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Professor Paul O’Connor

Professor Paul O’Connor








Adjunct Assistant Professor

Email: [email protected]


Paul O’Connor obtained his PhD in Sociology from the University of Queensland. Originally from the UK, he joined Lingnan in 2015 and previously taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is author of ‘Islam in Hong Kong: Muslims and Everyday Life in China’s World City’, with Hong Kong University Press. His research interests include Islam, ethnicity, religious minorities, cultural hybridity, and skateboard culture. Paul holds an adjunct position at Lingnan and a full time post at the University of Exeter in the UK.



Google Scholar:

Paul’s Profile at University of Exeter:

Paul’s Profile at Researchgate:

  • Skateboard Culture: Edgework, Secular Pilgrimage, Embodiment
  • Ethnicity: Religious and Ethnic minorities, Expatriate Child Rearing
  • Social Theory: Hybridity, Rhythmanalysis, Prefigurative PoliticsCultural diversity: multiculturalism, social harmony, social justice

BAc (Liverpool); MA (Exeter); PhD (Queensland)

Click here to see a full list of publications.



(2019) Skateboarding and Religion, Palgrave MacMillan 

(2012) Islam in Hong Kong: Muslims and Everyday Life in China’s World City, Hong Kong University Press, 2012.

(2010) The Modern Hajj, Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010. (not peer reviewed).


Journal Articles

(2019) “Whiteness out of Place: White Parents encounters with Schooling in Post-Colonial Hong Kong’, The Sociological Review  doi: 10.1177/0038026119865861 Co-authored with Julian M. Grooves.

(2019) Skateparks as hybrid elements of the city. Journal of Urban Design, with Glenney, B., 1-16. doi:10.1080/13574809.2019.1568189

(2018) Hong Kong Skateboarding and Network Capital. Journal of Sport and Social Issues. doi: 10.1177/0193723518797040.

(2018)  Esteemed, dismissed and everyday hybridity.  Social Transformations in Chinese Societies. doi: 10.1108/stics-06-2017-0012.

(2017) Handrails, steps and curbs: sacred places and secular pilgrimage in skateboardingSport in Society, doi: 10.1080/17430437.2017.1390567

(2017) Negotiating Global Citizenship, Protecting Privilege: Western Expatriates Choosing Local Schools in Hong KongBritish Journal of  Sociology of Education, doi: 10.1080/01425692.2017.1351866.  Co-authored with Julian M. Groves.

(2017) Beyond the Youth Culture: Understanding Middle-Aged Skateboarders through Temporal CapitalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport. doi: 10.1177/1012690217691780.

(2017) Rhythmanalysis as a tool in social analysis on ethnicity in Hong Kong. Asian Ethnicity, doi: 10.1080/14631369.2017.1292118

(2016) Skateboarding, Helmets, and Control: Observations from Skateboard Media and a Hong Kong SkateparkJournal of Sport and Social Issues,40(6), 477-498. doi:10.1177/0193723516673408

(2015) Introduction: Special Edition on Overlooked Religion, Asian Anthropology, Vol 14 (1) pp. 3-7. Co-authored with Chiara Formichi.

(2015) Hong Kong Muslims Representation in Cantonese Media: An Oriental Orientalism, Asian Anthropology, Vol 14 (1) pp. 67-78. Co-authored with Raees Baig.

(2014) Hong Kong Muslims on Hajj: Rhythms of the Pilgrimage 2.0 and Experiences of Piety among 21st Century Global Cities, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 1-15.

(2013) Applying Hybridity: Rhythms of the Hajj, Tumblr, and Snowden. Glocalism Journal, Vol 1, pp. 1-16, DOI 10.12893.

(2011) Everyday Hybridity and Hong Kong’s Muslim Youth, Visual Anthropology, Vol 24 (1), pp. 203-225.

(2010) Accepting Prejudice and Valuing Freedom: Young Muslims and Everyday Multiculturalism in Hong Kong, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol 31 (5), pp. 525-539.


Book Chapters

(2018) Ethnic Minorities and Ethnicity in Hong Kong, in The Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Hong Kong, edited by Tai Lok Lui, Stephen Chiu and Ray Yep

(2017) How Does One Feel Ethnic?, in Feeling Ethnic: Visuality, Emotions, and Minority Culture, edited by John Erni, Springer. pp. 11-26.

(2015) Skateboard Philanthropy: Inclusion and Prefigurative Politics, Skateboarding: Subcultures, Sites and Shifts, Routledge (Forthcoming November 2015).

(2015) Hong Kong Muslims 2014: A Report on Current Research, Localization of Islam in China, ed by Li Chang-kuan, Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, pp. 151-170.

(2012) Everyday Hybridity and Hong Kong’s Muslim Youth, Hybrid Hong Kong, Routledge, pp. 250-272.


Working Papers 

Esteemed, Dismissed, and Everyday Hybridity

Skateparks as Part of the Hybrid Ecology of the City

Under the Umbrella: Prefigurative Politics in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement

Why Don’t Skateboarders Wear Helmets?: Voluntary Risk Taking and Neoliberal Values


Conference Presentations

Citizenship under siege in Hong Kong, Conference paper, State-Citizenship Relations in Greater Central Asia, Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, October 18 2019.

