Social Change and Social Research in the Digital Age

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No. 12, 2021


Social Change and Social Research in the Digital Age



Wang Tianfu


In the 21st century, the rapid development of China’s economy and society has coincided with the arrival of the digital age. The information and communication technology of the digital age has revolutionized the way people connect and interact with each other, completely changing their production and lives and bringing with it fundamental social changes. The study of digital society calls for new paradigms, methods and approaches. Current research on China’s digital society commands natural advantages, including a huge population, the extensive use of digital technology in a wide range of fields, and a wealth of data on social life. Faced with historic opportunities, the field of sociology in China should conduct proactive research on digital society. On the basis of cumulative empirical research, sociologists should refine their concepts, promote new ideas and construct new theories, and thus contribute their knowledge to studies of digital society.