Anthropology is the study of culture. People around the world create different social, political, economic, and religious systems in different environments. Anthropologists study the similarity and diversity of these cultural systems, to find out the nature of human existence.

Many people think of anthropology as the study of "ancient traditions" and "exotic tribes". This is a misunderstanding. Most anthropologists today study modern industrial societies and contemporary social issues.

Anthropologists in Hong Kong study contemporary issues such as:

  • How migrant domestic workers work and live in Hong Kong
  • Why cultural heritage is meaningful to Hong Kong people
  • How globalization works in Chungking Mansions
  • What the relationship between political violence and human rights is
  • How Hong Kong’s organic farmers produce commercial crops and preserve nature
  • How Chinese society is transforming
  • Why psychotherapy is becoming popular in mainland China
  • How metal technology developed in ancient China
  • Why the Taiwanese people want to develop the knowledge economy
  • Why do asylum seekers come to Hong Kong
  • How do ethnic minorities preserve their cultural identities in Hong Kong
To understand the different aspects of cultural life, anthropologists use a holistic viewpoint and systematic research methods. We use both qualitative and quantitative methods of social science. But most importantly, we try to understand the views of people themselves. We put emphasis on interaction with people: directly observing what they do in their social world and talking with them about what they do and why. For cultures that do not exist today, we use archeological methods.