Everyday Hybridity

Dr Paul O'Connor
Anthropology/Sociology/Cultural Studies/
Hong Kong/Ethnicity/
Skateboarding/Everyday Life

Lecturing in Anthropology at CUHK

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cuhk.academia.edu/PaulOConnorFollow me on Academia.edu
@peejayohhsee
everydayhybridity@gmail.com

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  1. Buses of students are arriving on CUHK campus as part of the student boycott. The scene outside the library is busy with participants, spectators, and an array of media outlets. Students are streaming into campus and there looks to be a considerable turnout for the event.

    Included in the photos above is also the goddess of democracy statue with a black cloth over her head.

    BBC News

    Bloomberg

     
     
  2. Class boycotts begin today in an atmosphere split between support and criticism. Many university staff support the student’s protest. In our department similarly teachers are making lectures available online, and offering make up classes and tutorials.

     
     
  3. In today’s HK edition of the China Daily. Follow the link here for the full story.

    In today’s HK edition of the China Daily. Follow the link here for the full story.

     
     
  4. Professor Maria Tam at CUHK Anthropology is in the news today with regards to her research with the South Asian community in Hong Kong. Great news Maria!

     
     
  5. Those following the skateboard scene in Hong Kong will know that there has been problems over the last 6 weeks with a new mandatory helmet rule at 4 of the major skateparks. Last night saw the scene above from which you can see the short video on instagram. Skateboarders at Lai Chi Kok skatepark who were not wearing helmets were met with a group of police and a police dog.
It is an intimidating scene to have in a space specifically designed for skateboarders. To compound the issue this very skatepark has been used, without the mandatory helmet rule, for the last 13 years.

    Those following the skateboard scene in Hong Kong will know that there has been problems over the last 6 weeks with a new mandatory helmet rule at 4 of the major skateparks. Last night saw the scene above from which you can see the short video on instagram. Skateboarders at Lai Chi Kok skatepark who were not wearing helmets were met with a group of police and a police dog.

    It is an intimidating scene to have in a space specifically designed for skateboarders. To compound the issue this very skatepark has been used, without the mandatory helmet rule, for the last 13 years.

     
     
  6. everydayhybridity:

The Department of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, invites graduate students in Asia and elsewhere to present their current research at our 7th Postgraduate Student Forum: “Impacting the World: The Emerging Voices of Asian Anthropology”. The Forum, to be held 23-24 January 2015 (Friday and Saturday) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, will showcase the best of students’ contemporary research on Asia. Hong Kong is a global city, a major node for trade, investment, and the exchange of ideas. The Postgraduate Student Forum seeks to encourage the communication among young anthropologists in and of the East and Southeast Asian region, to help improve their research and to make the excellent research being conducted in Asia to be better known internationally. 
Presentations and Panels
We accept proposals for individual papers ONLY this year. Papers of different topics are welcome, ethnographic work preferred. Papers will then be organized into panels. Each paper presentation will last 15 minutes; PowerPoint and multimedia equipment will be provided. The language of the forum will be English. 
How to Apply
Application procedure and additional information can be found athttp://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ant/pgforum7/index.html Deadline for abstracts is 30 September 2014.   
Forum Dates 
23-24 January 2015 (Friday and Saturday)  For additional information, visit http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ant/pgforum7/index.html or email anthforum@cuhk.edu.hk telephone: +852 3943 7670

    everydayhybridity:

    The Department of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, invites graduate students in Asia and elsewhere to present their current research at our 7th Postgraduate Student Forum: “Impacting the World: The Emerging Voices of Asian Anthropology”. The Forum, to be held 23-24 January 2015 (Friday and Saturday) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, will showcase the best of students’ contemporary research on Asia. 

    Hong Kong is a global city, a major node for trade, investment, and the exchange of ideas. The Postgraduate Student Forum seeks to encourage the communication among young anthropologists in and of the East and Southeast Asian region, to help improve their research and to make the excellent research being conducted in Asia to be better known internationally. 

    Presentations and Panels

    We accept proposals for individual papers ONLY this year. Papers of different topics are welcome, ethnographic work preferred. Papers will then be organized into panels. Each paper presentation will last 15 minutes; PowerPoint and multimedia equipment will be provided. The language of the forum will be English. 

    How to Apply

    Application procedure and additional information can be found athttp://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ant/pgforum7/index.html 
    Deadline for abstracts is 30 September 2014
      

    Forum Dates 

    23-24 January 2015 (Friday and Saturday)  


    For additional information, 
    visit http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ant/pgforum7/index.html or 
    email anthforum@cuhk.edu.hk 
    telephone: +852 3943 7670

     
     
  7.  
     
  8. Here is a good overview of recent political developments in Hong Kong. Lots going on with occupy central and the debate and decision on universal suffrage in 2017.

     
     
  9. The Avenue of Stars - Selfie - and Posing with Bruce.

    There are a collection of photos doing the rounds by Luisa Dörr and Navin Kala  that capture various people taking selfies on Hong Kong’s ‘Avenue of Stars’.

