This project explores the sudden appearance in the 10th c. of a meritocratic culture that transformed Chinese elite society and constituted the ideological foundation of China's famous civil service exams. My earlier work used GIS, social network analysis, and a very large biographical database to explain the physical demise of China’s aristocracy. This project now complements that sociopolitical research with a study that explains the accompanying cultural change as a product of the rampant migration of the era. Using new digital tools, The Rise of the Chinese Meritocracy will map out the primary routes of elite migration during the 10th century and assess how migration correlated with a package of cultural changes (including burial culture, language dialect, as well as articulations in literary texts of the new meritocratic ethos).

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