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MUC Institute of Global Ethnology and Anthropology



School Overview & Development History


The MUC Institute of Global Ethnology and Anthropology was established in November 2011. It is based on the needs of the rise of the Chinese economy, the transformation of development methods, the prosperity of national culture, the construction of political civilization, and academic innovation and transformation. It was also established to broaden the reach of ethnological and anthropological society and deepen the study of foreign national social culture. Since its establishment, the center has inherited the profound academic accumulations of ethnology, anthropology, and sociology inherent to Minzu University of China. The center vigorously expands the study of world nations and foreign social culture and has accumulated many research results, becoming a center for overseas ethnology, anthropology, and sociology research. In 2014, the center was rated as a key research base for humanities and social sciences under the National Civil Affairs Commission.


The center's main research institutions and directions include the World Ethnography Research Institute, Overseas Ethnography Research Institute, Foreign Social Research Institute, and the Frontier and Cross-Border Ethnic Research Institute. The function of the center is to study the ecological livelihoods, language, and religion, social and cultural diversity, and related governance experience of various ethnic groups in the world from different perspectives, especially in developing countries, to improve China's ethnic theory, policies, regulations, and social construction, and improve Academic ability and national cultural soft power.


The center focuses on the research of foreign nationalities and social cultures from the perspectives of ethnology, anthropology, and sociology. The center emphasizes researching foreign nationalities and social cultures based on long-term fieldwork.


The three disciplines of ethnology, anthropology, and sociology enrolled by this center are all key disciplines at or above the provincial and ministerial level. Among them, ethnology is a national key discipline, anthropology is a key discipline of Beijing, and sociology is a discipline of the National Civil Affairs Commission. Previously, the center recruited doctoral and master students in three majors: world ethnic studies in ethnology, overseas ethnography research in anthropology, and foreign social research in sociology. At present, students interested in these areas directly enroll through the MUC School of Ethnology and Sociology. In terms of personnel training, the center aims to cultivate innovative and high-quality professionals. While strengthening theoretical courses in traditional ethnology, anthropology, and sociology, it fully strengthens cooperation with the international academic community and vigorously promotes research of the world’s nations. The field survey of social culture cultivates innovative talents with a solid academic foundation and an in-depth understanding of global social culture and an international perspective.




Projects & Programs


As a multi-ethnic country, China, like most modern countries in the world, has experienced the process of the nation-state and national construction. In the contemporary trend of globalization, the world’s national culture has experienced fading. Simultaneously, there has also been a complex trend of national cultural rejuvenation and an intensifying sense of nationalism. An in-depth study of the national identity, national policies, national development paths, and national theories of various countries will help us understand the important influence of national construction factors encompassing political, economic, religious, and cultural processes involving various regions around the world. 


The MUC Institute of Global Ethnology and Anthropology is committed to using ethnological theories and methodology. Through field investigations and acquisition of first-hand research materials, in-depth analyses of various ethnic groups' development status and related issues in other countries are conducted. The center works to explore religious and ethnic conflicts and other aspects of ethnic minority societies in the process. The center emphasizes comparative studies that engage in dialogue with mainstream domestic and international academic circles regarding development, ethnic minority autonomy systems, protection of ethnic-cultural heritage, cultural rights of ethnic minorities, multicultural education, and other important issues.


Adhering to the tenets of equality, dignity, understanding, tolerance, and responsibility, the institute advocates understanding the human heart and awareness of social issues. It emphasizes the notion of cultural relativity to guide field investigations, comparative studies, and academic exchanges and cooperation. The institute strives to build a bridge for academic exchanges and scientific research cooperation between the Chinese ethnological circles and other countries' ethnological circles. Moreover, it aims to promote mutual understanding and mutual learning between China and the world.


Introduction to Overseas Ethnography Research Institute


Ethnography is the iconic product of anthropological research. It requires researchers to personally enter the space of different cultures, carry out long-term participatory observations, in-depth interviews, and comparative studies based on mastering the local language, and reach an understanding of others and reflections on themselves through in-depth description. The rise of contemporary China and the current globalization trend have made overseas ethnography research a new mission within Chinese anthropology and ethnology.


The Overseas Ethnography Research Institute is committed to carrying out down-to-earth ethnographic research around the world. It promotes an overall understanding of different cultures in traditional research fields such as kinship anthropology, religious anthropology, political anthropology, economic anthropology, and anthropology of law, emphasizing cross-cultural comparison. The institute will also actively carry out case studies in new anthropological fields such as medical anthropology, tourism anthropology, ecological anthropology, urban anthropology, globalization, and immigration. Moreover, the institute strives to form an anthropological research institution with distinctive characteristics and academic norms while also building an overseas ethnic-cultural information center.


