Thursday, December 19, 2013

[Upcoming Seminar] Mental Health Challenges Among Fuzhounese Immigrants to the United States

The Centre for China Studies has invited medical anthropologist Prof. Katherine Mason to present in the Visiting Speaker Series 2013-2014. The talk is co-sponsored with the Department of Anthropology. All interested are welcome!

Mental Health Challenges Among Fuzhounese Immigrants to the United States

Speaker: Katherine MASON 
(Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar, Columbia University;
Assistant Professor, Brown University)
Time: Thursday, 9 January 2014 | 4:00 - 5:30 PM
Venue: Room 1120, 11/F, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK

This talk will examine the role of cultural, socioeconomic, and legal factors in the incidence, treatment, and experience of mental illness among Fuzhounese immigrants to New York City. Immigrants from Fuzhou constitute one of the fastest growing and most impoverished groups of Chinese immigrants to the United States. Many enter the country illegally and settle in the northeastern United States, where they work (primarily in take-out restaurants) to pay off their smuggling debts and send money home. Cultural, socioeconomic, and legal pressures often lead to poor mental health and poor outcomes. The speaker will report on initial findings from a series of qualitative studies of Fuzhounese mental health patients conducted with a team of multidisciplinary researchers at Columbia University.

The seminar will be conducted in English


Monday, December 16, 2013

Summer Internship Reflections 2013

Handling collections with gloves
(Photo provided by Susan FUNG)
Undergraduate students of the Department of Anthropology are encouraged to apply for internship opportunities at institutions/organizations both locally and internationally every summer, as internship allows students to explore their interest and provides invaluable field experience. 

In the year 2013, the Department has secured 8 summer internship opportunities for students – 3 overseas and 5 local.  Students who have participated have written to share their experience as interns in The Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology (Cambridge, UK), The Nicholson Museum (Antiquities) in The University of Sydney (Australia), the Hong Kong Museum of History, and the Antiquities and Monuments Office (Hong Kong). For more information on the summer internship and to find out what our students have to share, please visit our website.

Susan Fung Handling Fiji Clubs

Photographing a bunch of metals during accessioning
(Photo provided by Sendy Leung)

Harley NG at Nicholson Museum

Holding a bronze halberd from the Shang-Zhou period
(Photo provided by Samson Tang)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Multiculturalism in Action: Indian Culture Workshop 2013-2014

Generations of Indians have made their home in Hong Kong since the 19th century. Indian cuisines, religion, and art have been incorporated to various degrees in the local culture. Curry dishes in particular have become part of the local diet, while yoga and meditation have broadened the local repertoire of physical and mental health. The Indian community celebrates its many festivals throughout the year, notably the annual Diwali, when local business sectors benefit from the gold and silver purchases and catering demands. Yet, little attention has been paid to the cultural contribution of this community as Hong Kong develops into a global city. Stereotypes and misunderstandings spring from cross-cultural ignorance, which all too often lead to social isolation and discrimination.

As an initiative to promote understanding of Indian culture as part of Hong Kong’s local heritage, an Indian culture workshop named "Multiculturalism in Action" was organized by Professor Siumi Maria Tam, funded by the Knowledge Transfer Office and sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, CUHK. From September to November 2013, seven seminars were held including on-campus sessions and outside visits. Using traditional festivals, Bollywood movies, and food etc as a lens, guest speakers talked about the Indian diaspora in Hong Kong, and shared their personal experience growing up as an Indian in a Chinese society. 

The seminars together with field visits granted participants a great opportunity to learn the meanings and significance of Indian religions, the family, and daily practices. Participants of the workshop are expected to make a short presentation to local secondary schools about one of the aspects in Indian culture in the spring of 2014, and to share their new-found knowledge to more mainstream young people.  There will also be a cross-cultural program co-organized with the Indian community as the Workshop finale.

Below are some of the pictures from the past seminars and field visits held by the workshop.

