Wednesday, May 9, 2018

重構早期嶺南——近年重大考古發現與跨學科研究工作坊



近年來,嶺南地區先秦-秦漢時期重大的考古發現不斷,大大豐富了學界研究嶺南早期歷史的資料,亦改變以往對這一地區社會複雜化進程的認識。為進一步推動多學科的考古前沿研究,促進香港中文大學與毗鄰及相關研究機構的合作,現擬於2018518日(五)舉行研究工作坊,並於519日(六)與香港考古學會就文化遺產保育及公眾考古的實踐經驗舉行與談。

時間: 518-19
地點: 香港中文大學圖書館數碼學術研究室

5月18日上午

09:00-09:30嘉賓致辭、團體合照及前言介紹 

09:30-10:50早期嶺南近年成果介紹

09:30-09:45 韓維龍(廣州市文物考古研究院):珠三角地區區域考古調查的實踐與收穫

09:45-10:00 張強祿(廣州市文物考古研究院):廣州黃埔茶嶺和甘草嶺遺址考古發現

10:00-10:15 呂良波(廣州市文物考古研究院):廣州出土漢代玻璃的科學分析與研究

10:15-10:35 李岩(廣東省考古研究所):海上絲綢之路背景下的徐聞和相關考古發現

10:35-10:50 問答環節

11:00-12:15早期嶺南的文明化與族群

11:00-11:20 安賦詩 Francis Allard (印第安納賓夕法尼亞大學) :青銅時代東南中國的社會層級與系統穩定性

11:20-11:40 楊建軍(珠海市博物館): 嶺南商周時期墓葬研究

11:40-12:00 鄭君雷(中山大學): 漢代「土墩墓」中的「百越民族史」問題

12:00-12:15 問答環節 

5月18日下午

14:00-14:40早期嶺南研究的新角度:科技與社會分析 I

14:00-14:20 傅一嘉(香港中文大學):嶺南東部青銅時代夔紋陶的生產與群體建構

14:20-14:40 林永昌(香港中文大學):盜鑄還是筦鐵:廣州漢墓出土鐵器的冶金分析與流通考察

14:40-14:50 問答環節 

15:00-16:00早期嶺南研究的新角度:科技與社會分析 II

15:00-15:20 余翀(中山大學): 嶺南地區史前至青銅時代早期的生業模式

15:20-15:40 陳琴(香港中文大學(深圳)): 浮濱文化的禮制繼承與傳播

15:40-16:00 米夏 Michelle Demandt(暨南大學):嶺南青銅時代中晚期陶器變遷與生產組織

16:00-16:10問答環節 

16:10-16:50 與會公開討論

與會代表、謝肅(暨南大學)、黃慧怡(香港中文大學)、吳偉鴻(香港考古學會)、范旼澔 Mick Atha(香港中文大學) 

16:50-17:00總結發言

5月19日上午 

9:00-11:30 與香港考古學會討論粵港公眾考古問題及經驗分享,主要內容包括文化遺產法規體系及近年相關工作。


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2018 Anthropology Final Year Project Forum


The 2018 Anthropology Final Year Project Forum will be held on 25 April (Wed), 1:30-6:15 pm, MMW LT2. All interested are welcome--please come to share the moments of inspiration and fun with our students and teachers!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

2018 Anthropology Methods Summer Workshop Recruitment!


2018 Anthropology Methods Summer Workshop

Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Purpose

The Anthropology Methods Summer Workshop will teach students about research design and train them in qualitative and ethnographic research methods. The students will develop their own research proposals, with the opportunity to receive critical comments from teachers. They will also benefit from peer learning, and will experience the advanced pedagogical techniques used at CUHK. This training and experience will broaden students’ horizons, helping them in their future studies.

Timing

The Workshop will be held from Friday 15 to Tuesday 19 June 2018, including morning and afternoon class sessions, and two half-day field trips as practicum for the topics covered in the Workshop. The Dragon Boat Festival will serve as a setting for a practical exercise in developing observational, note-taking, and interviewing skills.

Target Students

Students majoring or minoring in Anthropology, Ethnology or related disciplines (e.g. Sociology, Cultural Studies, Social History, Religion, etc.) intending to pursue postgraduate degrees will be eligible for the Workshop. Priority will be given to senior undergraduates and MA/MPhil students, as they will soon be applying to PhD programmes. All students will be expected to be able to function at a high level in English since that will be the primary language of the Workshop.

Seminar Topics:

  • Research Design: How to Frame a Proposal for Ethnographic Research
  • Research Ethics in Anthropology
  • The Literature Review
  • The Statement of Goals and Significance
  • Interviewing Skills
  • When and How to Use Questionnaires
  • Participant Observation and Rapport
  • Keeping and Retrieving Field Notes
  • Direct and Unobtrusive Observation
  • Using and Analyzing Visual Media
  • Text Analysis and Identifying Themes
  • Ethnographic Writing

Teaching

Dr. Joseph Bosco, who has taught the postgraduate methods seminar for 24 years, and was Graduate Division Head for 19 years in the Department of Anthropology, CUHK, will lead the workshop. He will attend all sessions with the students; some current teachers from the Department and advanced PhD students in the Anthropology Department will participate in the Workshop to discuss their fieldwork experiences and answer questions, giving participants a practical and deeper understanding of fieldwork.

