On Marxist Sociology

English translation of publication notes, abstract, author's short bio, endorsements and contents  

 On Marxist Sociology (New Edition, 590,000 characters), by Xiangqun Chang, Changchun: Northeast Normal University Press, 2018 

Publication notes

In 2014, at the time of ‘The commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ding Kequan (1914—1989) and the international symposium of international symposium Marxist theory and frontier’, held jointly by the Northeast Normal University (NENU) and the Jilin Sociological Association Sociological Association. While preparing the event, the Department of Sociology, School of Marxism Studies was fortunate to have contacted Xiangqun Chang, a postgraduate student (1984-87) under supervision by Professor Ding. During the conference, the Social Science Office of the NENU decided to sponsor the republication of On Marxist Sociology (1992), by Xiangqun Chang. In 2018, on the occasion of commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Marx, supported by both the Social Science Office, the Department of Sociology and the Northeast Normal University Press, thanks to Professor Xiangqun Chang worked actively in his busy schedule, this book will finally be presented in a brand new look to readers. It has historical and temporal value for the relevant studies and spiritual inheritance of Marxist sociology.

This book is basically an old book reprint, the original text of the book is actually recorded except one concept changed from ‘social model’ to ‘theoretical model’. The former was followed the usage by the British Marxist sociologist Thomas Bottomore (1920-1992), the latter is more consistent with the internal quality of the book. The comparison table of Chinese and foreign names (as appendix IV). For example, added years of death of some deceased foreign scholars, a few new names, corrected some typo errors and order of layout, and separates Japanese, Russian, and Russian names in different categories.

Four new appendices are added to this book. Appendices I and II come from "Guided Reading of Marxist Theory of Sociology" (1993), by ZHANG Xiangdong (1936-2015). Appendix I is a record of the chapter six  ‘Stalin's development of Marxist sociology’ from the book. Appendix II is the bibliography of the book, in which ‘References on Marxist sociology by Chinese scholars' and ‘References introduced to China on Marxist sociology by foreign scholars’ (in Chinese) were compiled by the author. They were originally an appendix to the manuscript of the On Marxist Sociology (1992). The Press of the original edition removed them in order to save a print sheet. In this new edition, the author has made a comprehensive updates in both format and references. In addition, ‘References on Marxist sociology by foreign scholars’ (Chinese translated authors’ names and titles of their English books), by Chen Huaxiang, have been included with only one book is added (Max Weber and Karl Marx, by Karl Lowith, Routledge 1993/2003). Appendix III is a book review by a scholar published in Social Sciences in China (1995, No.2, p195-196). Appendix V included the English translation of this book’s publication notes, abstract, author's short bio, endorsements and contents, to serve the purpose of introducing China's social scientific work to the English speaking world.

For this new edition the author wrote a new Postscript with a title ‘A tentative discussion on the Marxist sociological studies’ methodology and its related issues in China’. It consists of ten points: the sociological discipline awareness of China’s Marxist sociological research, the exploring and inheriting of Marxist sociological research in China, Marxist social theory studies and original studies of China, Marxist sociological research and professional ethics in China, Marxist sociological research and its objectivity and subjectivity in China, Marxist sociological research in China and globalization of Chinese social sciences, Marxist sociology studies in China and transculturality in the global society, the study of Marxism in China and China in comparative perspective, the development of Marxist sociology in China and the present situation in the UK, the present situation and the outlook for the future of Marxist research In China.

It is worth mentioning that this book was selected into the ‘Marxist Study series’ compiled by The Central Compilation and Translation Bureau (CCTB).  Since this book is not published in a series of books the General Preface by Mr LIN Jizhou, the then Director of the CCTB, have been removed. However, its main content looks still new, some views have been included in the last point of the above ‘Postscript of the new edition’ which provides a methodological basis for the future of China’s Marxism research.

