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Article

Life and scientific work of outstanding Chinese sociologist Fei Xiaotong

Veselova L. S., Liu N.

Fei Xiaotong (费孝通) (2 November 1910 - 24 April 2005) was the prominent anthropologist and sociologist of China. He was one of the first sociologists and anthropologists who conducted anthropological studies of the life of Chinese society. He was a political journalist and a “cultural intermediary” who published articles about the West in Chinese in China, and about China in English in the West. Fei Xiaotong’s career was full of ups and downs that were associated with the political situation in the country. Finally, after 1978 and starting of the period of Economic Reform and Openness he could re-enter public and scientific life, and officially became a respected academic and a public intellectual which dedicated all his life to the investigation of Chinese society and social problems. For many people, Fei Xiaotong’s works became the first sources, from which it was possible to obtain various information about the Chinese village. His works made us think about the laws of social development and on what methods they should be studied. He believed that it was necessary not only to develop sociology but to go its way, to strive to develop Chinese sociology with all its specifics. Fei Xiaotong devoted his entire life to studying Chinese society and the changes taking place in it. The main stimulus that inspired him all his life was the hope that the Chinese peasants will live better and better, and with them, China will become stronger and more prosperous state.