Costs and Expenses

The Workshop is free. Free on-campus accommodation and a modest meal allowance will be provided. Students are expected to cover the cost of transportation to Hong Kong and to the CUHK campus. Please consult your local authorities for visa procedure and fees.

Application

Application deadline: Saturday 21 April, 2018 (Successful candidates will be notified by Friday 4 May, 2018)

Application procedure:
Please fill in the online application form and upload supporting documents, including:
1) Official transcripts (mandatory)
2)Two letters of recommendation (mandatory)
3)Two short essays (under 800 words in total) in English, with the prompts “I want to pursue postgraduate studies in anthropology because…” and “The research topic I am most interested in is….” (mandatory)
4)TOEFL or IELTS scores, or any other evidence of English ability (optional)

If you cannot access the online form, you can send your name, institution and contact email as well as the supporting documents to anthropology@cuhk.edu.hk by the same deadline, titled “2018 Anthropology Methods Summer Workshop Application”.



2018年暑期人類學方法工作坊

香港中文大學人類學系

時間:2018615~19日(星期五~星期二,共五日,包括端午節期間的實地田野考察
地點:香港中文大學

暑期人類學方法工作坊面向人類學、民族學或其他相關學科(如社會學、文化研究、歷史學、宗教學等)、有志於攻讀碩士或博士學位的學生。該工作坊由香港中文大學人類學系前研究生主任Prof. Joseph Bosco指導,教授定性及民族誌研究方法,幫助學生制定自己的研究計劃。人類學系的其他教師及博士生亦會分享田野調查中的親身經驗。工作坊將主要以英語進行,主題包括:

•研究設計:如何為民族誌研究撰寫計劃書
人類學研究倫理學
文獻綜述
研究目標與意義
訪談技巧
問卷調查
參與式觀察
田野筆記
直接與無干擾觀察
可視媒體的使用及分析
文本分析
民族誌寫作

申請須知:
1. 工作坊不收取學費,提供免費校內住宿和少量膳食津貼。學生需要承擔交通費用,並自行處理來港出入境事宜。
2. 申請截止日期為2018421日,錄取者將在201854日前收到通知。
3. 申請程序:
請填妥網上申請表,並上傳申請文件,包括
1)官方成績單
2)兩封推薦信
3)兩篇短文,主題分別為「我想攻讀人類學研究生,因為……」以及「我最感興趣的研究課題是……」(合共不超過800字,以英文撰寫)
4)托福或雅思成績,或其他英語能力證明(該項可選)

如無法填寫網上表格,在截止日期前將姓名、所在學系和聯繫電子郵件連同申請文件發送至anthropology@cuhk.edu.hk,標題為“2018 Anthropology Methods Summer Workshop Application”.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

[Roundtable Workshop Recap] Maritime Archaeology and Ceramic Road in Southeast Asia and China


Roundtable Workshop: Maritime Archaeology and Ceramic Road in Southeast Asia and China

Date: December 1, 2017

Speakers and Topics:
Mr. Chhay Rachna (Angkor Ceramic Unit, APSARA Authority, Siem Reap, Cambodia)
Topic: Understanding the Context of Khmer Ceramics and Kilns and their Association with Cross-Cultural Exchange

Dr. Ellen Hsieh (Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA)
Topic: Non-invasive Scientific Analysis on Trade Ceramics from Consumption Sites and Shipwrecks

Dr. Brian Fahy (The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Oxford)
Topic:Seeing the Forest for the Trees: A Holistic Study of Southeast Asian Shipwreck Assemblages