Sep 21: Mr and Mrs Rao giving a talk on the first seminar-- "Who are the Indians?: Truths and myths"

Sep 28: Field visit to International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON): An experience in Hinduism, Indian food and dress
Mr. Steven Matthew lecturing on religious traditions in India

Ms. Lillian Tsang leading a Hindu hymn

Participants visiting the designated kitchen in ISKCON where the offering to the god is prepared

Participants trying on Indian style dress

The Hindu god Krishna worshipped in ISKCON

Oct 5: Mr. Vivek Mahbubani (middle), a stand-up comedian, giving a public lecture on his experience growing up as an Indian born in Hong Kong. (For details click here.)

Oct 13: Mr. Sanjib Sengupta (standing) explaining the history behind the Durga Puja—the annual festival worshipping the Hindu goddess Durga.

Oct 26 : Ms. Meera Rhoria (front, 3rd from left) sharing on the cultural meaning of Diwali—the festival of lights

Nov 23:  Ms. Minaz Master (far right) enjoying Indian cuisine with the participants after giving a talk on Bollywood movies

Dec 8: A Hindu wedding at ISKCON

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

[Event] Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions

On 12 October 2013, the "Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions" was held on the campus of The Chinese University of Hong Kong(CUHK). The CUHK Orientation Day for Undergraduate Admissions has been held every year, serving as a good opportunity for secondary school students, teachers and parents to obtain useful information about CUHK and its undergraduate programmes. Professors and students of the Department all helped in the Orientation Day for introducing the anthropology programme and answering questions from the visitors. 

Professor Teresa KUAN giving a talk during the Programme Introduction and Academic Counselling Session.

Professor CHENG Sea Ling giving a talk during the Programme Introduction and Academic Counselling Session.

Undergraduate students helping in the Department Exhibition and Booth Section

Department Exhibition and Booth Section

[Event] Orientation Camp for Newly Admitted Undergraduate Students 2013-2014

In 2013-14, the Department of Anthropology admitted a total 34 undergraduate students, including local (JUPAS and non-JUPAS candidates), non-local and transfer-in students. The newly admitted students participated in the Department Orientation Camp (Small O'Camp) from August 19 to 21, 2013 organized by the department student society. The O'Camp involved not only team-building activities, but also a special Cultural Visit activity to Wanchai Mosque(HK). 

Orientation Camp: Newly admitted students and their Campus Life Tutors (組爸/組媽) 

Team-building activities during Orientation Camp

Team-building activities during Orientation Camp

Cultural Visit during Orientation Camp: Students visiting Wanchai Monsque

Cultural Visit during Orientation Camp: Students visiting Wanchai Monsque

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

[Event] Students Volunteered in Heritage Fiesta 2013

From 1 September to 31 October 2013, eight undergraduate students of the Department of Anthropology volunteered in guiding tours of heritage sites in the "Heritage Fiesta 2013" organized by the Development Bureau, and have thereby received Certificates of Merit for their contributions in this event. 

Heritage Fiesta 2013 was one of the activities under the "Hong Kong: Our Home" Campaign and was held for a third year since its inauguration.  Riding on the significance of the education in heritage conservation, and aiming at providing an unique opportunity for the public to enjoy and appreciate study halls and historic school buildings in Hong Kong and to receive educating the heritage conservation, this year's two-month event has featured 17 schools and 13 study halls which were either declared monuments or graded buildings. For detailed information about heritage Fiesta 2013, please visit the heritage conservation website or refer to the pamphlet.

Monday, December 9, 2013

[HKAS Seminar] Shampoo in China: Development, Consumerism and Modernity

Professor Joseph Bosco is giving a talk this Thursday on Shampoo in China: Development, Consumerism and Modernitypresented by The Hong Kong Anthropological Society in association with The Hong Kong Museum of History*. If you missed his talk in CUHK in March this year, you would not want to miss this one!

Title: Shampoo in China: Development, Consumerism and Modernity
Speaker:  Joseph Bosco
(Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Time: Thursday, 12 December, 2013 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, Hong Kong Museum of History, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Free! All are welcome! (Space, however, is limited to 139 seats)
The lecture is conducted in English

This talk seeks to understand consumerism by examining the rapid adoption of shampoo in China since 1979. Before the economic reforms, the same bar soap used for laundry was used for washing the body and hair, and it was rationed. In the 1980s, many domestic soap and shampoo brands emerged, but after 1986, products made by multinational companies became popular. Many consumer advocates in the West have argued that the quality differences between different brands are slight. Yet some “foreign” brands (made in China) cost three times or more than local brands. Why are people willing to pay a premium for fancy soap and shampoo, when in most cases only the user knows what type of soap he/she has used? Why pay more when most consumers cannot tell the difference? What images and ideals are consumers buying with each bar or bottle? What does the rapid adoption of shampoo in China tell us about consumerism and the prospects for sustainable development?

