PAST FeatureS (2014)
Text: Lam Ka Lok
Edit: Prof. Maria Tam
Anthropology was first taught at CUHK in 1973 under the Board of Studies in Sociology. From 1977, the Anthropology Section of the Sociology Department began to offer a minor programme. Anthropology was officially established as a department in 1980, offering both major and minor programmes to undergraduates. The department started to offer an M.Phil programme in 1987 and Ph.D. programme in 1992. In 1998, the M.A. taught programme in Anthropology was introduced.
The Department of Anthropology at CUHK has been developed as an internationally recognized education and research centre for culture and identity. Students could receive the anthropological training systematically by studying in our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. A wide spectrum of courses are offered in the department, including the social, political, economic and religious system in the Chinese society, the International urban culture in Hong Kong and Asia, the archaeology and cultural heritage in East and South-East Asia, and the comparative research on gender and immigrant culture in the global society. The curriculum gives students opportunities to observe and participate in various intercultural issues, and cultivates their multi-dimensional thinking, in-depth analytical and problem solving skills.
Faculty and student interests cover a range of anthropological fields, the researches are mainly in the field of sociocultural anthropology, archaeology and cultural heritage study. When the department was just established in the 1980s, most of the research targets were the ethnic culture and relationship in mainland China, for example, the marriage customs of Hui'an women in the Southern Fujian and the sociocultural changes in the Samei case in Yunnan. In the 1990s, with the expansion of the department and the faculty, the research area was extended to the East Asia, like the study of the Tianhou/Mazu culture in the South China cultural sphere and the modernization in Japan and Ainu Culture in transition. Nowadays, the current research reflect the intensive interaction between different people and cultures under the impact of globalization. Recent projects include the case study of Chungking Mansions and the “Low-end Globalization”, the Crayfish Farming in Chinese and American Culture, the Chinese immigrant community in Southeast Asia and Australia, the cross-border marriage and family structure in Hong Kong and Mainland China, and the Pilipino female migrant workers in South Korea.