     Ceramics has always been one of the main focuses in the field of maritime archaeology. On 1st December 2017, a Roundtable Workshop was held by our department, inviting three guest speakers to share their thoughts on maritime archaeology and ceramics. We had Mr. Chhay Rachna from Angkor Ceramic Unit, APSARA Authority, sharing on Khmer ceramics and kilns and their connections with other Southeast Asia cultural groups; Dr. Ellen Hsieh, from Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles, talked about non-invasive scientific analysis on trade ceramics found in shipwrecks and consumption sites; Dr. Brian Fahy, from The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Oxford, presented his arguments on the essentiality of establishing a holistic study of Southeast Asian shipwreck assemblages.
Prof. Sharon Wong giving a welcoming speech
Khmer ceramics produced in the Angkorian period were only for local use, suggested by Mr. Chhay, while relations and interactions with outer regions lied within the economy of ceramic imports. Mr. Chhay studied the Khmer interactions with other regions in ceramics during the Angkorian period by comparing ceramics found in the production sites and consumption sites, and evidence from terrestrial archaeological sites beyond Khmer Empire and Southeast Asian shipwrecks.
The presentation mainly focused on three primary stoneware ceramic production sites, namely the Angkorian core region group (Group I), provincial Angkorian production centre (Group II), and late Angkorian production centre (Group III). The ceramics in Group I are mainly green glazed and unglazed. White clay was used to make small glazed containers, while grey clay from the nearby source was used to make unglazed ceramics. Stoneware excavated in kilns of Group I ranges from roof tiles to boxes, bottles, pots, plates, large jars and large basins, with diverse patterns incised by potters. For Group II, most of the ceramics found were brown glazed and dark green glazed, made of red clay, and supported by regular fire clay inside the kilns differing from irregular fire clays found in Group I. Most of the stoneware found in Group III were likewise brown glazed, produced in kilns with structural elements similar to those in Group II.
Mr. Chhay argued, these Khmer wares were for daily use, commonly excavated in various consumption sites, while imported Chinese ceramics tended to be more precious, bulk of Chinese ceramics assemblages were rare to be found outside the Greater Angkor Region which is the elite context. For instance, in Prei Monti Temple in Roluos, which was the early Angkorian site from the 9th Century, 17.5% of excavated ceramics were imported, with 73.6% Khmer earthenware and 8.9% Khmer stoneware. There were Chinese ceramics and ceramics from other countries found in archaeological sites that are located in Greater Angkor Region, but no Khmer ceramics was found in both terrestrial archaeological sites beyond Khmer Empire and Southeast Asian shipwrecks. By comparing ceramics in production sites and consumption sites and evidence from shipwrecks, Mr. Chhay proposed that ceramics from the mentioned three sites were for local consumption; the relations and interactions with outer region were found to be in the import trade as abundant ceramics from other regions were found in elite consumption sites.
Mr. Chhay Rachna
Archaeologists face various challenges when they adopt prevalent methods to identify ceramics. There are visual analysis, which includes the observation of the types, forms, glazes, pastes and decorative patterns of ceramics, and scientific analysis, such as the study of chemical composition, crystallization process and weathering process. The visual analysis did not serve well for archaeological research, which often involves dirty, broken, tiny sherds with no decoration, while scientific analysis requires sophisticated invasive laboratory instruments which are not suitable for the large quantity of sherds or to be used on site, given the time and money they cost, and the damages they made on the sherds. In response to these problems, Dr. Ellen Hsieh proposed non-invasive portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) and fiber optics reflectance spectroscopy (FORS) for the identification of ceramics in archaeological context. The presentation mainly focused on the application of pXRF, and the pXRF patterns of chemical elements in blue pigments and white areas on ceramics produced in Jingdezhen, Zhangzhou from China and Hizen from Japan were shown. Dr. Hsieh analyzed the pigments of blue-and-white ceramics found on Santa Cruz shipwreck from the Philippines with pXRF and identified them to be produced in Jingdezhen by comparing the data which the compositional pattern of pigments in Jingdezhen ceramics found to be highly matched with those on Santa Cruz, showing cobalt-based blue pigments, with poor Iron and rich Manganese. Dr. Hsieh presented her application of non-invasive technology in identifying ceramics and argued that this provides new possible ways to see global networks from chemical composition.

Dr. Ellen Hsieh
A ceramic-centered narrative is not enough to understand a shipwreck, argued by Dr. Brian Fahy, who agreed the importance of ceramics but also other often-neglected materials that could be found on shipwrecks. Dr. Fahy studied the materials that were excavated in six Southeast Asian shipwrecks and sites, namely Turiang, Bakau, Rang Kwien, Ko Si Chang III, Lena Shoal, and Santa Cruz. These materials include iron sand, tin ingots, Chinese coins, manufactured materials such as mirrors, armaments such as lantakas, sword and spearhead, net weight, fishing hook, duck egg, aniseed, peppercorns, minerals, beads, grinding stone, earthenware, and so forth. The study of these materials can serve for a better understanding of the social, economic and political context of the past. For instance, the rosette on the tin ingots found on Turiang, a shipwreck near to Malaysia, corresponds to the pattern on the money used in Malaysia. What does this phenomenon imply? What is the significance of the pattern? This may need further study, but it shows how these materials play a role in facilitating us to understand the past. With the consideration of the aforementioned materials, Dr. Fahy argued that it will give us a more complete picture of the networks as established by the ships back then.
Dr. Brian Fahy


Text: Sonia Fung Lok Shan

【星期五探討會回顧】臺灣文化資產中的窯業遺跡與傳世古陶瓷調查研究


日期: 29/9/2017
講者: 盧泰康教授 (國立台南藝術大學藝術)
題目: 臺灣文化資產中的窯業遺跡與傳世古陶瓷調查研究



盧教授以介紹三種不同的窯為線索,輔以詳實有趣的研究經歷,幫助聽眾理清台灣陶瓷業在不同歷史時期的發展脈絡。他先從瓦窯(即主要負責燒製烏瓦的窯)開始,提及建築材料燒製的特點:多就地取材,就地使用;少長途流通。各地燒製的特點造就不同地方的建築特徵:台灣的磚瓦多為紅色,著名的例子有台南的赤崁樓

