Sociological research on Communist China is severely limited by the fact that western-trained sociologists, at least those travelling on an American passport, are not permitted to enter, let alone practise on, the mainland of China. Consequently, the standard techniques of the journeyman sociologist, the case method, questionaires, interviews, non-participant observation, etc., cannot be used at present. In such a situation social scientists have had to fall back upon the translation and analysis of documents issued on the mainland and intended by their authors for internal, rather than external, consumption. Whenever possible, this technique is supplemented by the results of interviews conducted with emigrés from the mainland. The senior author has used this technique elsewhere to describe changes occurring in the structure and function of the Chinese family under Communism. It should be admitted that such an approach is open to the charge that the primary data is biased. That is, that the researcher runs the risk of confusing behavioural reality with the image that the régime wishes to convey in its internal publications. There are two answers to this. First, the internal publications include a good deal of “self-criticism” which is likely to contain other than propaganda elements, and secondly, direct empirical observations are neither feasible nor possible under present conditions. The use of emigré data is probably more suspect, since those who flee the régime are likely to be biased in their interpretations of régime policies and actions.