Following the talk, you are invited to a self-paying dinner with the speaker.

For more information please contact Stan Dyer on 9746 9537
Twitter: @HKASTalks
*The museum makes no representations on the content of this lecture.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

[Upcoming Seminar] Women Taking Charge of Religion in the Indian Diaspora

Women Taking Charge of Religion in the Indian Diaspora

Speaker: Annapurna Devi Pandey
(Lecturer, University of California, Santa Cruz)
Time: 11:30 a.m., Thursday, 12 December 2013
Venue: Room 401, Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK

For the last two decades, I have been studying South Asian diaspora in the United States. Based on my longitudinal fieldwork, I have produced a documentary on the Odia diaspora in the Greater Bay Area (Homeland in the Heart) and am giving finishing touches to another one on the life giving ritual of the Jagannath, the patron deity of Odisha (Giving Life to God: The Installation of Lord Jagannath in the Fremont Hindu Temple). I have discovered that in the diasporic context, both men and women are redefining their gender roles. In this paper, I will focus on women’s subjectivity and self-empowerment through the performance of Durga Puja, the celebration of a popular Hindu Mother goddess.

Since the 1990s, there has been a dramatic shift in the population of Indian Americans in the Greater Bay Area known as Silicon Valley and it has grown exponentially (46.4%) in the last decade. The largest number of Indian Americans live in San Jose area and in the recent past, Fremont has become the second largest hub surpassing Los Angeles. Professional Odias have contributed to this swelling number in the Greater Bay Area. Odias from Southeastern India constitute a distinct immigrant community of a thousand middle class professionals, spread throughout the Silicon Valley. Since the 1990s when I moved to the Bay Area, I have been observing the diasporic Odia community of this region. I have published papers on various aspects of their life and have extensively worked on the diasporic Odia men and women and how they have adapted and adjusted to their new life and land in the USA.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Film Screening Event: Prof. Tam Invited as Guest Speaker

Professor Siumi Maria TAM is being invited as a guest speaker at a film screening event on next Thursday, 12 December 2013This documentary film The World Before Her (她和她的世界) is about Indian Women nowadays, moving between two extremes—the intimate verité drama of the Miss India pageant's rigorous beauty boot camp and the intense regime of a militant Hindu fundamentalist camp for young girls. As a specialist in Anthropology and Gender, Prof.Tam will share with the audience her insights into the issue after the film screening. 

The event is open to the public and free of charge. Come and enjoy the film with your friends!
Film: The World Before Her
Date: 2013.12.12 (Thu)
Time: 19:30-21:30

Venue: Mini Theatre, The Good Lab, L1, The Sparkle, 500 Tung Chau Street, West Kowloon
Guest Speaker: Prof. Siumi Maria TAM (Associate Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, CUHK; Member of The Gender Research Centre, CUHK) 

*Film Language in English & Hindi with Chi & partial Eng subtitles
*This event is free of charge. No registration is required. Any change of programme details will be announced on website and Facebook page

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

[Invited Seminar] Transnational Business Networks and Circumscribed Mobility Among Undocumented African Migrants in Guangzhou

LAN Shanshan
Research Assistant Professor, David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University
Transnational Business Networks and Circumscribed Mobility Among Undocumented African Migrants in Guangzhou
29 November 2013

Guangzhou is a city where a large number of African migrants live. Many of them are undocumented. Why do the African migrants stay illegally Guangzhou? What kinds of structural challenges do they face? And how do they cope with such challenges? Lan’s talk addresses these questions based on her fieldwork in Guangzhou and in Lagos, Nigeria as well as interviews with African and Chinese informants.

