER. Wu, a co-principal investigator of CGSS and chair of the academic advisory board, added that CGSS has provided a robust foundation for quantitative social science research and has fostered the development of numerous professionals in social surveys and quantitative social analysis. “As we celebrate its 20th anniversary,” he said, “we aim to summarize the past two decades of experience, promote the comprehensive development of academic social surveys in China, and continue to advance this important endeavor.”

Professor Wu Xiaogang

Professor Wu Xiaogang.

During the event, the two founders of CGSS, Professor Li Lulu from Renmin University of China and Professor Bian Yanjie from Xi'an Jiaotong University, shared insights into the project's early development.  Professor Li analyzed the value of CGSS, emphasizing its enduring presence over 20 years of China's rapid economic growth and social transformation. He highlighted how CGSS has provided invaluable data for tracking social changes in China and has significantly influenced quantitative social science research in China.

Professor Li Lulu

Professor  Li Lulu.

Professor Bian discussed the initial development of CGSS and his hopes for the next generation of Chinese sociologists. "We anticipate your continued utilization of CGSS for research and data development, conveying the Chinese narrative to the international community through CGSS, and enhancing the global prominence of Chinese sociology," he told the audience. Bian also commended the instrumental role of the journal Chinese Sociological Review (CSR) in promoting the utilization of CGSS data and publication of research outcomes. The English language journal’s editorial office is currently housed in CASER. 

Professor Bian Yanjie

 Professor Bian Yanjie giving speech online.

The symposium consisted of four parallel forums featuring keynote speeches by 28 sociologists from nearly 20 universities on the application of CGSS and other large-scale survey data. Topics covered a broad spectrum, including social justice, social inequality and mobility, school-to-work transition, marriage and family dynamics, reproductive behavior, population migration, urban-rural development, social attitudes and values, and urban development and community dynamics.
The symposium was just one of many academic activities that CASER is organizing in honor of NYU Shanghai’s 10th anniversary. Following the symposium, 25 students from around the world attended the seven-day Summer Institute in Computational Social Science. CASER will launch a distinguished lecturer series in the upcoming fall semester.

SICSS-NYU Shanghai 2023第一期学员SICSS-NYU Shanghai 2023 Cohort.