The collection of folk songs and odes for the Book of Poetry (Shih-ching/ Shijing) was in nature a social research project in ancient China. This paper studies the Book of Poetry as a research report, probing into the background of the assignment of poetry functionaries as researchers, relevant geographic information and time span, relevant social production and life, the logic of the research, and the social value of the research. As a social research report, the Book of Poetry is of documentary significance to various academic fields.





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