另外是漏窯以及糖漏的發掘和發現過程。糖漏是工業化製糖之前臺灣對紅糖進行脫色加工以生產白糖的重要用具。在文獻資料中,糖漏曾以瓦溜等一系列其他名稱出現。日治時代,殖民者對台灣糖業進行了工廠化改革,這種相對傳統且低效的脫色方式也逐漸被遺忘。漏窯的發現,包括糖漏、漏罐和底座等一系列器物的復原,彌補了這一世代記憶和考古材料上的缺環,讓研究者對明清時期的製糖工藝有更完整的理解。

第三種盧教授重點介紹蛇窯。盧教授結合自己在福建德化縣等地的考察經歷,從蛇窯」、「龍窯這些名稱上清台灣和福建地區窯業的關係。除了講解蛇窯的結構、運作原理和產品特徵外,盧教授重點介紹蛇窯在台灣各區的分佈及台灣文化資產普查工作的現狀。南投窯作為蛇窯在台灣的案例,盧教授從分佈在台灣各地寺廟的香爐入手分析南投窯的生產概況。根據統計數據清代和日治時期的香爐多於戰後,其反映南投窯生產規模和銷售範圍的縮小。從這個例子可以看出臺灣本土窯業和整體歷史進展的互動。



除此之外,雲林縣西螺鎮福興宮收藏的太平媽南投窯香爐也是另一個窯業研究物件。尤其是其中採用的不同科技手段,包括傳統的考古測繪、顯微放大鏡和螢光射線進行分析。通過顯微放大手段,我們可以知道香爐壁的文字是怎麼寫上去的,用切片釉層元素的測定結果讓我們能確定香爐的燒成溫度不會太高。盧教授的例子生動說明,各種科技手段在考古中應用可以讓考古發現和研究更加立體和全面,其背後代表的跨學科研究思維也是考古和歷史研究未來的發展趨勢。

講座結束之後,在場師生針對盧教授講座的內容,對台灣窯業和古代對外貿易之間的關係進行熱烈討論。

文:鄧曉懿

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

[Friday Seminar Recap] Family Runs in the Vessels, Vines Run Through the Family: An Anthropologist Engages with Systemic Therapy



Date: November 17, 2017
Speaker: Teresa Kuan (Department of Anthropology, CUHK)
Title: Family Runs in the Vessels, Vines Run Through the Family: An Anthropologist Engages with Systemic Therapy



In this Friday Seminar, Dr. Kuan started by introducing the background of her paper. Firstly, kinship was once considered the “real guts of social anthropology”, and is a field of study recently invigorated by Marshall Sahlins’ new book, What Kinship Is--And Is Not. In this book, Sahlins defines kinship as “the mutuality of being”, and kinship, as Dr. Kuan points out, is about not only relationships but also how people construct their realities, especially the boundaries between the self and the other. While modern people are taught that the self ends at the surface of the skin, this is not how most of us experience actual life. Kin, as Sahlins puts it, “are people who live each other’s lives and die each other’s deaths”.

Secondly, in recently years, China anthropologists are discussing a “psycho-boom”, as a new, private sector of mental health services has been growing in China. Dr. Kuan did fieldwork in a research institute established in 2014 for family research and family therapy in Shanghai. The institute is embedded in a private wellness company founded by an overseas Chinese businessman. A lot of money was poured into the facilities, in order to train new therapists. Well-established professionals from the state sector act as mentors, and the trainees are mostly middle-aged women who have gone into counseling as a second career. The families seen at this field-site tend to be middle-class but this is not always the case. They usually come with a teenager that has been either hospitalized and/or medicated with no signs of improvement.

Dr. Kuan then detailed a case in which the therapeutic process illustrated a problematic transpersonal distribution of resentment and responsibility. The “identified patient” was a teenage girl on anti-depressants, and her parents divorced several years ago yet still got into fights. As the psychiatrist and therapist, whom Dr. Kuan calls Dr. K, analyzed it, with evidence from biofeedback data, the daughter has put herself in her mother’s position, feeling her feelings for her, just as the mother had put herself in her daughter’s position, reading the father’s every “attack” on their daughter as a personal attack on her. This sort of confusion of selves and run of emotions was called “entanglement”, which, as Dr. K believe it, is poisonous rather than nourishing: The girl admitted that she found it increasingly hard to handle schoolwork, and the burden she felt made her want to collapse. Dr. K commented, “Putting too much energy here, things won’t be so smooth in the outside world.”

The purpose of therapy at the Institute, therefore, is “individuation” or “differentiation”. According to Murray Bowen, one of the founders of family therapy, differentiation refers to the degree to which a person is able to remain “objective” even while engaged in ongoing human intercourse. Anxiety determines differentiation. Relationship-oriented, poorly differentiated people put too much “life energy” into seeking “love and approval”. Highly differentiated people, on the other hand, are “more contained”, more “self-determined” and “goal-oriented”. While Dr. Kuan clearly points out Bowen’s idealization of objectivity and rationality, she maintains what this theory highlights is an existential, ethical problem – i.e. the question of how to conduct oneself in one’s relations with others, particularly kin.