The institute attaches great importance to exchanges and cooperation with relevant research institutions at home and abroad and also serves as a platform.


Previously, the institute recruited doctoral and master students in overseas ethnography in anthropology, which now directly enrolls through the MUC School of Ethnology and Sociology. The institute provides anthropology and ethnology discipline theory and ethnography method training, emphasizing proficiency in the target community's local language and personal experience/deep understanding of the natural ecology of the target community, cultural mentality. The institute also encourages students to participate in exchanges actively and share experiences among international peers. We expect that the students we train can open up a global perspective for the Chinese academic community and the public. By doing this, we can become leaders in academic research and foreign exchanges. We welcome young, like-minded friends at home and abroad to apply.


Introduction to Foreign Social Research Institute


In the 21st century, China will bid farewell to the social transformation and turbulence brought about by the impact of Western modernization, and return to the international stage with a stable attitude of a major power and assume corresponding responsibilities. Therefore, we need to deepen our foreign exchanges further, better understand the ecology, mentality, economy, society, culture, and politics of all countries in the world, better reflect on our own culture and civilization, know ourselves, learn from each other, learn from each other's strengths, and compare our hearts to better show China to the world.


Our institute aims to provide a sociological perspective on China's integration into the world. It also aims to utilize quantitative and qualitative research methods comprehensively. The institute integrates literature and information research. It also conducts field surveys and social studies worldwide, including for developed countries in Europe and America. Moreover, it uses sociological imagination to sort out core issues in social life worldwide, especially the major social development trends that developing countries face during periods of social transformation. These include social stratification, population mobility, polarization between the rich and the poor, ethnic relations, national roles, and civil society construction. 


We must actively leverage our two major advantages, including the wide span of the target community and team members' rich cross-cultural experience. We must strengthen the exchange and coordination of research between different countries and regions, actively carry out cooperation between domestic and foreign institutions, and create an open, active, and innovative society. Research should be conducted on an international platform and continuously expand the boundaries of sociological research theories and methods.


Previously, the institute recruited Ph.D. and master students in the field of foreign social studies in sociology, but now they directly enroll through the MUC School of Ethnology and Sociology. Students in sociology, foreign languages, ethnology, anthropology, history, international relations, international politics, and other majors are welcome to apply for the exam and participate in the 21st century China abroad Social research event.


Frontier and Cross-Border Ethnic Research Institute


China is a multi-ethnic unified country. After thousands of years of development, China has formed large territories and border regions with different natural and human environments. Many ethnic groups live across borders, such as Mongolian, Korean, Kazakh, Tajik, Uzbek, Dai, Hani, and other ethnic groups. The prosperity and development of these border areas and cross-border ethnic groups are vital to China's internal affairs, diplomacy, and international influence.


This research institute will conduct basic and empirical research on China’s border security and theoretical difficulties, cross-border ethnic social development, ecological construction, ethnic relations, and other issues, emphasizing on-site investigations and fieldwork, accumulating first-hand survey data, and forming high-quality on this basis. As a result, it has established its unique style and tradition of border and cross-border ethnic research, provided investigation reports and policy recommendations for the country's scientific decision-making and related institutions, and assumed the function of a think tank.


Currently, the institute is in its infancy and is drawing up plans and establishing cooperative relations with relevant domestic and foreign institutions. We hope that we will build an operating mechanism of institutional openness, personnel mobility, internal/external cooperation, competition/innovation, and build a multi-perspective integration through ongoing efforts. It will include considerations for border cross-border ethnic groups and international academic circles and emphasize on-site investigation and ethnographic writing. It will become known to be an important academic research platform, information exchange center, and consulting service organization for the study of China's frontier and cross-border ethnic groups.


Previously, the institute recruited doctoral and master students in three majors: ethnology major in world ethnic studies, anthropology major in overseas ethnography research, and sociology major in foreign social research. At present, students interested in border and cross-border ethnic studies are welcome to apply directly through MUC School of Ethnology and Sociology.


Academic Master's Programs (3-Year Programs Administered by MUC School of Ethnology and Sociology)


•   World Ethnology

•   Anthropology (Focused on Overseas Research)

•   Sociology (Focused on Foreign Social Research)


Doctoral Programs (4-6 Year Programs Administered by MUC School of Ethnology and Sociology)


•   World Ethnology

•   Anthropology (Focused on Overseas Research)

•   Sociology (Focused on Foreign Social Research)


School Focus, Beliefs & Development Objectives


Today, we are living in the era of globalization. The contacts and exchanges between different countries and people have never been so frequent and deep as today.


In this age although boundaries are constantly being broken and distance is no longer an obstacle, misunderstandings, contradictions, and conflicts formed because of lack of understanding and lack of tolerance are still found everywhere. The ideal "beauty and harmony tolerant of differences" is still out of reach.


