Jiang Anli, a PhD student from the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), University of Macau (UM), was recently nominated for the Best Student Paper Award at the 20th Urban China Research Network (UCRN) Conference, for her paper titled ‘Life Course and Blocked Vending Dreams: Understanding Street Vendors’ Drift in Criminal Economy in Guangzhou, China’.

Backed by three years of ethnographic fieldwork in Guangzhou, Jiang’s paper examines the impact of a city-wide campaign to crack down on street vending and the vendors’ consequent adaptations. The study has found that while the campaign has had little impact on some well-connected local vendors, it marked a turning point for some vendors who were forced to upgrade their skills and ended up in better occupations. However, for the majority of the vendors, their vending life has become more precarious, with some resorting to crime to make a living. The paper further explores how street vendors’ social, economic and cultural capital affect their different adaptions. This research study contributes to a better understanding of how a macro-structural anomic situation affects the life course of a marginal population and their drift in and out of criminal activities.

Held in Nanjing, this year’s conference attracted 180 scholars from around the world and received 50 PhD papers from different countries and regions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao. Jiang’s study was funded by a multi-year research grant from UM. Prof Xu Jianhua, associate professor and head of the Department of Sociology at UM, is the project’s principal investigator. A previous paper from this project, co-authored by Prof Xu and Jiang, titled ‘Police Civilianisation and the Production of Underclass Violence: the Case of Para-police Chengguan and Street Vendors in Guangzhou, China’, has been published in one of the top criminology journal The British Journal of Criminology (first issue, 2019).  

The UCRN, initiated in 1999 by a group of researchers at the University at Albany, State University of New York, aims to promote multidisciplinary research through international conferences, discussions between faculty members and students, the establishment of work groups, and funding for promising projects. UCRN is now supported by many institutions and scholars around the world.

Source: Faculty of Social Sciences


Prof Brian Hall from the University of Macau’s (UM) Faculty of Social Sciences received an Excellence in Advising Award from the Center for Global Health of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH). According to the JHBSPH’s website: candidates for this award are nominated by the students, and recipients are recognised ‘for their passion, dedication, and expertise in guiding students through global health research’. The JHBSPH has been consistently ranked as the No 1 public health school in the United States and among the best in the world.

One student nominator is quoted as saying ‘It’s one thing to be working on a project as a research assistant, but another to be mentored and supported throughout the research process by someone who lives and breathes this work, someone who believes wholeheartedly in its potential for truly positive change in the community – one of the many driving forces behind his success.’

After joining UM, Prof Hall founded the university’s first research group focused on public and global health. His groundbreaking work on migrants in Macao and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has led to longstanding collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) on using the digital health approach to improve population wellbeing. His students have been accepted in public health programmes at various leading schools of public health, including the Colombia University, the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Taiwan University, and Johns Hopkins University.

Prof Hall completed his fellowship in epidemiology at the JHBSPH. His global health fellowship in HIV and infectious disease epidemiology was sponsored by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health of the United States, and jointly hosted by the University of North Carolina Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Sun Yat-Sen University’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the JHBSPH. Prof Hall was the inaugural fellow in global mental health of the WHO. He is currently an international fellow of the Chinese Academies of Sciences and the Key State Laboratory in Mental Health (Beijing) and a visiting associate professor in the JHBSPH Department of Health, Behavior, and Society , where he has held a faculty appointment since 2014. To learn more about Prof Hall’s research group, please visit www.um-gmh.com.

Link: https://www.um.edu.mo/news-centre/news-and-events/news-and-press-releases/detail/48301/

“1st Macao Secondary School Economics Competition”, organized by the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Macau, and co-organized with Pui Ching Middle School, was held on 3 May 2019 at the University of Macau.


The Competition intended to provide a platform for local secondary school students to enhance their interests in Economics as well as raising their awareness on economic issues inside and beyond Macao.


Students from Pui Ching Middle School presented their ideas on current economic issues of Macao including tourism, traffic congestion, aging population and public medical expenses.


UM Vice Rector (Student Affairs) Billy Kee Long SO remarked economics knowledge played an important role in helping to improve standard of living. Furthermore, training in economics could stimulate individuals’ rational choice and facilitate optimal allocation of social resources. Prof. SO added that this Competition could enable local secondary school students to better understand local socio-economic development, as well as university life.


Pui Ching Middle School Vice-principal Keng Man KUOK pointed out that students can broaden their horizons and benefit a lot by participating this Competition. He also expressed his wish that more talents in economics and finance could be groomed, and economics education could be facilitated through the collaboration between local universities and secondary schools.

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