Department of Sociology, School of Marxism Studies,
Northeast Normal University (NENU), China
24th June 2018


This book is the first monograph on Marxist sociology published since the reconstruction of China’s sociology in 1980s. The author systematically studied its contents, research methods, and basic theories of Marxist sociology; evaluated the main ideas of Marxist sociology, a number of sub-disciplines, and a brief history of its development; and extensively engaged various views of classical and modern sociological studies in the world’s leading countries and put forward many new ideas. Although this book was published 24 years ago, it comprehensively reflected the level of research in the China’s Marxist sociology discipline. Today it still has strong leading edge and inspiration. The new edition has added five appendices, including English translation of some of the contents. It has also added a lengthy ‘Postscript of the new edition’ featuring the history of knowledge sociology and methodology. It extends the research of this book to contemporary academic frontiers. These updates and supplements greatly Increased its value. This book is suitable to those who teach and study in the fields of  Marxist theory, philosophy, sociology, political science, scientific socialism, Marxist sinicization, as well as many social scientific subjects. It can be useful reference for social workers, administrators, various professional advisers or consultants, different levels of students and anybody who are interested understanding China and the world’s Marxist sociology through their social practice and everyday life.  

Author’s short bio

Professor Xiangqun Chang, PhD, Director of Global China Institute, Editor-in-chief of the Journal of China in Comparative Perspective, Editor-in-chief of Global Century Press. Honorary Professor at University College London, Professorial Research Associate at SOAS, University of London, Visiting Professor at University of Westminster, UK; Honorary Professor at Jilin University, Special Term Professor of Fudan University and Northeastern University, Professorial Research Fellow of Renmin University Of China, Chair Professor at Northeast Normal University. She was Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Research Fellow at City, University London; Visiting Professor at Peking University and Sun Yat-sen University. The only UK based sociologist trained in both China and the UK, Xiangqun has been working at universities on social scientific studies of China interdisciplinarily since 1991, when she came to the UK as a Visiting Fellow. She participated in or hosted more than 20 research projects at home and abroad resulting publications amount to nearly three million Chinese characters and English words, including: On Marxist sociology (2018/1992), Guanxi or Li Shang Wanglai: Social Support Networks, Reciprocity and Social creativity in a Chinese Village (in Chinese 2009 and English 2010); with Feuchtwang, Social Support in Rural China (1979-91): A Statistical Report on Ten Village (1996). Edited work including Society building -- A China Model of Social Development (in English 2014; new edition in English and Chinese, 2015); with Feuchtwang, et al., Fei Xiaotong Studies (vol. 1-3, 2015-17), with West, et al., Women of China, Economic and Social Transformation (1999), and nearly 100 articles. Currently, she is Editor-in-chief working for four book series (in both English and Chinese). They are ‘Understanding China and the World’, ‘globalization of Chinese Social Sciences’, ‘Global China Dialogue Proceedings’, and ‘Transcultural experiences with “three eyes”’.


Professor Xiangqun Chang's On Marxist Sociology is a relatively early work which has systematically discussed the basic content of Marxist sociology in contemporary Chinese sociological circles. There are many bright spots in content and perspectives, such as the discussion of the demarcation criteria of Marxist sociology, the construction of Marxist sociological content system, and the identification of three main social theories from Marxism (social exchange, social conflict, social change), and exploration of Marxist sociology subdisciplines. These bright spots, even more than 20 years after the initial publication of this book, still have strong cutting-edge and enlightening features, so that it can still be one of the representative works of Marxist sociology in China today. Publication of the new edition of this book will have a considerable impetus for us to construct today’s Chinese sociological discipline system, discourse system and academic system with China’s characteristics. —— Professor XIE Lizhong, Director of Centre for Social Theory Research, Peking University; President of the Theoretical Studies Committee of the Chinese Sociological Association

Professor Xiangqun Chang's On Marxist Sociology is the first comprehensive and systematic monograph with a strong awareness of sociological disciplines on Marxism in China's social science circle. The results of Chang Xiangqun’s subsequent empirical research in rural China had a greater impact on academic circles both at home and abroad, can be said it is another presentation of the profound theoretical foundation she has shown in this book. Over the past decade or so, the author has been actively participated in the comparative study of China in the UK. In a broad sense, this is the continuation of her comparative study of the ideological system of Marxism and the communist movement of major countries in the world. Republishing On Marxist Sociology will contribute to the intergenerational transmission of Marxist sociological studies, to understanding today’s Chinese society and the development and trend of and Marxist theory. —— Professor LI Qiang, Director of Institute of Minsheng Economic Research, Tsinghua University; Former President of the Chinese Sociological Association

