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

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"An Indian...made in China" a talk by a stand-up comedian Vivek Mahbubani

Speaker: Vivek Mahbubani (stand-up comedian)
Time: 2:30-3:45p.m., Saturday, 5 October, 2013
Venue: Rm12, Humanities Building, New Asia College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese

Lecture presented by: Multiculturalism in Action: Indian Culture Workshop
Organizer: Prof. Siumi Maria Tam.

About Vivek Mahbubani:
-Born and raised in Hong Kong
-Interviewed by RTHK and newspapers 
-Funniest Person (in Chinese) in Hong Kong 2007
-Winner of the Hong Kong International Comedy Competition (English category) 2008