In the case described above, Dr. K contended that everyone is trying to control everyone else has confused proper roles and positions, leading to everybody’s shared pain. Dr. Kuan argues that the work that Dr. K does is moral in essence, as the protocol works on human relationships. This kind of family systems therapy exposes and tackles all the grudges and hurts that are either too sensitive or too banal to recognize, let alone address in the course of everyday life. And it is not only about feelings and emotions; the taking of responsibility that is not one’s to take is also consequential in a situation of suffering. Family therapy, as Dr. Kuan sees it, offers one possible (though hardly perfect) response. In conclusion, Dr. Kuan argued that we should pay attention to the difference between individuation and individualization, and avoid reducing everything to the framework of neoliberal governmentality.

Monday, November 20, 2017

[Friday Seminar Recap] "Do you realise this is a Chinese school?": White parents as ethnic minorities in the local Hong Kong school system


Date: November 3, 2017
Speaker: Paul O’Connor (Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University)
Title: "Do you realise this is a Chinese school?": White parents as ethnic minorities in the local Hong Kong school system

Dr. O'Connor

In this Friday Seminar, Dr. O’Connor examined the case of white parents attempting to enroll their children in local kindergarten and primary schools in Hong Kong. He started by outlining the context of his research. From 2012 to 2014, Hong Kong witnessed a rise of anti-mainland sentiment, and a series of political protests took place. A localist Hong Kong identity seems to have come to the forefront. On the other hand, Dr. O’Connor’s wife is an English who grew up in Hong Kong, and their three sons were all born in Hong Kong and very strongly identify as Hongkongers. Dr. O’Connor and his wife tried to send their youngest son into a local kindergarten so that he could learn Cantonese. While he initially did quite well, after he changed to another kindergarten as the family moved, his Cantonese learning virtually stopped. These macro and micro contexts made Dr. O’Connor very interested in the current research topic.

When it comes to schooling in Hong Kong, Dr. O’Connor pointed out that the change to Mother Tongue Instruction in 1997 was a crucial move, as the importance of English got diluted, while the focus on Chinese became more important while complicated and messy. Currently, more than 300 schools use Chinese (Cantonese) as their MOI (medium of instruction) while English is used in select, elite and designated schools. Dr. O’Connor highlighted that international schools experience an exodus of white parents after 1997, and currently almost half of the students in international schools are Chinese.

While white people compose less than 1% of the population in Hong Kong and are ethnic minorities in this sense, their average monthly salary almost triples that of the Hong Kong population, and is way higher than that of Thai, Pakistani, Indonesian and Indian people in Hong Kong. This leads to the question: how do we frame white people as ethnic minorities in the circumstance? Another relevant background is that according to statistics, around 25% of white people in Hong Kong, while Dr. O’Connor believed the actual percentage is far lower than that.

So, why are more white parents sending their children to local schools? When he was conceiving the research, Dr. O’Connor thought that this has to do with Hong Kong identity, while his co-researcher, Dr. Julian M. Groves, believed that it is about preserving privileged status. They conducted semi structured interviews with 18 white parents with an average age of 44. While the number of interviewees is relatively small, Dr. O’Connor explained that they achieve data saturation pretty soon as these white parents had very similar experience.

Their findings are a mix of both issues. The white parents have multiple motivations: On the one hand, the high cost of international school can be a burden for those families that are in a financially more precarious position, and some parents are concerned of how their kids are going to find a job if they do not speak Cantonese. Dr. O’Connor argued that recently there is a value judgement about international schools, criticizing them as elitist and privileged. These parents are convinced that a more wholesome way to raise your kids is to give them an authentic experience of the culture in the local Hong Kong society, and sending their kids to local schools is a more challenging but also more rewarding route to take. Dr. O’Connor argued that this is a way for these white parents to preserve their privileged status, and values like global citizenship and multiculturalism are emphasized. This also shows a commitment to Hong Kong: Dr. O’Connor explained that there is a focus on Cantonese, which is seen as more authentically Hong Kong than Mandarin and will enable one to live a truly local life in the community. Having said that, Dr. O’Connor clarifies that no parents they interviewed held a localist stance. These values, however, can be co-opted and inconsistent. Dr. O’Connor discovered that the parents can be anxious about sending their children to schools with “too many” Pakistani, which might compromise their ability to let their children learn Chinese. The values about diversity and inclusion stop when they cannot get the value they want, understandably so.

