The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) is the premier academic organization and comprehensive research center of the People’s Republic of China in the fields of philosophy and social sciences.
CASS was established in May 1977, replacing the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Hu Qiaomu was the first president accredited to CASS, and he was followed by Professor Ma Hong, Professor Hu Sheng, Professor Li Tieying and Professor Chen Kuiyuan. Professor Wang Weiguang is the current president.
CASS is now made up of 31 research institutes and 45 research centers, which carry out research activities covering nearly 300 sub-disciplines. At present, CASS has more than 4,200 staff members in total, of which more than 3,200 are professional researchers.
Conducting broad international academic exchange remains one of CASS’s guidelines, and this has gained pace in recent years. The quantity of scholars participating in academic exchanges has gone from dozens of people divided into 10 batches in 1979, to over 4,100 people divided into 1398 batches in 1995. In the meanwhile, CASS has established a constructive relationship with over 200 research organizations, academic communities, institutions of higher learning, foundations and related government departments, covering more than 80 countries and regions.
I have recently referred to an interview made to Piketty where he states “there is no such thing as economic science. There are social sciences”. He argues that “economic processes involve social control” and that “we should teach economics much more in conjunction with economic history, social history, political history, political science”
That said, the truth is that Piketty’s argument is deductible from the classic economic sociology concept embeddedness. It refers to the degree to which economic activity is constrained by non-economic institutions. The term was created by economic historian Karl Polanyi as part of his Substantivist approach. Polanyi argued that in non-market societies there are no pure economic institutions to which formal economic models can be applied. In these cases economic activities such as “provisioning” are “embedded” in non-economic kinship, religious and political institutions. In market societies, in contrast, economic activities have been rationalized, and economic action is “disembedded” from society and able to follow its own distinctive logic, captured in economic modeling. Polanyi’s ideas were widely adopted and discussed in anthropology in what has been called the “Formalist vs Substantivist” debate. Subsequently, the term “embeddedness” was further developed by economic sociologist Mark Granovetter, who argued that even in market societies, economic activity is not as disembedded from society as economic models would suggest.
Thomas Piketty: “There is no such thing as economic science. There are social sciences, economic processes involved social control…
We should teach economics much more in conjunction with economic history, social history, political history, political science. It’s just impossible to study issues such as dynamics of income and wealth, distribution in a purely economic manner. It’s very important that students in economics don’t lose all the energy in abstract mathematical models… [But] too often economists have been doing the opposite: which is [using] very sophisticated mathematical model to explain very little empirical material or sometimes no empirical material at all…
[In order to promote economic justice] the first important thing to do is democratization of economic knowledge. Too often bad economic policyand economic policies in the interests of the wealthy come from the fact that we, sort of, abandon economic knowledge to group of ‘specialists’ and ‘exerts'”
After providing in the previous two posts a brief definition of both terms “qualitative method” and “market research“, we are in a position to clarify what Qualitative methods of market research subject is about (see about for further details on this blog). The main objective of the subject is “learning how to collect text (and images) information systematically in order to understand the relation between buyers and sellers of a specific product or service that occurs or might occur in the future in a part of the world” More specifically, the subject will aim the managing of the below qualitative research techniques (as well as its respective emerging online variant)
- In-depth Interviews
- Focus groups
- Verbal data
- Participant observation and ethnography
- Visual data: photography, film and video
Furthermore, a number of secondary objectives must be pointed out. Apart from the collection of information itself, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of the research process as a whole. In other words, you as researcher may manage the above techniques but it would be pointless if you are not aware of a number of steps that all researchers must bear in mind when developing a research project and that forms what is called “research process”. This process, that will be addressed in future posts, goes from the mere formulation of the research question to the final presentation of the results.
Finally, ethics of research, origin and history of market research as well a brief theoretical approaches overview complement the secondary objectives of this subject.
Below you can find the main references taken to the production of the material for the subject´s content.
Flick, U. (2009). An introduction to qualitative research. Sage Publications Limited.
Gummesson, E. (1999). Qualitative methods in management research. Sage Publications, Incorporated.
Ibáñez, J. (1979). Más allá de la sociología: El Grupo de Discusión: teoría y crítica. Siglo XXI de España Editores.
Lewis, Philip, Mark NK Saunders, and Adrian Thornhill. Research methods for business students. Pearson, 2009.
Martínez, P., & Rodríguez, P. M. (2008). Cualitativa-mente. ESIC Editorial.
Mella, O. (1998). Naturaleza y orientaciones teórico-metodológicas de la investigación cualitativa. Santiago: CIDE, 51.
Silverman, D. (2011). Interpreting qualitative data. Sage Publications Limited.