Document Type


Source Publication

The 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting

Publication Date



Ethnography, China


Conducting ethnography in modern China can be highly fruitful, yet there are special-care items that seldom appear in methodology literature. Drawn from the author’s fieldwork in China’s futures markets in 2005, the first part of this paper discusses a list of practical items that ethnographers are likely to face: field access, the organizational culture of public and quasi-public institutions, obtaining trust, the scenarios of gifts and banquets, reliability of statistical data, politically sensitive areas, and personal safety. The second part is a reflection on standpoint issues, namely Orientalism and nationalism. Ethnographers usually face tensions that arise from their roles, as they are both insiders and outsiders of their target communities. The tension can be acute in the case of Hong Kong researchers; yet it is possible to turn this into a methodological advantage.

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Accepted Author Manuscript



Recommended Citation

Siu, L. L.-S. (2008, December). Conducting ethnography in China. Paper presented at the 10th Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.