Food insecurity, property development and the sale of a supermarket chain

Do you know what Orange mobile, EDF Energy, a dockworkers strike, and Hong Kong’s largest supermarket chain have in common?  Continue reading

Whither the light?


The hour just after sunrise and the one again before sunset are the Golden Hours according to photography wisdom.  They are golden because the light is apparently softer and the shadows are fewer… or something. These technical aspects of photography are not really my thing, I must confess.  I do know that the weather can influence the colours of sunrise and sunset. I also know that while the visual effects are beautiful, the physical effects of the weather can be catastrophic for those affected by it, and often those most affected are the poor. Continue reading

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Collective Understanding

Bloom’s taxonomy is an heuristic designed to help educators develop teaching methods that will move student’s learning beyond rote memorisation. Learning beyond memorising is sometimes considered higher order or deeper learning.  Since the taxonomy was developed in the mid 1950’s it has informed education policy across the globe and has inspired countless innovations in teaching and learning including Research-led Teaching and Learning, Service Learning, and more recently Knowledge Building approaches.  It has also been used to help educators develop learning outcomes for Objective Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL) that are then assessed via Criterion Referenced Assessment (CRA). In this post I discuss how I sought to achieve higher order learning through a student web page project in Hong Kong and what that process revealed to me about Bloom’s taxonomy. Continue reading

What is Cosmopolitanism?

I presented sections of this work at the University of Sheffield/National University of Singapore workshop: Decentring Knowledge (10-11 September 2012).  Other material is drawn from a lecture on Cosmopolitanism that I gave at Hong Kong University in 2012 to my students taking Geog3414: Cultures, Social Justice and Urban Space.  

What is Cosmopolitanism?

Although not a new term, the idea of cosmopolitanism has experienced a recent revival and has gained currency in theoretical debate.   Much of this revival comes from a concern with the persistence of conflicts based on preserving or expanding territorial Continue reading

Gendered income inequality and the precariousness of street trading


Gender differences and the precariousness of street traiding

In the HK census there is an occupation category designated as street traders. The fact that there is a specific category tells us something about the state of being in Hong Kong. The census tells us that there are nearly 15.5 thousand steet traders in Hong Kong, but actually there are probably more, as a lot of the street trading is illegal and people may also do it on a part-time basis. What this info-graphic demonstrates, is that firstly street trading is a precarious business for everyone, but particularly for women.

The ratio of male street traders to female traders counted by the census is 3 to 2. The reasons for the income differential is unclear. It may be that women have locations that are less profitable. It may be that the goods that women street traders sell are less valuable so overall earnings are less. Some evidence from studies done in the 1970’s and 80’s indicate that street trading is often a family business and women work as family labour. We just don’t know as street trading is something that many at government level in Hong Kong wish would just go away. It clearly isn’t and as International Women’s day passes, it is also clear that there is further work to be done with regard to gender equity at all levels of society and all over the world.

red coversThe 2011 HK census has a new online feature where you can make your own tables. The website can be found here.

If you want to make your own infographic, you might try Pictochart, which is how I made this one.