Strange Notes on Modern Statistics and Traditional Popular Religion in China : Further Reflections on the Importance of Sinology for Social Science as applied on China
This short note argues that there are some astonishing similarities between the organization and management of national statistics in contemporary China and the ways how the state dealt with popular religion in Imperial China. The note builds upon a more general and longer paper devoted to reflections about the importance of social and economic history for the application of modern social science in the context of modern Chinese studies (Herrmann-Pillath, 1995a). In recent times there is a strong trend towards the substitution of sinology as a philological discipline in the broad sense (or, a hermeneutical in the narrow sense) by "Modern Chinese Studies" based on the application of social sciences on China. In Germany, the movement affects, for instance, the distribution of funds and the structural changes of departments for Chinese studies.