Nowadays, glimpses of sight-seeing, fast-moving tours and simple investigations can no longer substitute for legitimate fieldwork. That is because casual field visits can not help the conflict of human cross-cultural communication. Only by going deep into foreign countries, contacting various ethnic groups with an open and tolerant attitude, and learning their languages and religions, can we truly feel the mechanism of humanity, the culture of others, and realize mutual understanding of each other.


As China's ethnology, anthropology, and sociologists, we must be pioneers of the times, go abroad, and use the concepts, theories and methods of this discipline to study the nationalities and social cultures of other countries, and promote the beauty of all nations. The demands of the times on us can also serve as a means for Chinese intellectuals to realize cultural awareness.


On the contrary, a better understanding of the other motivates us to analyze and identify ourselves more deeply. Only when we go abroad can we learn to look at and analyze China's nationality and social culture with new eyes, and think from the outside to the inside regarding China's pluralistic unity.


China is pushing for a new round of reform and opening up, striving to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way while also integrating the international system and assuming the responsibility of a great power. The center came into being under such a background, and it should undertake its academic mission. On the basis of understanding the social culture of various nationalities in the world, it will give out China's humanistic and humanitarian voice on the international stage, and jointly promote the transformation of development modes and social transformation. We sincerely hope to cooperate with academic colleagues at home and abroad to jointly promote China's ethnology, anthropology, and sociology from here to the world.



Our Talent


Consultants (2 Staff)


Hao Shiyuan (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Yang Shengmin (Central University for Nationalities)


Academic Committee (13 people)


Director: Song Min (Vice President of Minzu University of China)

Deputy Director: Shi Lin (Director of the Center for World Ethnology and Anthropology, Minzu University of China)


All Committee Members:


•   Jing Jun (Vice President of International Federation of Anthropology and Ethnology, Professor of Department of Sociology, Tsinghua University)

•   Li Hongjie (Deputy Director of the Research Center for Ethnic Issues of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission)

•   Feng Han (Vice President, Institute of Asia-Pacific and Global Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

•   Li Anshan (Director of the Center for African Studies, Peking University, Professor of the School of International Relations)

•   Gao Bingzhong (Director of Peking University Civil Society Research Center and Professor of Sociology Department)

•   Zhu Lun (Director of World Ethnology Research Office, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

•   Seyin (Director of Research Office of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

•   Zhao Xudong (Director of the Institute of Anthropology, Renmin University of China)

•   Zhang Haiyang (Director of China Minority Research Center, Minzu University of China)

•   Ding Hong (Dean of School of Ethnology and Sociology, Minzu University of China)

•   You Bin (Director of Scientific Research Department of Minzu University of China)



 Academic Exchanges and Cooperation at Home and Abroad


The MUC Institute of Global Ethnology and Anthropology aims to cultivate innovative and high-quality professionals. While strengthening traditional ethnology, anthropology, and sociology theory courses, it fully strengthens cooperation with the international academic community and vigorously promotes field investigations on world nations and foreign social culture. Cultivate innovative talents with a solid academic foundation, a deep understanding of global society and culture, and an international perspective. The center will send graduate students enrolled in their program to foreign countries for field investigations during their second year of study. More information about the center's activities regarding academic exchanges can be found here (Chinese):



Examples of Internationally Active Scholars

Zhao Xuan (赵萱), (Han Ethnicity)

Associate Professor, Master Tutor 






Born in Hunan and grew up in Guangdong. He is ap art-time researcher at Beijing Foreign Studies University and is a columnist for the Chinese Culture Going Global Collaborative Innovation Center "Interface News". He has opened a comment section called Boundary Observation Editor and is in charge of the public account "World Ethnological Anthropology Research Center".


Research Interests & Activity


His main research directions include social anthropology, border/frontier society studies, middle east studies, global mobility and landscape, critical security studies and cultural heritage studies.


Key Projects


•   MUC 2019 Horizontal Project "Research on European Immigration Issues from the Perspective of China's Overseas Interest Protection" (2019-2021)

•   National Social Science Fund (Research on Ethnic Issues) Youth Project "Research on Family Factors in the Governance Structure of Ethnic Communities in Israel" (2017-2020)

•   The 2017 Horizontal Project of MUC, "Global Mobility and Modern Border Management: The Shaping and Adjustment of the Southern European Border" (2017-2020)

Representative Publications


•   "Research on Cultural Governance of Shawan Town, Guangzhou City from the Perspective of National Construction", in "Cultural Heritage", Issue 4, 2019; (Co-author)

•   "A Review of Critical Boundary Studies in the Contemporary West", in Ethnic Studies, Issue 1, 2019; (first author)

