Luminary emergence and eminence across Chinese history

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-165
Journal / PublicationSocial Science Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Historiographic investigation of the emergence and eminence of Chinese luminaries with regard to a thorough set of predictors gleaned from Western and Chinese literatures is unprecedented. Such an investigation can illuminate the trajectory of Chinese civilization. Based on surveys of Chinese people in various cities, a pool of 246 luminaries emerged to represent influential paragons in Chinese history. These luminaries tended to emerge under the influences of war, and contemporary and earlier luminaries. Among the earlier luminaries, philosophers and scientists especially exhibited contribution to the emergence of subsequent luminaries of various fields. Besides, luminaries would achieve greater eminence in terms of both the number of nominations and the length of encyclopedic description when they had more peers, longer lives, and earlier achievement. By contrast, luminaries who made their achievement during the time of war were less eminent. Whereas earlier luminaries tended to be more eminent, recent politicians and entrepreneurs were more eminent than were earlier ones. © 2005 Published by Elsevier Inc.