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.





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.

Book Talk: Born Out of Place Migrant Mothers & the Politics of International Labor

Department of Sociology Co-organized with HKU Press
June 13, 2014 (Friday) 4:00pm
Rm702, 7/F, The Jockey Club Tower, HKU

Hong Kong is a meeting ground for migrant workers, refugees, asylum seekers, tourists, traders, and local residents. At the heart of this book are the stories and experiences of migrant mothers from Indonesia and the Philippines, their South Asian, African, Chinese and Western expatriate partners, and their Hong Kong born babies. Constable raises the deceptively simple point that migrant workers must be understood as people with rights, not just workers. She brings to light the flaws and unintended consequences of migration laws and labor policies, the often poignant and painful experiences of migrant mothers, and the ambivalent roles of fathers.

Within the context of contemporary global capitalism, this research yields a deeper and fuller understanding of the practical problems and the cruel disappointments faced by those who take part in “guest worker” programs. New insights about the problem – or the crisis -- of temporary migration, which is too often not temporary, are revealed through ethnographic research that attends to the everyday lives and stories of migrant mothers and their Hong Kong-born babies. This rich and accessible ethnography provides insight into global problems of mobility, family and citizenship, and points to the consequences, creative responses, melodramas, and tragedies of labor and migration policies.

Nicole Constable is Director of the Asian Studies Center and Professor of Anthropology in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and "Mail Order" Marriages and Maid to Order in Hong Kong: Stories of Migrant Workers. Her latest book Born Out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Labor has been jointly published by Hong Kong University Press and the University of California Press.

Discussant--Dr. Maggy Lee, Department of Sociology, HKU


Department of Sociology, HKU & Policing Studies Forum
Democratic Policing v. Authoritarian Policing: A Comparison of their Functions

Thursday, 5th June 2014, from 12:00 to 1:30pm
Room 929, Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Abstract: The police are the most visible institution of social control in all contemporary societies. They represent the technological and organizational answer to the Hobbsian question of social order, the deus ex machina. Beneath the superficial similarity, the nature and practice of police, however, vary a great deal depending on the nature of the regime. The purpose of this study is to compare the roles and functions of the police under martial law before 1987 in Taiwan with the ideal role and functions of democratic policing. Several important reform attempts and measures were introduced during the democratic transition and consolidation in Taiwan. These reform measures facilitated the smooth transition following the death of Chiang Ching-kuo in 1988 and they have eventually transformed the law enforcement in Taiwan into democratic policing. The implications for these reforms are discussed within the contexts of Confucian culture.

About the speaker. Liqun Cao (Ph.D., the University of Cincinnati, 1993) is Professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada. He is also an adjunct professor at Hunan University.  His research interests include China study, criminological theory, gun ownership, police integrity, policy on ascetic deviance, race and ethnicity in criminal justice, and sociology of policing. His research essays have appeared in many top national and international journals, including Criminology, Journal of Criminal Justice, Justice Quarterly, Policing, Social Forces and Social Problems. Professor Cao is bilingual. He also published research articles in Chinese and two books in Chinese. One is with Professor Jou in both traditional and simplified Chinese:《犯罪学理论与实证》(北京:群众出版社), and the other is edited in simplified Chinese with Ren: 《犯罪学》(北京:人民大学出版社). He is the author of Major Criminological Theories: Concepts and Measurement (2004) and co-editor of Lessons of International/Comparative Criminology/Criminal Justice (2004). This year, he is the co-authors of Policing in Taiwan: From Authoritarianism to Democracy (2014) with Lan-Ying Huang and Ivan Sun, and he co-edited Handbook of Chinese Criminology (2014) with Ivan Sun and Bill Hebenton. Professor Cao was a visiting scholar at Max-Planck International Criminal Law and Criminology (2000) in Germany, a recipient of Fulbright Senior Specialist in Lithuania (2004), and is the Honorary member of Albanian Institute of Sociology. He is a life member of Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Society of Criminology, and Association of Chinese Professors in Social Sciences in the U.S. He is the first president of Association of Chinese Criminology and Criminal Justice in the U.S. (2010 to 2012) and is its life-member.

All are welcome



"The University of Hong Kong Department of Sociology Book Talk Series 2014"

Rebuilding the Ancestral Village: Singaporeans in China

DATE: 29 April, 2014 Tuesdays, 1:00-2:20pm
Rm929, 9/F, The Jockey Club Tower, HKU

SYNOPSIS: This work illustrates the relationship between one group of Singaporean Chinese and their ancestral village in Fujian, China.  It explores the reasons why the Singaporean Chinese continue to maintain ties with their ancestral village and how they reproduce Chinese culture through ancestor worship and religion in the ancestral village.  This ethnographic study examines two geographically distinct groups of Chinese coming together to re-establish their lineage and identity through cultural and economic activities.








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]