Andrew Abbott's work in Chinese

A source page

Since 2016, Prof. Abbott’s work has been introduced into China. The year 2023 saw a surge in publication of translated works due to various factors. This page serves as a source to the current state of publication (of which I am a contributing member).

First-time readers often find it perplexing to discover the same (or similar) pieces published in multiple places. This is primarily due to the fact that Prof. Abbott’s work isn’t being systematically introduced or handled by the same group of individuals.1 For instance, the books published by Shangwu (商务出版社) and Sanlian (三联书店) were planned parallel to those by Beijing Normal University Press (北师大出版社 or BNUP). Another contributing factor is the unanticipated disruptions within the Chinese publication system, which have altered timelines. For example, the two books containing collected essays published in 2023 were actually translated as early as 2019. An additional reason could be that the original pieces may have several versions as many of them are speeches, delivered at various occasions. Therefore, I believe creating a resource like this can assist readers in navigating the complex Chinese publication landscape.


Major Work

The list is ordered by the original title’s publication date

  1. The System of Professions (1988) as 《职业系统》, published in 2016 by Shangwu. The translator is LI Rongshan 李荣山.
  2. Department and Disciplines (1999) as 《学系与学科》, published in 2023 by Shangwu. The translator is XING Yuzhou 邢宇宙.
    • The Continuing Relevance of the Chicago School (1992 ASA Sorokin Lecture, Chapter 9 of DaD) as 《芝加哥学派的持续意义》. An alternative version translated by ZHOU Yisu 周忆粟 for the 30th anniversary of the talk.
  3. Chaos of Disciplines (2001) as 《学科的混沌》. It is scheduled for publication in 2024 by BNUP. The translator is ZHOU Yisu 周忆粟.
  4. Time Matters (2001) as 《攸关时间》. It is scheduled for publication in 2024 by BNUP. The translator is ZHOU Yisu 周忆粟.
  5. Methods of Discovery (2004) as 《探索之道》. It is scheduled for publication in 2024 by 上海文艺出版社. The translators are SONG Qi 宋奇 and YANG Duancheng 杨端程. ZHOU Yisu 周忆粟 is invited by the publisher as the external proof reader.
  6. Digital Paper (2014) as 《数字论文》, published in 2018 by 高等教育出版社. The translator is YU Huiming 余慧明.
    • To the Reader as 《致读者》. An alternative version translated by ZHOU Yisu 周忆粟.2
  7. Processual Sociology (2016) as 《过程社会学》, published in 2022 by BNUP. The translator is ZHOU Yisu 周忆粟.
    • Chapter 6 and 9 are also seperately published in 《社会科学的未来》 (see below).

Collected Essays

  1. 《大学教育与知识的未来》, published in 2023-3 by Sanlian. The translators are WANG Tong 王桐 and Chen Jiatao 陈嘉涛. This book contains lectures, dedicated pieces on education, and book reviews. Most content were not previusly published in English and this book does not have an English title.
    • Chapter 1 Aims of Education is translated from this talk in 2002. This piece is translated and published individually on Open Times 《开放时代》in 2005, titled 大学教育的目的. The translator is TIAN Xiaoli 田晓丽.
    • Chapter 5 is translated and published individually on Peking University Education Review 《北京大学教育评论》in 2017, titled 学术作为理念和学术作为日常工作. The translator is WANG Liping 王利平.
    • Chapter 7-9 are taken from Varieties of Social Imaginations (2017), correponding the three chapters on Qu Tongzu, Chen Da, and Fei Xiaotong. These book reviews first appeared on AJS.
  2. A Resting Place Before Going On Elsewhere: Present and Process in Social Life as 《社会科学的未来》, published in 2023-6 by Shangwu. The translators are XING Linzhou 邢麟舟 and ZHAO Yufei 赵宇飞.
    • Part One consists of four speeches delivered at the inauguration of Peking University’s Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2016. These chapters have not been published in English.
    • Though I was not involved in this translation, I provide my edited version of Lecture Four, The Theory of Processual Sociology here. The main improvement I made is to streamline all the Chinese terminologies that appeared in this lecture in line with the three books I translated. In this way, these writings represent a coherent lineage of events. If you are looking for a concise starting point to understand Abbott’s processualism, this is it.
    • Part Two contains the two chapters from Processual Sociology. This means there are two Chinese versions of these chapters.
    • Part Three is the 37th Annual Marc Bloch Lecture in 2015.

Standalone articles

I also translated these standalone pieces:


  1. Chen Long’s interview of AA in A Journey of Discovering Sociology (2020). This book has a Chinese version: 《探寻社会学之旅:20位当代美国社会学家眼中的社会学》(陈龙,2020).
  2. AA’s visit to IHSS-PKU in 2016
    • [talk] 芝加哥大学的社会科学何以长盛不衰
    • [talk] 大学教育最困难的是让学生兴奋起来
    • [talk] “理念”是不能被传授的
    • [talk] 作为理念的学术和作为日常工作的学术
    • [interview] 芝加哥大学与社会学研究

  1. This topic warrants a separate discussion. A simple account includes the fact that the Chinese publication market is tangled between committed scholars and opportunist entrepreneurs. The former group primarily operates within academia but also extends to publishing professionals. Despite maintaining high publication standards, this group isn’t usually composed of quick movers. Consequently, they seldom cooperate with publishing firms to systematically secure the Chinese rights to books. Professional editors, though well-versed in the process, lack the clout needed to convince the heads of state-owned publishing houses to venture into the rights market. This gap creates substantial vacuum for opportunists. They bid for influential titles and resell them to various interested parties. This leads to fragmentation of rights ownership due to multiple players in the market, as exemplified by the situation with AA’s work. ^
  2. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to translate DP, I believe it deserves a better version than the current one, which is readable but makes no effort to connect it to other works by AA. Here is my attempt. ^
Yisu Zhou
Associate Professor of Education Policy & Sociology

My research focus on sociology of education