Puppet shows are traditionally performed outside temples as they are meant for the gods. This is the “half god” show where the money god blesses the crowd before the main show which will be performed by the puppet master.

To the left onstage is Professor Lee who explained to the crowd how the puppets are made (wooden heads, hands and feet) and their cultural significance. To his right is his translator.

They play for the crowd at the Sydney Taiwan Festival.

Source: The Other Sociologist.

The line for this Taiwanese Pork Sausage goes around the block. The sign by Kirko Foods

explains its popularity: “small sausage in big sausage.”  

At the Sydney Taiwan Festival.

Source: The Other Sociologist.

From my blog: There are striking similarities in political discourses that try to dismiss student protests as…

From my blog: There are striking similarities in political discourses that try to dismiss student protests as “impolite” and “undemocratic.”

Originally shared by The Other Sociologist

Applied Sociology in Action: Student Protests in Taiwan & Australia

New on my blog, I look at the similarities in the public reactions to student protest in Taiwain and Australia. In March, sociology students in Taiwan were criticised for being released from class to attend peaceful protests occupying a government building. They were protesting a trade-in-service agreement with China. On the one hand, Taiwan’s Education Minister said that teachers should support their students’ education rights. On the other hand, he criticised teachers for supporting this through peaceful protest. Instead, he argued that teachers should have done this _”through rational debates and discussions.”

Today in Australia, students are being similarly critiqued for protesting the deregulation of university fees as a result of the impending national budget. Universities Australia told the ABC program Lateline on 3rd of June that increased fees will mean up to a 60% increase in debt for some university degrees. This translates to an additional 6 years of repayments for full-time workers. For a part-time worker who takes time away from paid work to start a family, the research suggests this could mean up to 20 years additional debt.

Much like the Taiwanese students, Australian students have been criticised for disrupting another popular ABC political program, Q&A, as part of their demonstration, and for ongoing peaceful marches around the country. The student protests were even called, effectively, “undemocratic” and “unproductive” by conservative commentators.

The idea that students should be relegated to quiet debate behind closed doors is the antithesis of social justice movements and civil rights action. Only people in power, who are not at risk by new laws, would make such an argument. It’s clear that class and power play out in similar ways in two very different democratic contexts in the Asian region.

Read more on my blog: http://buff.ly/1hX192f #sociology #socialscience #education #students #australia #taiwan

Applied Sociology in Action: Student Protests in Taiwan & Australia

Photo: Jimmy Kang via Flickr
Photo: Jimmy Kang via Flickr

In March, sociology students in Taiwan were criticised for being released from class to attend peaceful protests occupying the Legislature Yuan from the 18th of March 18 to the 10th of April 2014. Sociology lecturers called this “the most practical lesson of sociology.” Since dubbed the “Sunflower Student Movement,” the youth were protesting a trade-in-service agreement with China. On the one hand, Taiwan’s Education Minister said that teachers should support their students’ education rights. On the other hand, he criticised teachers for supporting this through peaceful protest. Instead, he argued that teachers should have done this “through rational debates and discussions.”

Today in Australia, students are being similarly critiqued for protesting the deregulation of university fees as a result of the impending changes to the national budget. Universities Australia told the ABC program Lateline on the 3rd of June that increased fees will mean up to a 60% increase in debt for some university degrees. This translates to an additional 6 years of repayments for full-time workers. For a part-time worker who takes time away from paid work to start a family, the research suggests this could mean up to 20 years of additional debt.

The similarities in the media and political discourses of how the Australian and Taiwanese students conducted their protests are worth exploring further.

Continue reading Applied Sociology in Action: Student Protests in Taiwan & Australia

Applied Sociology in Action: Student Protests in Taiwan & Australia

Applied Sociology in Action: Student Protests in Taiwan & Australia

New on my blog, I look at the similarities in the public reactions to student protest in Taiwain and Australia. In March, sociology students in Taiwan were criticised for being released from class to attend peaceful protests occupying a government building. They were protesting a trade-in-service agreement with China. On the one hand, Taiwan’s Education Minister said that teachers should support their students’ education rights. On the other hand, he criticised teachers for supporting this through peaceful protest. Instead, he argued that teachers should have done this _”through rational debates and discussions.”

Today in Australia, students are being similarly critiqued for protesting the deregulation of university fees as a result of the impending national budget. Universities Australia told the ABC program Lateline on 3rd of June that increased fees will mean up to a 60% increase in debt for some university degrees. This translates to an additional 6 years of repayments for full-time workers. For a part-time worker who takes time away from paid work to start a family, the research suggests this could mean up to 20 years additional debt.

Much like the Taiwanese students, Australian students have been criticised for disrupting another popular ABC political program, Q&A, as part of their demonstration, and for ongoing peaceful marches around the country. The student protests were even called, effectively, “undemocratic” and “unproductive” by conservative commentators.

The idea that students should be relegated to quiet debate behind closed doors is the antithesis of social justice movements and civil rights action. Only people in power, who are not at risk by new laws, would make such an argument. It’s clear that class and power play out in similar ways in two very different democratic contexts in the Asian region.

Read more on my blog: http://buff.ly/1hX192f #sociology #socialscience #education #students #australia #taiwan

2/2 #Sociology of Taiwanese-Australians. Many Taiwanese families have settled into a pattern of being “astronaut workers” who divide their time living here and in Taiwan. They return overseas to tend to their businesses while leaving their families in Australia for months at a time. Other Chinese groups have also used this strategy, but it is not ideal as families spend too much time apart. A better strategy that benefits these families and our society is to create better business and social support for Taiwanese-Australians within Australia. This grows Australia’s economy by making stronger use of their unique business skills, as well as growing our multicultural cohesion.

#visualsociology #taiwan #taiwanaustralians #migrants #multiculturalism #business #socialscience #melbourne #australia #australiansociology (at Swanston Street Melbourne)

People lining up outside Taiwan Cafe, Swanston Street, Melbourne.

½: Taiwanese-Australians are the second largest Chinese migrant group in Australia. Most of them arrived during the 1980s as highly educated professionals who were relatively well-off overseas. The vast majority arrived under business visas. Researcher David Ip describes them as the “new middle class” who had benefited from Taiwan’s economic growth. Ip’s research shows that once they arrived in Australia, however, many experienced a decrease in social mobility (the ability to move up in socio-economic class). While many owned businesses overseas, they experienced trouble navigating Australia’s legal and business systems due to language barriers. They suffered unemployment and underemployment rates at twice the rate of the national average. They were able to live off their overseas capital and they had higher rates of home ownership compared to other migrants. This alleviates some pressures. Yet research shows that Taiwanese-Australians have been disappointed at the lack of opportunities in Australia. They’ve adapted by splitting their business and family activities between Australia and Taiwan.

#sociology #visualsociology #taiwan #taiwanaustralians #migrants #migrantaustralians #melbourne #australia #chinese #australiansociology

People practice yoga in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei, November 11, 2012. Thousands of people gathered on Sunday for a mass yoga session in an attempt to create a record for the most number of people practising yoga in the same time, according to the organizer. 

Via: REUTERS/Pichi Chuang.