For many African migrants, coming to Guangzhou and overstaying their visa is a rational business strategy. This allows them to gain transnational business opportunity with the least cost. Their life has gotten a lot tougher since the Chinese government tightened up immigration controls in 2008. They can face detention or even deportation if the police check their passport.
As cases of police abuse soared, collective resistance increased. To cope with the structural discrimination against them, they set up self-disciplined ethnic unions as semi-official mediators between the Chinese authority and the African community. Collaborating with Chinese friends in business partnerships and developing personal relationships is another useful strategy. Both the structural constraints and the agency of the African migrants were explored in depth in the talk. The views from both African and Chinese informants were both incorporated. Lan’s talk presented a nuanced picture of this marginalized community in Guangzhou.

Reviewed by 
Alan TSE
M.Phil. Candidate

Monday, December 2, 2013

Information Session for MA Programme

The Department is going to hold an Information Session for MA Programme on 14 December 2013. Do not miss the opportunity to communicate with our professors face to face if you are interested in studying in the department. Those who are interested in our Research Programmes are also welcome. 

Date: 14 December 2013 (Saturday)
Time: 2:00pm start 

Venue: Room 207, Esther Lee Building, CUHK (near the University MTR station westhern exit)

To downlad the MA programme leaflet: 


[Taught Programme]

MA in Anthropology One-year full-time/ Two-year part-time

The programme is designed for people who have not majored in anthropology but wish to receive a formal education in the discipline. Students acquire systematic training in anthropological theory and methodology. (Three courses have been included in the list of reimbursable courses for the Continuing Education Fund (CEF)). 

Degree requirements can be completed in one year of full-time or two year of part-time study. The programme is taught, and no dissertation is required for graduation.

Click here to learn more about the MA Programme and application information.

[Research Programmes]

MPhil/ PhD in Anthropology Full-time

In these programmes, students work closely with a supervisor in reading the literature and conducting research. This allows each student's studies to be tailored to his or her needs. Students are expected to be highly self-motivated in pursuing their anthropological education.


Online application is available at the website of the Graduate Shool.
Application deadline:
MA programme: 31 March 2014
MPhil/ PhD programme:  31 January 2014

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

[Publication] Gender and Family in East Asia

Professor Siumi Maria TAM and Dr. WANG Danning from our department have co-edited a book entitled Gender and Family in East Asia with Professor Wai-Ching Angela Wong from the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies. The book is going to be first published on 4th February 2014, and is now available for pre-order on Routledge website.

Gender and Family in East Asia belongs to the Routledge Research on Gender in Asia Series, and covers a broad range of research papers on gender politics and family culture in East Asia. It is generally divided into three main sections, including Marriage and Motherhood, Migration, and Religion and Family. The details of the book are listed below.

Book Description
The on-going reconfiguration of geo-political and economic forces across the globe has created a new institutional and moral environment for East Asian family life and gender dynamics. Indeed, modernization in East Asia has brought about increases in womens education levels and participation in the labour force, a delay in marriage age, lower birth rates, and smaller family size. And yet, despite the process of modernization, traditional systems such as Confucianism and patriarchal rules continue to shape gender politics and family relationships in East Asia.

This book examines gender politics and family culture in East Asia in light of both the overwhelming changes that modernization and globalization have brought to the region, and the structural restrictions that women in East Asian societies continue to face in their daily lives. Across three sections, the contributors to this volume focus on marriage and motherhood, religion and family, and migration. In doing so, they reveal how actions and decisions implemented by the state trigger changes in gender and family at the local level, the impact of increasing internal and transnational migration on East Asian culture, and how religion interweaves with the state in shaping gender dynamics and daily life within the family.

