Family Background and Career Outcomes for Exam Degree Holders in the Qing (1644-1911)

Family Background and Career Outcomes for Exam Degree Holders in the Qing (1644-1911)
Speaker: Cameron Campbell # Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
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Date and Time
24th Jun 2019 13:00 - 24th Jun 2019 14:15
Practice Suite 1.12, Chrystal Macmillan Building

Cameron Campbell, professor in the Division of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, studies the origins of educational and bureaucratic elites in China in the Qing dynasty. With James Lee, Bijia Chen, and other members of the Lee-Campbell group, he has built and is analysing a database of the careers of bureaucrats during the Qing (1644-1911). Based on archival sources the team have entered 2.77 million records of 269,517 civil officials. For a subset of these officials, they have ancestry information from provincial as well as national-level exam degrees between 1835 and 1895. More information about their data is available here.

In this seminar, professor Campbell will talk about the family background and subsequent career mobility of Han Chinese officials who held examination degrees in the Qing civil service. The prominent role of the examination system in the recruitment of officials is central to claims that the state was meritocratic. Mapping the social origins of officials appointed based on exam performance, and understanding how family background and exam performance interacted to shape their subsequent career mobility informs longstanding debates about the permeability of elites during the Qing.

This seminar will take place on 24th June from 1pm in the Practice Suite (1.12) on the first floor of the Chrystal Macmillan Building.

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