CHEW, Matthew M.T. 趙明德

Associate Professor

Ph.D. (Princeton University)

Research Interests:

Cultural sociology, social theory, sociology of consumption, sociology of knowledge, and media sociology

My major research interests include cultural sociology, social theory, sociology of knowledge, sociology of consumption, media sociology, and Chinese societies. My early research focused on sociology of knowledge informed analyses of Chinese and Japanese philosophy in the early-20th century. The objective is to clarify how global cultural inequality operates in the field of knowledge production. From the late 1990s to the early 2010s, I adopted a cultural sociological approach to investigate the nighttime economy, national dress, and the video games industry of China. Since the early 2010s, I worked on four projects: global cultural inequality and theories of cultural globalization and, the social theorization of cyberbullying and bullying, the sociology of service work and digital work, and a new sociology of literature investigation of Chinese webnovels. In the late 2010s, I began seven new projects: 1) investigating 'glocal ethnic hierarchies,' 2. developing a critical global field theory informed global sociology of knowledge, 3. theorizing networked authoritarianism, authoritarian legitimacy, and pro-authoritarian citizens, 4. constructing a new critical theory of popular culture, 5. the ideology critique of neoliberal society, 6. the sociology of political Internet memes and emojis, and 7. investigating 'social media assisted large-scale movements.'

Principal investigator, Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (Special Round).


'Remapping Hong Kong's sociopolitical schism: A focus on local social media and comparisons with other social media-assisted large-scale movements' (SR2020.A2.005). Amount granted: HKD 323,495. Duration of project: 17 Apr 2020 - 16 October 2020.


Principal investigator, General Research Fund, 'Towards a sociology of nighttime: Impacts of the nighttime economy on public spaces, sociopolitical values, and socioeconomic stratification in China.' (241813) Amount granted: HKD 200,000; Duration of project: 7/2013-6/2016.


Co-investigator, Strategic Public Policy Grant 'Mapping the Hong Kong game industries: Cultural policy, creative cluster, and Asian markets' (4001-SPPR-09) Amount granted: HKD 3,500,000; Duration of project: 7/2010-6/2014.

(For complete list of publications, please view Staff CV.)

Chew, M. M. (2020). Reinterpreting how and why people consume counterfeit fashion products: A sociological challenge to the pro-business paradigm. Fashion Theory.


Chew, M. M. (2020). Assessing localization with its local sociocultural dynamics: How Hong Kong’s localized clubculture was undermined by wealth and power disparities. Globalizations, 17(4): 730-745.


Chew, M. M. (2019). New boundary work of rural migrants: How it opens up new potential ways of remaking rural-urban symbolic boundaries in China. Chinese Sociological Review, 51(4): 421-447.


Chew, M. M. and Mo, S. P. (2019). Toward a Chinese hip-hop feminism and a feminist reassessment of hip-hop with breakdance: B-girling in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. Asian Studies Review 43(3): 1-20.


Chew, M. M. (2019). A critical cultural history of online games in China, 1995-2015. Games and Culture 14(3): 195–215.


Au, A. and Chew, M. (2018) How do you feel? Managing emotional reaction, conveyance, and detachment on Facebook and Instagram. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 37(3): 127-137.


Chew, M. M. (2014) Rethinking the relationship between intellectuals and nationalism: a sociology of knowledge approach to philosophers’ construction of national cultural identities in Modern Japan and China. Current Sociology 62(3): 314-333.


Chew, M. M. and Wang, Y. (2012) Online cultural conservatism and Han ethnicism in China. Asian Social Science 8(7): 3-10.


Chew, M. M. (2011) Virtual property in China: the emergence of gamer rights awareness and the reaction of game corporations. New Media and Society 13(5): 722-738.

Awards & Achievements


1998 Research and Travel Grant, Social Science Research Council (US)
1993-4 Japan Foundation Fellowship
1993 The Marion Levy Jr. Award in Comparative Sociology, Princeton University