With case studies from across the region, including South Korea, Japan, mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Asian studies, gender studies, anthropology, sociology and social policy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

[Upcoming Seminar] Transnational Business Networks and Circumscribed Mobility Among Undocumented African Migrants in Guangzhou

Transnational Business Networks and Circumscribed Mobility Among Undocumented African Migrants in Guangzhou

Speaker: LAN Shanshan
(Research Assistant Professor, David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University)
Time:  12:30 p.m. , Friday, 29 November 2013
Venue: Room 11 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK

Based on ethnographic fieldwork within the African diaspora communities in Guangzhou, this talk examines the structural constraints faced by undocumented Africans in urban China and their various coping strategies. Specifically, it focuses on illegal residence as a business strategy in maintaining vital transnational trade networks between China and Africa. For many African migrants, illegal residence in Guangzhou is just one special phase of their life for the purpose of capital accumulation. It enables them to maintain a transnational advantage over traders in Africa. By voluntarily choosing a life style of circumscribed mobility in Guangzhou, undocumented African migrants have been playing an important role in facilitating transnational trade activities between China and their home countries.

Feel free to bring your box lunch or sandwich to eat during the talk

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Publication] Museums in China: Power, Politics and Identities

Good news! Professor Tracey L-D Lu is publishing her second book in 2013 entitled “Museums in China: Power, Politics and Identities” on November 28. This book belongs to the Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia series, and is now ready for pre-order on Amazon. It is also being used as one of the readings for her course Museum and Anthropology taught in fall 2013-2014. Please find more information of the book below.

Book Description
The origin and development of museums in mainland China differ significantly from those in the West. The occurrence of museums in mainland China in the late nineteenth century was primarily a result of internal and external conflicts, Westernization and colonialism, and as such they were never established solely for enjoyment and leisure.

Using a historical and anthropological framework and based on extensive archive studies and fieldwork, this book provides a holistic and critical review on the establishment and development of museums in mainland China from 1840 to the present day, and argues that museums in mainland China have been used by a wide range of social, political, and state actors for a number of economic, religious, political and ideological purposes, ranging from reinforcing social segmentation, to influencing the economy, to protecting cultural heritage and the construction and enhancement of ethnic identities and nationalism. Further, museums have throughout their history helped the powerful to govern the less powerful or the powerless. The book also provides comparative insights on museology and heritage management, and questions who the key stakeholders are, how museums reflect broader social and cultural changes, and the relationship between museum and heritage management.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

[Invited Seminar] Material Civilization and Hygienic Modernity: Reflections on Toilet Practices in Rural South China

Gonçalo SANTOS 
Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong
Material Civilization and Hygienic Modernity: Reflections on Toilet Practices in Rural South China 
8 November 2013 

Fieldwork in China
When anthropologists firstly go into the field, one of the most important issues is to figure out where to go to the toilet. Gonçalo Santos, an assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong, recently gave a fascinating talk about people's toilet practices in rural south China based on his field work in Yingde, Guangdong Province from 1999 to 2001.

Local urine buckets vs. 'advanced' toilet arrangements
-- the local flush toilet
When he began his fieldwork, families were mostly going to the surrounding field or to public latrines which are far away from the living quarters or using buckets. A few families had begun to build the "modern" style private toilet and bathroom inside the house.  It seemed that people chose where to go to the toilet based on the development of technology. However, according to Dr. Santos's observation, even families with a "modern" flushing toilet keep on using the indoor-buckets and even the public latrines. The main reason initially was the value of human waste as  effective fertilizer. Even after they stopped using nightsoil as fertilizer, many villagers said that using indoor-buckets rather than flushing is much cheaper, more convenient, and uses less water. Without a proper sewage system, many bathrooms flooded because of excess water flowing into the septic system. Dr. Santos argued that technological choices are not independent from the social relationships and cultural values, but are socially and culturally constructed. The reason for the popularity of flushing toilet is not how efficient the technology is, but how it becomes a symbol of modernity in the villagers' imagination.
Local septic system

Reviewed by 
JIANG Yan (Echo)
M.Phil. Candidate

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

[Publication] 稻作與史前文化演變

Professor Tracey Liedan LU published her new book in Chinese--《稻作與史前文化演變》 early this year. Please find more details of the book below.




Thursday, November 7, 2013

[Event] Anthropology Department Geopark Boat Tour

On October 26, the Postgraduate Students' Society of Anthropology Department organized a boat trip to Hong Kong Geopark (香港地質公園) with a portion of the fee subsidized by the department. All together 36 postgraduate students along with teachers joined this Eco-Tour in Sai Kung area.

