The courses of the Department attempt to provide students with a basic knowledge of sociological andanthropological concepts theories, and methods, applying these to the empirical study of topics which have some relevance to contemporary Hong Kong. Thus in addition to basic courses in theory and methods, regionally there are courses on Hong Kong itself, China and other Asian societies and topically there are courses on a wide range of sub-fields within sociology.




Sex work, Citizenship and Social Difference

October 9, 2014 (Thursday), 6:45pm
CPD-2.14, Centennial Campus, HKU

Public discourses around migrant sex workers are often more confident about what migrant sex workers signify morally (i.e. vulnerability, criminality) but are less clear about who the ‘migrant’ is. Determining who is or isn’t a migrant is not a simple empirical exercise but a process of social construction that is, in the case of sex work, significantly shaped by ideas about race, class, nationality and gender. Based on 2013-2014 interviews with 65 immigrant, migrant and racialized sex workers in Vancouver, Canada and Melbourne, Australia, this presentation first challenges the ‘migrant sex worker’ category by investigating the experiences of women who are often assumed to be ‘migrant sex workers’ in Australia and Canada, i.e. non-White women who speak English with non-Western accents. Contrary to public assumptions, many ‘migrant sex workers’ in Melbourne and Vancouver are naturalized citizens, whose involvement in the sex industry intersects with diverse ideas and experiences of citizenship in Australia and Canada. Second, this presentation examines how immigrant, migrant and racialized sex workers in Melbourne and Vancouver wield or negotiate ideas of illegality and legality to obtain desired outcomes in their day-to-day work. What emerges is the use of legal or illegal status (as a sex worker rather than as an im/migrant) as a form of continually negotiated social capital for workers to draw upon in interactions with law enforcement, clients and other stakeholders in the industry. The presentation concludes with reflections on the methodological and ethical challenges of researching sex work.

Julie Ham is a doctoral student in criminology at Monash University and an associate of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW). Her doctoral research explores how the regulation of sex work and migration shapes sex workers’ security, mobility and agency. Since 2003, she has worked with community-based research projects working with and for women in sex work, immigrant and refugee populations, women substance users, low-income populations, and anti-violence organisations. She has published on the impact of anti-trafficking measures on sex workers’ rights, feminist participatory action research, and activist efforts by trafficking survivors, sex workers and domestic workers.


International Workshop: Emerging Middle Classes and Social Discontent in Asia: Commonalities and Connections in the Context of Asian Regionalization

Date:               Friday, 29 August 2014
Time:              9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Venue:            Rm 814, Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, University of Hong Kong

The growth of urban middle classes across East and Southeast Asia is one of the central narratives of the region’s 21st century rise.  While they are often seen in terms of regional economic growth and the promises they hold as consumer classes, their ascendance has been accompanied by dissatisfaction and dissent about a number of issues ranging from political and corporate corruption to socioeconomic polarization, a growing divide between town and country, environmental degradation, gender inequality, and children’s welfare, to name but a few.  This workshop seeks to understand how these two themes are related and how they vary by national context.  In addition, it aims to examine how these different national cases may relate to one another as part of a larger regional political and cultural economy.  

Presenters will explore the above issues in the following East and Southeast Asian countries: Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. 

This event is open to the public but registration is required as seating is limited.  To register please contact Connie Ko:

Workshop Programme

Organized by Dr. Colin Smith and Dr. Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce
Sponsored by the Department of Sociology

Book Launch & Photo Exhibition:Oral History of Older Gay Men in Hong Kong<男男正傳︰香港年長男同志口述史>新書發佈會暨攝影展

Event Details
Date: 28 June 2014 (Saturday) 日期︰2014年6月28日(星期六)

Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. 時間︰下午3時至5時

Venue: MC3@702, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Moderator: Prof. Lui Tai-lok

Dialogue: Dr. Travis Kong (Author) X Dr. Ng Chun-hung
對話:江紹祺博士 X 吳俊雄博士

Language: Cantonese. Simultaneous interpretation in English.

Artists: Wong Kan-tai, Bobby Sham, Chan Ka-kei, and Gyorgy Palos
藝術家︰沈嘉豪、陳家祺、黃勤帶及Gyorgy Palos。

Exhibition period: 2:00 pm–7pm from June 30 to July 11 from (except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)

Registration is open from 10/06/2014 14:59(HKT) to 27/06/2014 23:59(HKT) on a first-come-first-served basis.

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Executive Assistant Connie Ko by email at or by phone at 3917 2309.










The 11th Annual Conference of the Hong Kong Sociological Association

The Department of Sociology has hosted the 11th Annual Conference of the Hong Kong Sociological Association (HKSA). [Photo]