Spatial Studies of Religion and Chinese Society
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Spatial Studies of Religion and Chinese Society FENGGANG YANG Center on religion and Chinese society Purdue University. Philadelphia, March 27 th , 2010. Data Progressing. Exploratory: what can be done with the data?

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Philadelphia march 27 th 2010

Spatial Studies of Religion and Chinese SocietyFENGGANG YANGCenter on religion and Chinese societyPurdue University

Philadelphia, March 27th, 2010


Data progressing

Data Progressing

  • Exploratory: what can be done with the data?

  • The data: the official census of all religious sites registered with the government (the “Red Market”)

  • Address, year of founding, etc.

  • Geocoding: coordinate the addresses (Batch Geocoding), inaccuracy and irregular format.

  • Include 6138 religious organizations in Zhejiang.

  • Draw maps. (by ArcGIS; by GoogleMaps)


Religious map of zhejiang

Religious Map of Zhejiang

  • DrawnBy ArcGIS

  • DrawnBy GoogleMaps


An analysis description proportion

An Analysis: Description-Proportion


An analysis description time series

An Analysis: Description-Time Series

  • The periodic variations of five religions are highly concurrent.

  • Two turning points: 1980 and 1999. What happened?


An analysis hypothesis

An Analysis: Hypothesis

  • Object : officially registered religious organizations

  • The “red market” in the triple market theory

  • The political economy of religion in China: demand, supply, and regulation

  • Demographic and economic factors of religious change; religious competition factor

  • Hypothesis: The overriding factor of the “red market” change is religious regulation.


An analysis data

An Analysis: Data

  • DV: number of organizations.

  • IV: GDP, population, age, education, and etc..

  • Unit: year; area (county/township level)

  • Merge with basic socioeconomic data:

  • Economic data : Zhejiang Statistical Yearbook (only county level), Zhejiang Township Statistical Yearbook (only rural areas).

  • Demographic data: 2000 Township Population Census Data (from Prof. Bao).

  • Data shortage.


An analysis gdp time

An Analysis: GDP (Time)


An analysis gdp space

An Analysis: GDP (Space)


An analysis demographic factors space

An Analysis: Demographic Factors (Space)


An analysis summary

An Analysis: Summary

  • Conclusion: there is no significant correlation between the size of “red market” and socio-economic factors in on the county level.

  • Interpretation 1: data limitation.

  • Zhejiang is special, need to expand to Whole China.

  • Intra-county differences are huge, need to expand to township level (n=1844).

  • Other socio-economic data (e.g. edu) need to be added.

  • Interpretation 2: possibly, no correlation at all.

  • A strong exogenous variable: religious regulation.

  • Quantify religious regulation?


Future plan

Future Plan

  • Establish “Religious Organization Database”:

  • Expand to whole China.

  • Expand to township level.

  • Merge with other religious data, esp. data of individual level (the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey).

  • Merge with more socioeconomic data.

  • Conduct further data mining and analysis.


Thanks fenggang yang center on religion and chinese society purdue university

Thanks!FENGGANG YANGCenter on religion and Chinese societyPurdue University

Philadelphia, March 27th, 2010


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