Dr. O’Connor discussed how this privileged community experience great difficulty and even what they perceive as discrimination when applying for local schools for their children. Drawing on the parents’ own accounts, he illustrated how the schools insist that they are “Chinese schools” meant for Chinese people, and the white kids are seen as a hassle and rejected outright. The teachers also do not believe that the white kids can possible learn Chinese. When there are ethnic minorities students in the class, sometimes they are arranged to sit on the same table and separated from other students, and therefore cannot really learn Chinese. These difficult and frustrating attempts to enroll the kids in local schools have caused significant emotional distress and internal conflicts to the white families.


Dr. O’Connor argued that the education system in Hong Kong offers very little guidance or support for these parents. Despite their wealth, social capital and privilege, white people have similar marginalization and obstacles as other ethnic minorities do in Hong Kong when it comes to education, which leads Dr. O’Connor to the conclusion that the schooling system is broken, and the division of local and international system problematic.


Related publication:

Groves, Julian M., and Paul O'Connor. "Negotiating global citizenship, protecting privilege: western expatriates choosing local schools in Hong Kong." British Journal of Sociology of Education (2017): 1-15. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/kdZgeG2T6EZTDug4x5kg/full

Thursday, November 9, 2017

[Friday Seminar Recap] Migrant Youth Navigating Education and Identity in Hong Kong


Date: October 27, 2017
Speaker: Chee Wai-Chi (Department of Education Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University)
Title: Migrant Youth Navigating Education and Identity in Hong Kong

Dr. Chee

What are migrant students’ opportunities and challenges in Hong Kong’s education system? How do they negotiate their identities and belonging? In this Friday Seminar, Dr. Chee Wai-Chi tried to answer these questions by looking into the academic trajectories and identity formation of two incoming teenage groups to Hong Kong – from mainland China and from South Asia (predominantly India, Pakistan, and Nepal). Dr. Chee started by outlining the context. For the South Asian group, ethnic minorities constitute about 8% of the whole population in Hong Kong. School attendance rates of ethnic minorities are significantly lower than those of the whole population, especially at the post-secondary level. The proportion of people working in elementary, non-skilled occupations, on the other hand, is much higher among the South Asians than among the whole population in Hong Kong. For mainland Chinese, from 2006 to 2016, 40,000 one-way permit holders entered Hong Kong every year. Yet, there are no statistics about their education and occupation since they are not categorized as a separate group in government census. Dr. Chee conducted longitudinal study of these two groups of teenage immigrant students in Hong Kong.

Dr. Chee found out that the Induction Programme (IP) plays an important role in the immigrant students’ academic trajectory. If the students can stay in the same school after IP, they usually develop strong bonding with that school, while those who have to leave experience a love-hate relationship with their IP school. Dr. Chee argued that the IP schools are like “green houses”, and that is why it feels particularly bad when students are denied a place in their original school. “It is their first experience of being rejected in Hong Kong, by a school that has been so supportive and reassuring, which may lead to resentment.” Whether a student can stay in the same school or not of course have to do with their individual performances, yet there are also structural reasons at play. Dr. Chee discovered that when a school has too many ethnic minorities students, the Chinese parents may withdraw from sending their children there. Therefore, the schools have to pay attention and keep ethnic minorities students within a limited proportion. Dr. Chee argued that finishing the IP is a turning point in the academic trajectories of many immigrant students. Paradoxically, while IP is a nurturing space for the students who are new to Hong Kong, it does not prepare them well for the larger educational realities of Hong Kong and may eventually fail them.

When it comes to the construction and negotiation of identity, Dr. Chee found that there is a predominant emphasis on Cantonese linguistic capital, be it at official level or in everyday encounters of individuals. The official term for immigrant students is “Non-Chinese speaking students”, which appears to be offensive by some. One student said, “Can I call you ‘non-English speaking’? Why not address it as a second language learning, or non-mother tongue learners?” In their daily life, fluency in Cantonese seems to open up another door for friends, career prospects and many other things, and the lack of it is a shame. One student said, “This is a school for ‘disabled’ people like me. We don’t speak Cantonese.” Another student reported being treated impolitely while working at McDonald’s because his Cantonese was not good. Dr. Chee argued that the major significance of Cantonese in the immigrant students’ construction of a Hong Kong identity is a rather new phenomenon. Several years ago, the students would use entitlement (the rights they enjoy in Hong Kong) and descent (their family members being Hong Kong permanent residents) to explain why they see themselves as Hong Kong people. Dr. Chee suggested that the rise of importance of Cantonese may have to do with the rising emphasis on local Hong Kong culture in recent years.


Dr. Chee looked further into the difference between the two groups. Many South Asian students feel that they have a “mixed” identity. One Indian student commented that she is a Hongkonger but she still has some Indian things since she grew up there, and it was not important to be a “full” Hongkonger, as long as she herself is comfortable with both parts of her identity. Another Nepalese student said that he could easily “switch” his identities depending on where he is, in Nepal or Hong Kong. The mainland students, Dr. Chee argued, embed their Hong Kong identity under their Chinese identity, as they mainly see themselves as a Chinese who is living in Hong Kong. Dr. Chee found that interestingly, their self-identification as “Hongkonger in/of China” (中國香港人) is heavily informed by a categorization of identity mainly constructed by the polling of the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme.

