Sociology Index

Fei Xiaotong

Fei Xiaotong was a Chinese anthropologist and sociologist. Fei was a pioneering researcher and professor of sociology and anthropology, and his studies in the study of China's ethnic groups as well as a social activism was well received. As China's sociologist and anthropologist, his works were instrumental in laying a solid foundation for the development of sociological and anthropological studies in China, as well as in introducing social and cultural phenomena of China to the international community.

Fei was Professor of Sociology at Peking University. Fei wrote his 1938 PhD thesis, based on earlier fieldwork in Kaixiangong village, China and published it as Peasant Life in China (1939). Among Fei Xiaotong's contributions to anthropology is the concept that Chinese social relations work through social networks of personal relations with the self at the center and decreasing closeness as one moves out.

China's Gentry, was compiled from Fei's field interviews, and was published in the United States in 1953. It went on to become a staple of American university courses on China. The compilation and U.S. publication of China's Gentry grew out of a relationship Fei developed at Tsinghua University with the University of Chicago anthropologist Robert Redfield and his wife, Margaret Park Redfield. Fei Xiaotong figures among eminent sociologists of the world.