•   "Traffic Without Communication: Anthropological Reflection on Daily Cross-Border Flow: Taking the'China-Kazakhstan Cross-border Cooperation Center' at Khorgos Port as an Example", in Journal of Yunnan Normal University (Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition), 2018 Issue 6


Courses(Capitalize Each Word


•   Cross-border Mobility and Border Society Research

•   Regional Society and Cultural Studies

•   Foreign Languages for Graduate Students in Anthropology


Zhuang Chenyan (庄晨燕), Han Ethnicity

Institute of Gloab Ethnology and Anthropology



Educational Experience     


•   2007-2011: Ph., Université Rennes 2, France        

•   1999-2001: Master, Ecole Natinale d’Admi-nistration, France       

•   1990-1994: Bachelor of French Language and Literature, Beijing Foreign Studies University


Work Experience     


•   2019 - Present: Professor, MUC World Ethnology Anthropology Research Center

•   2012-2018: Associate Professor, MUC World Ethnology Anthropology Research Center

•   2004-2012: Lecturer and Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, School of Foreign Affairs

•   1994-2004: Member, Entourage, 3rd Secretary, 2nd Secretary and Deputy Director of Translation Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Research Field         


Ethnic issues in Europe and Africa; sociology of development; comparative study of rural development governance in Europe and China.


Scientific Research Achievements        


She presided over one national social science fund project, one major project of the key research base of Humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of education, four projects of the National People's Committee, one project of the joint research and exchange program between China and Africa of the Ministry of foreign affairs, published Personal Action and Social Motivation: Research on Beijing Migrant Children's School (Paris, France: Youfeng Bookstore press, 2014), Charm of Nature (translated works Sanlian Bookstore press, January 2005) , the Story of Lynx (complete works of Levi Strauss) (translation, Renmin University of China Press, April 2006) and other academic works; also published National Conflict Reconciliation and Reconstruction: Taking the Practice of National Construction after Rwanda's 1994 Massacre as an Example (Journal of Central University for nationalities, No. 3, 2014), European Region Charter of Languages of Regions or Ethnic Minorities and Diversity Governance in France: Reflections on Western Election Politics (world ethnic group, issue 5, 2018), and more than 10 academic papers.


Shi Lin (施琳), (Han Ethnicity)    


Director of The MUC Institute of Global Ethnology and Anthropology





Professor Shi Lin is a highly active anthropology researcher that has taken a leading role in many initiatives of the institute as well as the MUC School of Ethnology and Sociology.


Education Experience


•   1998-2001: Ethnology, MUC, PhD,

•   1995-1998: China Minority Economics, MUC, Master

•   1987-1991: Beijing Normal University, Bachelor of Economics


Work Experience


•   2018-Present: Director of Department of Anthropology, Department of Ethnology, MUC

•   2008-Present: Professor, PhD supervisor, Department of Ethnology, Minzu MUC

•   2003-2018: Department of Ethnology, MUC, Director of the Teaching and Research Office of World Ethnics

•   2002-2007: Associate Professor, Department of Ethnology, MUC

•   1997-2001: Lecturer, Department of Ethnology, MUC


Research Interests & Activity


Research on economic anthropology and world ethnic development. In recent years, she has made fieldwork and ethnographic research in North America, Africa and border areas.


Representative Publications


•   "Economic Anthropology" (Minzu University Press, 2002)

•   "An Introduction to American Ethnicity" (Minzu University Press, 2006)



School Slogan


Institute of Global Ethnology and Anthropology is a scientific research and teaching entity dedicated to studying world nations and foreign social culture. The center's logo is based on the theme of "everywhere is humanity, beauty, and commonality," showing that natural ecology and humanistic mentality complement each other, the harmonious coexistence of multiple human subjects in the world.




The logo adopts a circular composition, with a globe and latitude and longitude lines as the background, showing that the ecological homes of the global villagers are connected and intimate. The five-petal flower in full bloom in the background of the latitude and longitude lines symbolizes the five elements, the five directions and the natural human culture of the five continents. The five-petal flower is based on the Chinese character "族" in ink and wash, highlighting the vitality of "humanities living together in groups based on water, wood, mountains and rivers".


The blue tone of the logo contains the life image and inclusiveness of all rivers as well as  vastness and tranquility. It also represents the unity of nature and human beings. It expresses the wish of our colleagues in the center to look up to the stars, to be down-to-earth, and to be a bridge for the study of world nations and foreign society and culture. Emphasizing and revealing all of the different kinds of beauty found in humanity will help to enhance mutual understanding between China and the world. It will also help to care for the lofty aspirations of the world and humanities. Under the guidance of the concept of the center logo, we will go to the world from here.



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