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2014夏季学期
2014 summer term
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David Groth-Issues in Contemporary Society

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Issues in Contemporary Society: A Comparison of the United States and China
Beijing, China, Summer, 2014

David Groth, Ph.D., Stanford University
dgroth222@yahoo.com
davidgroth@163.com

Course Description
This course will provide an overview of important social and cultural issues in the West (primarily the United States) and in China. The course will use a multi-disciplinary approach and macro and micro perspectives to examine several related and overlapping topics:

l Demographic issues in the United States and China
l Ethnic groups and conceptions of ethnicity in the United States and China
l Hosting of major sporting events in the West and China: the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games
l Women’s issues in the United States and China
l The “middle class” in the United States and China
l Media and international relations: American conceptions of China; Chinese conceptions of the U.S.
l Global warming and environmental issues in the United States and China
l Doing business in Other Countries: Americans doing business in China; Chinese doing business in the United States

Course Requirements
Class Participation and Discussion
The instructor expects all students to attend all sessions of the course and to participate actively and intelligently in class discussions. Thoughtful comments, interesting questions, and provocative insights will be highly valued. During some class sessions, students will help to lead discussions and give short presentations. Details will be explained during the course.

Midterm Exam and a Final Exam
Students will write a midterm exam and a final exam. The exams will include short answers. Students will have some choice of questions to answer during the exams.

Grading for the Course
(1) General Class Preparation and Discussion: 33 percent (100 points)
(2) Midterm Exam: 33 percent (100 points)
(3) Final Exam: 33 percent (100 points)

Schedule and Readings

The instructor will prepare a packet of readings for students.
The readings will all be in English and will be drawn from a variety of sources.

l Students are encouraged to read (and share!) good articles about social issues from Chinese media such as China Daily and South China Morning Post [Hong Kong], as well as from western media such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
l The readings include the articles by sociologists, anthropologists, demographers, economists, political scientists, journalists, business leaders, and management consultants. The readings include the work of Chinese and non-Chinese authors.

I. Introduction to the course
--Introduction of the topics to be examined;
--Introduction of the instructor; self-introduction of students;
--Discussion of requirements.


II. Demographic Issues
Topics to be studied include marriage, fertility and birth rates, and the structure of the population in various countries.

Readings could include:

Naughton, Barry. “Population Growth and the One-Child Family”, Chapter 7, pp. 162-178. The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2007.

White, Tyrene. “Policy Case Study: Population,” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Fong, Vanessa. “China’s One-Child Policy and the Empowerment of Urban Daughters,” American Anthropologist, 104, No. 4 (2002): pp. 1098-1109.

Demographic data on China and the U.S.


III. Ethnic Groups and Conceptions of Ethnicity
Topics to be studied include ethnic groups and conceptions of ethnicity in the U.S. and China.

Readings could include:

Mackerras, Colin. “Ethnic Minorities in China.” In Ethnicity in Asia, edited by Colin Mackerras. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Data about ethnic groups in the United States from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sebag-Montefiore, Clarissa. “Oh, to be Jewish in China!” New York Times, October 2, 2012.

IV. Olympic Games and Other Major Sporting Events
Topics to be studied include analysis of:(1) why countries want to hold international sporting events such as the Olympic Games; (2) how countries prepare for the Olympic Games; and (3) the significance of hosting major sporting events. The course will consider the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

The instructor worked for the BOCOG [Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games] during 2007 and 2008 and for the Shenzhen 2011 Universiade during 2010 and 2011. A packet of materials about the Olympic Games and other major sporting events will be distributed to students.

V. Women’s Issues
This section will provide an introduction to women’s issues in the U.S. and China.

Readings could include:

“The Kang Tongbi Commemorative Symposium: Women Changing China,” presented by Barnard College, Beijing, China (March 19, 2009).

Interviews with and materials about important Chinese women leaders

Kaufman, Joan. “The Global Women’s Movement and Chinese Women’s Rights”. Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 21, No. 6 (July 2012): 585-602.

Newspaper articles about contemporary women’s issues in the United States




VI. Middle Class and Middle Class Consumerism
Students will analyze the role and significance of the “middle class” in the U.S. and China.

Readings could include:

Elfick, Jacqueline. “Class Formation and Consumption among Middle-Class Professionals in Shenzhen.” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs (January 2011): 187-211.

Davis. Deborah. “Urban Consumer Culture”. The China Quarterly 183 (2005) 677-694.

Atsmon, Yuval and Max Magni. “Meet the Chinese Consumer of 2020,” McKinsey Quarterly, March 2012.

Li, Cheng. 2010. “Introduction: The Rise of the Middle Class in the Middle Kingdom,” , China’s Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, pp. 3-31.

Newspaper articles about the middle class in the U.S

VII. Media and International Relations
Students will critically analyze how American media portray China and how Chinese media portray the U.S.

Students should buy and critically read the China Daily

Students will critically read articles from major American newspapers such as New York Times and Washington Post.

Shirk, Susan. 2011. “Changing Media, Changing China.” In Changing Media, Changing China, edited by Susan Shirk. New York: Oxford University Press.

VIII. Global Warming and Environmental Issues in the U.S. and China
Students should review the websites of several important environmental groups in the U.S. and in China including: Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs: www.ipe.org.cn/En/pollution/

Readings could include:

Economy, Elizabeth. 2011. “China’s Growing Water Crisis”, World Politics Review.

Lieberthal, Kenneth. June 4, 2009.”Challenges and Opportunities for U.S.-China Cooperation on Climate Change.” Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Haffner, John and Ma Jun. “Ma Jun: Information Empowers.” February 11, 2013.
http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/innovations/data/000236

The instructor can provide digital versions of the following important materials:

China Greentech Initiative. “The China Greentech Report 2013: China at Crossroads”

Deutsche Bank, Market Research. “China Strategy: Big Bang Measures to Fight Air Pollution,” February 28, 2013.


IX. Doing Business in Other Countries:
Americans Doing Business in China; Chinese Doing Business in the United States

Readings could include:
Ngai, Pun and Jenny Chan. “Global Capital, the State, and Chinese Workers: The Foxconn Experience.” Modern China, Vol. 38, No. 4 (2012): 383-410.
Lieberthal, Kenneth and Geoffrey Lieberthal. “HBR Spotlight on China: The Grand Transition”, Harvard Business Review, October 2003.
Graham, John and N. Mark Lam. “The Chinese Negotiation,” Harvard Business Review, October 2003
Karabell, Zachary. Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World’ Prosperity Depends on It. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.
Chapter 3: “So Good, You Suck Your Fingers”, pp. 57-76
Chapter 5: “Up, Up, and Away”, pp. 97-114
Chapter 9: “Wow, Yao”, pp. 173-192

Hexter, Jimmy and Jonathan Woetzel. Operation China: From Strategy to Execution. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2007. pp. 3-29, 47-66, 67-88, 89-141.

Jin, Zhiguo. “How I Did It: Tsingtao’s Chairman on Jump-Starting a Sluggish Company.” Harvard Business Review, April 2012.

Bell, David E. and Mary L. Shelman. “KFC’s Radical Approach to China.” Harvard Business Review, November 2011.

Xin, Katherine and Wang Haijie. “Culture Clash in the Boardroom.” Harvard Busines Review, September 2011.

Watson, James L. “China's Big Mac Attack.” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 79, No. 3 (May - Jun., 2000): 120-134.
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