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 main research areas are cultural sociology and social theory. I analyze a broad range of empirical data including academic knowledge, popular culture, new media, consumption, social movements, and race and ethnicity. Between the late 1990s and the early 2010s, I completed projects that investigate clubcultures and electronic dance music, fashion and national dresses, and video gaming in China. The mid-2010s was a period of transition, during which I shifted my intellectual attention to data on political consumption, social movements, and ethnoracial inequality. Beginning from the late 2010s and into the 2020s, I have been pursuing several social theory-driven research projects that will yield both abstract theoretical frameworks and empirical analyses. I list five of them here. The first problematizes identitarianism and especially its conflict with liberal and left-wing counterhegemonic projects. It tackles the classical political theoretical problematic of whether liberalism must tolerate or suppress illiberalism. Relevant empirical analyses will deal with transnational framing, Chinese nationalism, intersectionality theory, Sinophone theory, and ‘pro-authoritarian citizens.’ My second project aims to renew the ‘critical theory of popular culture’ with cognitive cultural sociology, cultural theories of social movements, sociology of emotions, and relational sociology. My datasets include Chinese webnovels, Internet memes, Hong Kong films, and other popular entertainment narratives. My third project develops a ‘multiscalar field perspective’ for analyzing social phenomena in the globalizing context. My empirical work will focus on the global sociology of knowledge, new and unfamiliar global ethnoracial phenomena, and global cultural inequality. My fourth project rethinks what neoliberalism is through critiquing Marx’s understanding of capitalism and revising it with elite theory. With datasets on super-rich elites, celebrity systems, and crowdfunding, I demonstrate why neoliberalism is more adequately understood as anti-market, authoritarian, and neo-feudal. My fifth project theorizes the great protest wave of ‘social media-assisted large-scale movements,’ which began in the late 2000s and is still ongoing. I interpret most of these movements in terms of ‘transversal autonomism’: a solidarity of left-wing, right-wing, and other politically aligned citizens that aims to peer-produce (all aspects of) society and displace (neo-feudal) neoliberalism.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

Self Photos / Files - E_SDG-goals_icons-individual-rgb-01-800x800 Self Photos / Files - E_SDG-goals_icons-individual-rgb-10-400x400 Self Photos / Files - E-Goal-11-400x400 Self Photos / Files - E-Goal-12-400x400 Self Photos / Files - E_SDG-goals_icons-individual-rgb-16-400x400

From Apr-2020 to Oct-2020 "Remapping Hong Kong's sociopolitical schism: A focus on local social media and comparisons with other social media-assisted large-scale movements" Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (Special Round). As PI. HKD $323,495.
From Jul-2013 to Jun-2016 "Towards a sociology of nighttime: Impacts of the nighttime economy on public spaces, sociopolitical values, and socioeconomic stratification in China." General Research Fund. As PI. HKD $200,000.
From Jul-2010 to Jun-2014 "Mapping the Hong Kong game industries: Cultural policy, creative cluster, and Asian markets" Strategic Public Policy Grant. As Co I. HKD $3,500,000.

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


Chew MM (2023) Cybernationalist authoritarianism: Fangirls’ peer production of the virtual celebrity ‘Oppa China.’ China Information 1-25 (SSCI: Area studies 31/84; Scopus 97th percentile, General arts & humanities).


Chew MM (2023) The strategic and instrumental use of verbal violence by protesters: Political swearing in Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Movement. Social Movement Studies 1-18. (SSCI: Sociology 49/148; Scopus: 98th percentile, Cultural studies)


Chew MM (2023) Non-digital fan networking: How Japanese animation and comics disseminated in China despite authoritarian deterrence. International Journal of Cultural Studies (SSCI: Cultural studies 12/43; Scopus: 93rd percentile, Cultural studies).


Chew MM (2023, in press) Mic-shouting in China and Hong Kong, 1996-2020: Toward histories of non-Western local electronic dance music. In Luis-Manuel G and James R (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Electronic Dance Music. New York: Oxford University Press.


