School of Social and Political Science

Mr Yufan Sun

Job Title

PhD Student


After completing a B.A. in Sociology at the Anhui University in 2013, I obtained my researching post at a local government (2013 - 2014) and a think tank (2013 - 2017) in China. In pursuit of a more theoretical and critical career, I signed up for a master’s degree in Philosophy supervised at National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan (2017 - 2020). However, I preferred to extend my academic studies in the ivory tower without losing working experience in the real world. In 2018 ~ 2019, I worked at the Bloomfield (Xingtai) Specialty Paper Co. Ltd., China, and then was appointed a project manager of its abaca fiber processing plant in Mindanao, the Philippines. Since the year 2020, I began my self-running and e-learning platform focusing on academic writing and sociological research in China. No fewer than 5, 000 people have participated in my online courses. 

Armed with these working experiences, I dislike any question that is not part of a larger question and refuse to be locked into a narrow specialty, even though I regard myself as a sociological theorist who happens to write about data-driven studies. My research outputs range from organizational studies, political economy, historical sociology, to sociological theory.



M.A., Philosophy, National Sun Yat-sen University

Thesis: Structure, Actor and Eventful Temporality: Towards A Neo-Sewellian Theory of Logics of History (in English)

B.A., Sociology, Anhui University


Work Experience


Project Manager, Hong Kong Feng Sheng Heritage Philippine Incorporation

Location: Balabagan, the Philippines


General Manager Assistant, Bloomfield (Xingtai) Specialty Paper Co. Ltd., China

Location: Xingtai, China

2013 – 2017

Assistant Researcher and Deputy Director (2015 - 2017), Guangdong Institute for Reform and Development

Location: Guangzhou, China

2013 – 2014

Joint Staff (full-time)

Policy Research Office, Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technological Development Zone

Location: Guangzhou, China



2020 The Outstanding Master’s Thesis, Taiwanese Sociological Association

· This is the first winner concerned on sociological theories since the establishment of the award

2017 Research Residency Grant, University of Chicago Center in Beijing



Books (in Chinese)

Sun, Yufan. 2021. Theoretical Logics in Historical Sociology: A Transdisciplinary Approach. Chengdu: Sichuan People’s Publishing House.

Lui, Ping-keung, Yuet-man Li,Yufan Sun and Yohua Liu, Hear and Say: Collected Emails in Sociology 2012-2013. Beijing: China Social Sciences Publishing House.

Journal Articles (in Chinese)

Sun, Yufan. 2019. “Structures, Events and Temporalities: An Immanent Critique of William H. Sewell Jr.’s Logics of History.” Tsinghua Sociological Review (12).

Sun, Yufan. 2018. “Bringing the Discipline of History Back in: A Trans-disciplinary Imagination and its Strategy of Historical Sociology.” Journal of Social Theory 20(2):379-401.

Sun, Yufan and Cai Hong. 2018. “The Boundary of the Project System: Production, Dissimilation and Institutional Formation: Evidences from the Policy Process of ‘Community Welfare’ in District L.” Journal of Gansu Administration Institute (6): 81-92.

Sun, Yufan and Cai Hong. 2018. “What is a ‘Mechanism’? The Historicization and the Theorization of a Terminology in Government Documents.” Journal of Social Development (1): 180-208.

˙Reprinted in part in Social Sciences Digest 2018 (4):61-63.

Sun, Yufan. 2017. “For Ideological Legitimacy: The Mandate-of-heaven-cum-orthodoxy and the Ming-Qing Transition.” Tsinghua Sociological Review (8):60-86.

Sun, Yufan. 2017. “Time, Causalities and Sociological Imagination: A Discussion with Cheng Bo-qing.” Journal of Social Theory 20(1): 155-181.

Sun, Yufan.2016. “Monarch and the Enigma of Incarnation: A Study that Starts from Philip A. Kuhn’s Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768.” Sociological Review of China (6):76-93.

˙Reprinted in China Social Sciences Excellence 2017(4).

Chapter (in Chinese)

Sun, Yufan. 2018. Virtual Realities, Personal-pronoun Changes, and Hypothesis Testing Methods: On Jonathan Spences Hermeneutic Rules in Historiography.” Pp.325-352 in European Sinology at the Intersection between the East and the West, edited by Ya-Hwei Yang. Taiwan: Center for the Humanities, National Sun Yat-sen University.

Conference Paper (2021 ~ present)

Sun, Yufan, 2021, “Towards A Sociological Theory of Historical Actors and Agencies” International Social Theory Consortium, 17-19 June. 



Before starting my postgraduate studies, I had participated with a think tank, Guangdong Institute for Reform and Development in Guangzhou City, China, who engages with social, administrative and economic reforms. During the period between July 2013 to March 2017, I conducted 25 policy projects. All of the clients are governments, covering all levels of them in China (from the national to the town level), and the total grant is 2,820,000 RMB (= 402,858 USD) .


Social Media

2016 ~ present

Founder. Sociological Theory Digest (Sociological理论大缸).

˙ The first and biggest online academic platform focusing on sociological theory in China.

˙ 550 + issues; 70, 000 subscribers

˙ I contribute 80%+ essays making thought-provoking sociological researches accessible to academic workers and general readers in China.



Research interests

Research interests

Sociological Theory, Political Economy, Historical Sociology, History of Sociology, Philosophy of Social Sciences

Works within