The Group at a 300-year-old Tin Hau Temple on High Island

Hong Kong Geopark became a National Geopark in October 2009 and consists of amazing rock landscapes expanding widely over the coastal area of northern east Hong Kong, which reveals an important part of Hong Kong’s natural history.

An unusual cave near High Island

Yacht trip on Sai Kung inland sea

The yacht tour started from Sai Kung New Public Pier and covered a large range of places including Hebe Haven(白沙灣), High Island(糧船灣), Ung Kong Group(甕缸群島), Tiu Chung Chau(吊鍾洲), and Half Moon Bay(半月灣), etc. During this trip, the group had a chance to observe the hexagonal columnar joints(六角柱節理) and Tiu Chung Cave (吊鐘洞), which is one of the “four famous caves in East Sea”. The group made one stop to visit a Tin Hau temple(天后廟), where fisher folk were drying small fish on the plaza.

Landing on High Island

Fisher folk drying small fish on the plaza

The Group

Monday, November 4, 2013

[Upcoming Seminar] Material Civilization and Hygienic Modernity: Reflections on Toilet Practices in Rural South China

Material Civilization and Hygienic Modernity: Reflections on Toilet Practices in Rural South China 

Speaker: Gonçalo SANTOS 
(Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong )
Time:  12:30 p.m. , Friday, 8 November 2013 
Venue: Room 11 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK

We have come to assume that the flush toilet and the wider waterborne system of waste disposal is one of the requirements of an urban setting and one of the symbols of an ‘advanced’ society. In this paper, I would like to explore the role played by the ‘flush toilet’ and the question of human waste management in the making of ‘modern identities’. My account is ethnographic in that it focuses on the spread of the ‘flush toilet’ in a specific setting - a rural community in South China -, but my theoretical goal is more general. I argue that ‘technological choices’ result less from inherent benefits in the technologies being adopted than from specific cultural values and social relations. Rather than treating technology independently of the human relations surrounding their use, I argue that technology is a socially and culturally constructed means of action upon the physical world. 

Feel free to bring your box lunch or sandwich to eat during the talk

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

[Invited Seminar] Treating Crazy: Becoming a Hong Kong Psychiatrist

PhD Candidate, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh and Honorary Research Assistant, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Treating Crazy: Becoming a Hong Kong Psychiatrist
18 October 2013

“Treating crazy” was a talk that focused on psychiatrists, specifically on the process of becoming a psychiatrist, to understand how the social stigma associated with mental illness can also have a negative impact on how clinicians experience their work. Ms Hanna Mantila locates doctors at one point in a complex network that includes classification (i.e. diagnostic practice), institutions (the health care system), experts (the psychiatrists), knowledge (biomedical knowledge in this case), the people (the mentally ill patients), and international organizations and pharmaceutical companies. Medical anthropologists commonly study the “illness experience” and clinical encounters from patients’ perspectives, but Ms. Mantila put the psychiatrists at the center of her analysis, demonstrating how systemic tensions and social ideas affect socialization and professionalization. 

Ms. Mantila noted that there are only around 300 psychiatrists in Hong Kong, which is a rather small number considering the population and the needs of Hong Kong. Patients have very long waiting times (even three weeks for the most urgent of cases in child psychiatry), because examination time and resources are limited. This can also affect the quality of supervision trainees receive from their supervisors, and psychiatrists’ ability to offer “psycho-education” to patients, i.e. the importance of staying on a drug regimen even when they feel well.   

In her presentation, Mantila presented a number of personal accounts given by Hong Kong psychiatrists’, and urges us to understand the difficulties these doctors face. She also discussed how the severe stigmatization of patients in Hong Kong makes halfway homes nearly impossible to open, which forecloses the institution of community-based alternatives to hospitalization. 

Ms. Mantila spoke about her initial findings as she only recently completed a year of fieldwork. The talk made listeners aware of the cost of the “efficiency” of Hong Kong’s public medical system, and to consider how global forms of expertise and medical practice are always shaped by  a given social and economic context. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

[In the Press] Professor Joseph Bosco Talks About Ghosts and Fengshui in Chinese Culture

Professor Joseph Bosco was interviewed for a radio documentary about ghosts and fengshui in Chinese culture. RTHK Radio 3 has decided to play this documentary during this time between Chung Yeung and Halloween. 