Chew MM (2023, in press) Chinese electronic dance music cultures: An analysis of their local cultural and social characteristics. In Rietveld H and Young T (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Dance Music. Cambridge University Press.


Chew MM (2022) Chinese gold-farming in the 2000s: Worker empowerment and local development through video games-based digital labor. Games and Culture. (SSCI: Cultural studies: 6/43; Scopus: 98th percentile, Cultural studies).


Chew MM (2022) The instrumental consumption of ethnic culture: Assessing two economically driven ways of consuming the cheongsam in China. Sage Open 12(2): 1-12. (SSCI: Social science interdisciplinary 53/111; Scopus: 96th percentile, General arts and humanities).


Chew MM (2022) Open-ended analyses of the sociopolitical impact of celebrity change: Advantages, operationalization, and an illustration with Hong Kong celebrity. Sociological Forum 37(2): 557-580. (SSCI: Sociology 81/148; Scopus: 76th percentile, Sociology & political science).


Chew MM (2022) How the ‘commercialized performance of affiliative race and ethnicity’ disrupts ethnoracial hierarchy: Ethnic majority customers’ encounter with South Asian waitpersons in Hong Kong’s restaurants. Sociology 56(2): 333-350. (SSCI: Sociology 33/148; Scopus: 95th percentile, Sociology & political science).


Chew MM (2022) Rethinking the cultural relations between Hong Kong and China: An analysis of the Chinese reception of Stephen Chow’s films. Modern China 48(4): 785–813. (SSCI: SSCI: Area studies 66/84; Scopus: 97th percentile, History).


Chew MM (2022) The significance and complexity of anti-corporate gamer activism: Struggles against the exploitation and control of game-worlds in 2000s China. Games and Culture 17(4): 487-508. (SSCI: Cultural studies: 6/43; Scopus: 98th percentile, Cultural studies).


Chew MM (2022) Reinterpreting how and why people consume counterfeit fashion products: A sociological challenge to the pro-business paradigm. Fashion Theory 26(2): 237-261. (A&HCI listed; Scopus: 89th percentile, Visual arts & performing arts).


Wang Y & Chew MM (2021) State, market, and the manufacturing of war memory: China’s television dramas on the War of Resistance against Japan. Memory Studies 14(4): 877-891. (SSCI: Cultural studies 22/43; Scopus: 87th percentile, Cultural studies).


Chew MM (2021) The translocalism of Hong Kong popular culture: An analysis of a critical Internet meme co-created across Hong Kong and China. Hong Kong Studies 3(1): 1-27.


Chew MM and Wang Y (2021) How propagames operate as a part of digital authoritarianism: An analysis of a popular Chinese propagame. Media, Culture and Society 43(8): 1431-1448. (SSCI: Sociology 35/148; Scopus: 92th percentile, Sociology & political science).


Chew MM (2020) Discovering the digital Stephen Chow: The transborder influence of Chow’s films on the Chinese Internet in the 2010s. Global Media and China 5(3): 1-15. (ESCI listed; Scopus: 87 percentile, Cultural studies).


Chew MM (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. (SSCI: Social science interdisciplinary 46/111; Scopus: 87th percentile, General economics, econometrics and finance).


Chew MM (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. (SSCI: Sociology 29/148; Scopus: 92nd percentile, Anthropology).


Chew MM and Mo SP (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. (SSCI: Area studies 32/84; Scopus: 97th percentile, History).


Chew MM (2019) A critical cultural history of online games in China, 1995-2015. Games and Culture 14(3): 195–215. (lead article) (SSCI: Cultural studies: 6/45; Scopus: 98th percentile, Cultural studies).


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. (Scopus: 37th percentile, Social sciences (miscellaneous)).


Chew MM, Pun B. and Chan K (2016) Hong Kong comics after the mid-1990s. International Journal of Comic Art 18(1): 416-433.


Wang Y and Chew MM (2016) Chinese media transition and news production of nationalism: political, political economy, and cultural approaches. China Media Research 12(1): 60-71.


Chew MM (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. (SSCI ranking: Sociology 63/148; Scopus 87th percentile, Sociology & political science).

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