This is the first Marxist sociology book published after the restoration and reconstruction of Chinese sociology. It has important academic value for carrying out Marxist sociology and its related research. So far, Professor Xiangqun Chang's On Marxist Sociology can still provide useful reference for current sociological research and teaching of sociology at the present day. —— Professor LIU Shaojie, Director of the Center for Sociological Theory and Methodology, Renmin University of China; Vice President and General Secretary of the Theoretical Studies Committee of the Chinese Sociological Association

Professor Xiangqun Chang's On Marxist Sociology is the first book published after the restoration and reconstruction of sociology, and it is still one of the few Marxist sociological research works so far, which has great academic value and practical significance. This article explains the basic contents of Marxist sociology theory from the aspects of meta-theory, substance theory, theory of science and so on, and summarizes the development, application and influence of Marxist sociology in different countries, and deeply analyzes the scientific connotation and rich content of Marxist sociology. Based on a systematic review and critical study of existing research literature, the arguments fully demonstrate the independence of Marxist sociology and boldly construct the disciplinary system of Marxist sociology, which can be regarded as a heavy work with both heritage and innovation quality. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth. The new edition has added five appendices, including more comprehensively updated references, and also a newly written Postscript of the new edition, brought this study to the contemporary academic frontier, greatly increased the reference value of this book. ——Professor ZHAO Wanli, Deputy Dean of the Zhou Enlai School of Government,  Director of the Research Centre for Marxist Sociological Studies, Nankai University


Publication notes

Chapter I Theoretical Discrimination of Marxist Sociology

I. Defining Standards of Marxist Sociology

2. The research object of Marxist sociology

3. Some Features of Marxist Sociology

4. Content System of Marxist Sociology

5. The Main Functions of Marxist Sociology

6. The Disciplinary Position of Marxist Sociology

7. The profound influence of Marxist sociology

Chapter II Basic train of thoughts of Marxist Sociology

I. The Real Man is the Logical Starting Point for Social Analysis in Marxist Sociology

2. The socio-economic formation is the theoretical model of Marxist social analysis

3. Historical materialism is the main tool of Marxist social analysis

4. Man-society-nature is the object of analysis of Marxist sociology

Chapter III Research Methods of Marxist Sociology

I. Methodological gist of Marxist social research

2. Categorization of the basic methods of Marxist social research

3. Exemplifications of Marxist Social Studies

Chapter IV Marxist Social Exchange Theory

I. Inquiry into Social Exchange Theory

2. Small discoveries Marx’s social exchange theory 

Chapter V Marxist Social Conflict Theory

I. Overview of Social Conflict Theory

2. Marx's theoretical paradigm of social conflict

Chapter VI Marxist Social Development Theory

I. Outline of Social Development Theory

2. The theoretical realm of Marxist social development

Chapter VII Outline of Marxist Sociological Thought (1)

I. The composition and nature of society

2. Social activities

3. Social needs

4. Social relations

5. Social Structure

6. Social stratification

Chapter VIII Outline of Marxist Sociological Thought (2)

7. Social organization

8. Social management

9. Social norms

10. Social life style

11. Social changes

12. Social prediction

Chapter IX Studies of Marxist Sociological subdiscipline (1)

I. Sociology of family

2. sociology of Labor

3. Sociology of Law

Chapter X Studies of Marxist Sociological subdiscipline (2)

4. Sociology of religion

5. Sociology of education

6. Sociology of literature and art

Chapter XI Early Western Marxist Sociology

I. Spread and Development of Marxist Sociology

2. The differentiation of Marxist sociology

Chapter XII Modern Western Marxist Sociology

I. Germany

2. France

3. Italy

4. UK

5. USA

6. Japan

Chapter XIII Marxist Sociology in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

I. Marxist Sociology in the Soviet Union

2. Marxist sociology in Eastern Europe

Chapter XIV. Marxist Sociology in China

I. The Spread of Marxist Sociology

2. The development of Marxist sociology

3. Reconstruction of Marxist Sociology

Appendix I Stalin's Development of Marxist Sociology

Appendix II References

Appendix III A Book Review published in Social Science in China

Appendix IV Chinese and Foreign Names Table

Appendix 5 English Translation of Publication notes, abstract, author’s short bio, endorsements and contents

Postscript of the original edition  

Postscript of the New edition

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