What are the differences between ghosts in Chinese and other cultures? Should the belief in ghosts be called superstitious? How about fengshui? And what different types of ghosts do anthropologists identify?

Click here to listen on the RTHK Radio 3 Archive programme "Ghostbusting Hong Kong" to what Professor Bosco has to say.

Monday, October 21, 2013

China Youthology: Anthropological Methods applied in Consumer Insights Consultancy

What can you do after graduation with an anthropology major? How can one apply anthropological methods in real jobs and in everyday life? These may be questions that bother lots of students. Well, here is an example of what to do with anthropological training. 

A group of young people established this company called China Youthology, which is now one of China's top Consumer Insights consultancies. Many of the members have anthropological background and the company has been applying methods such as in-depth interviews and focus-group discussions into their research, to help companies and society understand the real life and needs of Chinese youth.

As they put it:"We offer provocative insights about Chinese youth and facilitate the use of insights to spark actions in the market and society."

To find out more about their work with companies and their research, please visit their company website and blog. You can also check out their recent project "China Normal: Lower Tier Youth Research" here.

Graduates interested in job openings can also check them out here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

[Upcoming Seminar] Treating Crazy: Becoming a Hong Kong Psychiatrist

Treating Crazy: Becoming a Hong Kong Psychiatrist

Speaker: Hanna MANTILA 
(PhD Candidate, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh and 
Honorary Research Assistant, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Time:  12:30 p.m. , Friday, 18 October 2013
Venue: Room 11 Humanities Building, New Asia College, CUHK

This research discusses psychiatrists as mediators between systems of health care, patients and Hong Kong society and culture. As they are delicately positioned between numerous forces - institutional, social, cultural, economic and political, studying psychiatrists and their experiences of being doctors can help reveal how institutions come together in what are highly complex assemblages. Drawing on recent ethnographic fieldwork, this talk, as a preliminary reflection on the data, will look at the initial becoming of the doctors. By outlining what brings students to study psychiatry in Hong Kong, the expectations placed upon and emerging from aspiring doctors and the negotiation of these expectations, this talk creates space for exploring what studying clinical practice and experience could tell us about mental health and illness, about Hong Kong society, and about being human in the contemporary world. 

Feel free to bring your box lunch or sandwich to eat during the talk

Thursday, October 3, 2013

[Invited Seminar] Goodbye iSlave: Foxconn Labor and Networked Resistance

Jack Linchuan QIU 
Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Goodbye iSlave: Foxconn Labor and Networked Resistance 
27 September 2013

When you heard the shocking information about 19 Chinese Foxconn workers’ suicide attempt ever since 2010, you must be sympathy towards them. Linchuan Qiu feels the same way, but he goes further. 

From Qiu’s perspective, all of us who are now using Apple laptops or iPads or other smartphones to skim this review, are quite similar to those Foxconn iSlaves who produce those e-products.  Qiu called the Foxconn workers the manufacturing iSlaves, rural-to urban migrants, working for low pay, in poor conditions, making gadgets and exploited by cadre capital and global capital. We (and he includes himself) are manufactured iSlaves, consumers influenced by marketing, culturally absorbed, making UGC (user generated content), and exploited by western capital. These two types of iSlaves share these following commonalities: long work time, body discipline, and atomized social life. 

In his fascinating Friday Seminar talk “Goodbye iSlave: Foxconn, Labor & Networked Resistance” on 27 September 2013,Jack Linchuan Qiu showed the parallels between 17th century slavery and 21st century slavery (See pic.3), challenging our stereotype that “slavery only exists in ancient history”. In the wonderful Q & A section, Prof. Qiu advocated, “Do not look down upon those physical laborers; they are reconnected and empowered by technology, generating WGC (working-class generated content), expanding their working-class networks and the public sphere.” Indeed, workers are becoming more aware and we are increasingly hearing their voices seeing their efforts to resist. But is it enough? 

[pic.3] 21st-Century Slavery

Reviewed by 
Qianni WANG
M.Phil. Candidate