The Audience

在香港的教育體制之下,新移民學生面臨哪些機遇與挑戰?他們如何理解自身的身份與歸屬?在本次「星期五研討會」當中,徐渭芝博士重點考察了中國大陸與南亞新移民這兩個群體。少數族裔約佔香港人口
8%。他們的就學率明顯低於香港人口的整體水平,這在專上教育階段尤其如此;而從事較低技術職業的南亞裔人士比例則遠高於整體水平。從2006年到2016年,每年約有四萬名單程證持有人從大陸來港。由於政府統計中並無將大陸新移民單列一類,因此缺乏他們的就學率及職業分佈等數據。

徐博士對這兩個新來港群體中的青少年進行了縱貫性研究。她發現,「新來港兒童適應課程」在這些青少年的學術軌跡中起著重要作用。如果學生在完成適應課程後能留在原來的學習就讀,他們通常會與該學校建立起深厚的情感紐帶;那些要離開的學生則會與原先的學校發展出一種愛恨交纏的關係。徐博士認為,適應課程學校就像是一個「溫室」,為這些新來港青少年提供信心與支持。也正因為如此,當一些學生無法繼續留在原先提供適應課程的學校就讀的時候,他們會感到特別受傷害:這是他們在香港第一次遭到「拒絕」,而且還是來自於他們信任、依賴的學校。徐博士指出,弔詭地,適應課程提供的良好環境,反而使學生無法為香港教育制度的現實做好準備,最終可能令他們失望。而能否留在原來的學校就讀,當然與學生個人表現有關,但也受到其他結構性因素的影響。例如說,徐博士發現,當一間學校招收了太多少數族裔學生的時候,華裔學生的家長可能就會不太願意把他們的孩子送到這間學校去。因此,學校必須小心控制他們的學生族裔構成比例。

在身份認同建構方面,徐博士發現,粵語語言資本,無論是在官方還是日常層面,都非常受到重視。移民學生的官方稱謂是「非華語學生」,這讓一些人感覺受到冒犯:「我可不可以稱呼你為『非英語人士』呢?為什麼不能稱為第二語言或是非母語學生?」在日常生活當中,粵語似乎為友誼、職業以及許多其他機會打開了大門,而粵語能力的欠缺則讓人羞愧。一個學生說,「這所學校是為我們這樣的『殘疾人』而設的——我們不會說廣東話。」另一位學生表示,他在麥當勞打工時因為粵語不夠好而被很不禮貌地對待。徐博士認為,廣東話在新移民學生的身份認同構建中佔據重要地位,是一個新近出現的現象;在數年前,新移民可能會以法定權利和家族血統(而非粵語能力)來解釋為什麼他們視自己為香港人。徐博士猜想,這可能與近年來香港社會對於本土文化的強調有關。

徐博士亦探討了兩個群體之間的差異。她發現,許多南亞裔學生認為他們的身份是「混雜』的。一名印度裔學生說,她是香港人,但因為在印度長大仍然有印度的成分。只要她對自己身份中的兩個部分都感到自在,她是不是一個「完全』的香港人並不重要。另一位尼泊爾裔學生則表示,他可以根據自己身在何處「轉換』自己的身份。另一方面,大陸學生則往往把自己的香港認同置於中國認同之下,視自己為「中國香港人』。有趣的是,這一認同在很大程度上受到香港大學民意研究計劃的港人身份認同調查中的身份類別所影響。

Thursday, October 26, 2017

[Friday Seminar Recap] Deliberate Design or Accidental Abuse? Misappropriations of Applied Anthropology in Global Design Consulting


Date: October 20, 2017
Speaker: Non Arkaraprasertkul (Department of Architecture, Design and Planning, Sydney University)
Title: Deliberate Design or Accidental Abuse? Misappropriations of Applied Anthropology in Global Design Consulting

Dr. Non Arkaraprasertkul

Since the 1970s, “design research” has become popular in the consulting industry. It is a form of research that emphasizes empathy, and aims to create demand for yet-to-be realized needs. Dr. Arkaraprasertkul started to investigate design research by introducing the idea of “Anthropology Inc.” raised by Graeme Wood. Nowadays, the largest margin of any market across the globe lies in everyday consumerism. Therefore, the consulting companies treat people’s everyday experience as a research subject of major value, and turn to anthropology and use the method of field research. Jane Fulton Suri, author of Thoughtless Acts and founder of Human Centered Design Research at IDEO, is a prominent figure in this field.

Dr. Arkaraprasertkul introduced the characteristics of design research. Design research relies on observing people as they act naturally, and empathy is a regarded as a crucial guiding principle, as the researchers defer judgement on value. Importantly, design research is clearly goal-oriented, and the goal is usually a commercial one. The key methods of design research, Dr. Arkaraprasertkul explained, are: go out and watch people; ask questions, no matter how “dumb” they appear; embrace extreme users; find people who break rules when using things and find out why; think about experience rather than things; think in verbs rather than nouns; and borrow ideas from other areas. Dr. Arkaraprasertkul then showed several examples of design research.