    The photos are great but I immediately thought of the paper a student turned in for me over a year ago when I taught Anthropology of the Body. She had camped out by the Bruce Lee statue on the ‘Avenue of Stars’ and observed and analysed the ways in which people would take photos at the iconic landmark.

    In her thought provoking research she  noted the propensity for people strike a Kung Fu pose, or to try and touch or climb on the statue itself. Seldom was there a sombre and uninspired pose. She noted in particular the change that people would encounter as they approached and then engaged with the statue. The passing of a camera to a friend, the spontaneous emulation of the legendary actor.

    The selfie is certainly a big feature of the ‘Avenue of Stars’, but the full body pose, captured by friends or passers by is notable feature of the Bruce Lee statue.

     
     
  10. Skateboarding in Hong Kong - Helmets and the LCSD
Yesterday Warren Stuart and I were on RTHK Radio 3 discussing Skateboard Culture in Hong Kong and the new rules at 4 public skateparks in the territory that make wearing helmets mandatory. You can listen to the interview here.
There has been a number of issues with these rules. In many cases they have been ignored or rejected by users who are circumventing the new policy in a variety of ways. There has also been a noted decline in the number of users in some skateparks in the territory. In one case the Lai Chi Kok skatepark that has been open for 13 years without the enforcement of any helmet rule has basically become empty.
The introduction of the rule raises a considerable number of issues.
A large amount of public money has been spent on construction of these skateparks. They have been built for the community and are free to use. At the same time they provide an alternative to the street which can be a dangerous and problematic place for skateboarders to use. The street is also an uncontrolled environment for younger teenagers. With the introduction of unpopular rules skateboarders are eschewing the skateparks for the streets
Safety issues. In many ways helmets are regarded as a much safer option for skateboarders, BMX, and rollerbladers. However, part of skateboard culture rejects rules such as these. Skateboarders for example may not wear a helmet when they are skating ledges and small transitions but will choose to wear a helmet when skate larger vert obstacles. The imposition of rules my non-skaters has always been met with suspicion by skateboarders. A key part of skate culture is that skateboarders try and manage and control it.
Park usage. There are 2 new skateparks that have big bowls that take up roughly a quarter of the total park size. However these have never been open to the public. Even with the introduction of the new helmet rule the large bowls remain closed unless an organisation books them for an event. Then only members of that organisation can officially use the booked bowl. One has to question how skateboarders in Hong Kong can ever acquire the skills to ride these bowls in such situations.
The previous policy of the parks that required users to sign in and provide a waver had no issues. This method also provided the LCSD with data on how many users accessed the park, their ages, and genders. In sum an excellent tool to see who the parks are servicing. Since the introduction of the helmet rule no further data on numbers of users is being collected and they therefore have no firm numbers about the effect of the new policy.
Many are in favour of a reversion to the previous arrangement. In this way helmet use was optional, but recommended and users could sign themselves in. It remains to be seen how things will develop from this point on.

    Skateboarding in Hong Kong - Helmets and the LCSD

    Yesterday Warren Stuart and I were on RTHK Radio 3 discussing Skateboard Culture in Hong Kong and the new rules at 4 public skateparks in the territory that make wearing helmets mandatory. You can listen to the interview here.

    There has been a number of issues with these rules. In many cases they have been ignored or rejected by users who are circumventing the new policy in a variety of ways. There has also been a noted decline in the number of users in some skateparks in the territory. In one case the Lai Chi Kok skatepark that has been open for 13 years without the enforcement of any helmet rule has basically become empty.

    The introduction of the rule raises a considerable number of issues.

    • A large amount of public money has been spent on construction of these skateparks. They have been built for the community and are free to use. At the same time they provide an alternative to the street which can be a dangerous and problematic place for skateboarders to use. The street is also an uncontrolled environment for younger teenagers. With the introduction of unpopular rules skateboarders are eschewing the skateparks for the streets
    • Safety issues. In many ways helmets are regarded as a much safer option for skateboarders, BMX, and rollerbladers. However, part of skateboard culture rejects rules such as these. Skateboarders for example may not wear a helmet when they are skating ledges and small transitions but will choose to wear a helmet when skate larger vert obstacles. The imposition of rules my non-skaters has always been met with suspicion by skateboarders. A key part of skate culture is that skateboarders try and manage and control it.
    • Park usage. There are 2 new skateparks that have big bowls that take up roughly a quarter of the total park size. However these have never been open to the public. Even with the introduction of the new helmet rule the large bowls remain closed unless an organisation books them for an event. Then only members of that organisation can officially use the booked bowl. One has to question how skateboarders in Hong Kong can ever acquire the skills to ride these bowls in such situations.
    • The previous policy of the parks that required users to sign in and provide a waver had no issues. This method also provided the LCSD with data on how many users accessed the park, their ages, and genders. In sum an excellent tool to see who the parks are servicing. Since the introduction of the helmet rule no further data on numbers of users is being collected and they therefore have no firm numbers about the effect of the new policy.

    Many are in favour of a reversion to the previous arrangement. In this way helmet use was optional, but recommended and users could sign themselves in. It remains to be seen how things will develop from this point on.