While it all looks great in principle, what Dr. Arkaraprasertkul experienced during his six-month fieldwork in a transnational global design consulting firm based at a first-tier city in China turned out to be less than ideal. He found out that in this firm, the design researchers, who were supposed to listen to their informants carefully, were too ready to instead speak on behalf of the informants. The interviews were mostly structured and directive, and the researchers often told the rest of the research teams what, as they believed it, the informants thought. Utmost emphasis was put on film and sound recordings, as they could be used as “solid evidence”. What’s more, Dr. Arkaraprasertkul sensed a strong sense of entitlement among the design researchers, who actually saw themselves more as consultants, would like to keep a distance from their informants, and held a deep sense of hostility toward “academic research”. Most importantly, Dr. Arkaraprasertkul pointed out, the researchers have to be result-oriented so as to meet deadlines and get paid. In conclusion, Dr. Arkaraprasertkul argued that the essence and spirit of anthropology is “diluted” in design research.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

[Friday Seminar Recap] Between Mainstreaming and Marginalization: Kabaddi and Local-Global Disjuncture in Taiwan


Date: October 6, 2017
Speaker: Wyman Tang Wai-man (Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Title: Between Mainstreaming and Marginalization: Kabaddi and Local-Global Disjuncture in Taiwan 

Dr. Wyman Tang


Kabaddi is a traditional game popular in South Asia. As it is simple and requires no instruments, it is called “game of the masses”. Under the influence of the nationalist movement in India, this game was formalized and standardized into National kabaddi, which has been promoted to other countries and played in international games since 1990.

Dr. Tang first looked into why Taiwanese players are interested in playing kabaddi. After the Doha Asian Game in 2006, a Taiwan businessman brought Kabaddi to Taiwan. In Taiwan, Kabaddi is often thought of as “an Asian game for Asians”—since there are weight limits (85kg for male, 70kg for female), it is thought to be suitable for the smaller bodies of Asians. While such a discourse sounds like the popular racial discourse in sports, Dr. Tang argued that what people want to emphasize is an ideal that Kabaddi should be an inclusive game, which is not dominated by particularly strong and huge people but can also be played by different people with smaller body size. Having said that, Dr. Tang discovered that in practice, Kabaddi players do make many efforts to gain weight and approach the weight limit, though still believing that Taiwanese are born to play kabaddi. Also, this new sport gives new hope to many “elite athletes” who showed talent in sports during secondary schools yet failed to reach the top level. They shifted to kabaddi, which is still less competitive than the traditional sports, with the hope that it can give them the opportunities to join the national team.

Another major group of kabaddi players in Taiwan are the indigenous people. The popular discourse follows the ethnic stereotype, i.e. indigenous people are better at playing sports. In the media, some indigenous kabaddi players also compare playing kabaddi with their childhood experience of hunting. However, Dr. Tang’s conversations with indigenous players show that most of them do not believe there is a significant bodily difference between Han Chinese and indigenous players. What is indeed happening, as school teachers explain to Dr. Tang, is that for the indigenous students, their families are less likely to be able to afford tuition classes from secondary school onwards. To play sports and go through the elite athlete scheme is an alternative method to enter university without good academic results, and kabaddi is cheaper and less competitive compared with other sports. This is why indigenous students have a higher participation rate in kabaddi.

Then, how is it like to play kabaddi in Taiwan? Dr. Tang introduced that in 2008, Taiwan was recognized as a member in the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF). Since then, Taiwanese team has been participating in the international tournament. In 2014, the Professional Kabaddi League (PKL) was established in India, and two Taiwanese players have joined the league so far.

In Taiwan, having the opportunity to join the national team and play in international matches is very important. Many jobs in the sports field are low-paying and unpromising. The ideal career for an athlete is to become a school PE teacher as it gives a stable, good income. Yet, through the formal channel, the chance was small. By contrast, if a player can join the national team and play in the international game, their chance to become a licensed coach in a school will be raised to a great extent. However, Dr. Tang pointed out that the Taiwanese team’s chance of participation in various international games are still very limited.

So, Dr. Tang asked, why are the opportunities for Taiwanese kabaddi players so limited? He answered this question by analyzing the global politics in kabaddi. India is an emerging economy. The profits generated in the PKL are not enough for promotion of kabaddi in wealthier countries. On the contrary, money flow from these countries to India, if they want to join the India-centered global kabaddi club. For the poorer countries, IKF send them various resources to develop kabaddi, looking forward to a good return from selling products and broadcast rights in the long run. Taiwan, however, is in an embarrassing position. Taiwan developed kabaddi without the support from the government, and India can reap little direct benefits from Taiwan to India. Dr. Tang argued that the in-between role of Taiwan – neither too poor, unlike Nepal, nor too rich, unlike Japan – made it difficult for Taiwan to get on the kabaddi train.