Sacred Spots: Defining Heritage in Skate Culture, Invited panel member, Pushing Boarders Malmö, Sweden, August 17, 2019

Do you realise this is a Chinese School?: Expat Experiences of Enrolling in Chinese Schools in Hong Kong, Talk at the Hong Kong Anthropological Society, Friday 14th September 2018.

Skateboarding Mega-Events As Preparation for the 2020 Olympics: A Case Study of the Vans Park Series Championships in Shanghai. XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology. Toronto. 15-21 July 2018.

What We Do Is Secret: The Challenge Of Writing About Skateboarding. Pushing Boarders: Talking. Skateboarding. The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London & House of Vans. London. 1-3 June 2018.

Coming of Age: Over 40 and Still Skateboarding. Hong Kong Sociological Association Conf, Hong Kong University, 4 December 2016

An Overview Of Hong Kong’s Muslim Community, Diversity in Hong Kong: Exploring the Ethnic, Cultural and Religious Dimensions, (Workshop). Shue Yan University, 29th April 2016.

Skateboarding and Wellbeing: Roundtable and Workshop. Lingnan University. February 26th 2016. Funded by the department of Sociology and Social Policy at Lingnan University and the Sino-British Fellowship grant.  (included the participation of Professor Iain Borden, Dr Jon Swords, Representatives from the LCSD and NGOS).

Why Don’t Skateboarders Wear Helmets? Hong Kong Sociological Association Conf, Shue Yan University, 5 December 2015.

Raising Global Citizens: Expatriate Parents and Cantonese Language Education in Hong Kong (With Dr Julian Groves). Hong Kong Sociological Association, Shue Yan University, 5 December 2015.

Wan Chai Skate and Create - Intergenerational Living, Architectural Design Studio, CUHK, Autumn 2015. Acted as client for project.

The Pakistani Community in Hong Kong, Multiculturalism in Action Workshop, CUHK, 26 September 2015.

Eat Me, Drink Me: A Discussion of Size and Embodiment, Between Monumentalism and Miniaturisation, CUHK, 11 June 2015.

The Anthropology of a Skatepark, Transatlantic Connections, Drew University, Bundoran Ireland, 16 January 2015.

The Understanding of Space by South Asian Youth in Hong Kong Invited Speaker, IN/EX Urban Lab, CUHK,16 December, 2014

How Does One Feel Ethnic? Invited Speaker Feeling Ethnic Symposium, Baptist University, 15 – 17 October, 2014.

Ethnic Conflict and Inequality in a Global Perspective, Brown International Advanced Research Institute, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, June 7 to June 21 2014.

The Changing Cosmopolitan Rhythm of Hong Kong, China in the World, the World in China, Hong Kong Sociological Association Annual Conference, 6 December 2013.

The Hajj: The Modern Pilgrimage to Mecca and Stories from Hong Kong Pilgrims, Hong Kong Anthropological Association, Hong Kong Museum of History, 16 October 2013.

Rhythms of the Modern Hajj: From Hong Kong to Mecca and Back, Islamic Civilization in Multiple Perspectives, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 13 September 2013.

Hong Kong’s Anomaly in the Anthropology of Islam in China, Asian Studies Association Hong Kong Conference, HKIE, 8 March 2013.

The Status of Muslims in the Minority Politics of Hong Kong, ForeignCorrespondents Club, Hong Kong, 14 January 2013.

The Ambiguity of Halal Food in Hong Kong, Association of Cultural Studies Crossroads Conference, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, 17 July 2010.

Learning to be Muslim: Muslim Youth and Everyday Multiculturalism in Hong Kong, International Conference on Migration, Citizenship and Intercultural Relations, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, 19 November 2009.

Everyday Hybridity of Young Muslims in Hong Kong, Pedestrian Crossings: Youth and Everyday Multiculturalism, Monash Research Centre, Prato, Italy, 9 June 2008.


Media Interviews

Can Skateboarding be a Religion?, Authored essay for Jenkem Magazine, 18 December 2019.

Hong Kong’s Minorities Face Racism From Police and Protesters, Consulted and quoted in article, Foreign Policy, November 7 2019.

Radio interview on University of Skate Seminar, RTHK Morning Brew with Phil Whelan, February 11th 2019

Can Skateboarding Save Your City? Interviewed for article, Huck Magazine, September 2018.

Feng shui, fortune-tellers and zodiac signs: young Hongkongers seek solace in superstition. Interviewed for news article, South China Morning Post, 7 July 2018.

Will You Eat Pork? Hong Kong Free Press, Guest Contribution, 10 May 2016.

In Hong Kong, a crowded restaurant, a death unnoticed and ‘McRefugees’, Interviewed of article in The Washing Post, Yannan Wang, 6 October 2015.

Interview Dr Paul James O’Connor, Sk8 O’Clock Podcast, 10 July 2015.

Dr Paul James O’Connor, Sk8 O’Clock Podcast, 10 July 2015

Skateboarders Flip Over New Helmet Rule, China Daily, 22 September 2014.

Skateboarding in Hong Kong - Helmets and the LCSD, Morning Brew Radio Show, RTHK 3, 25 August 2014.

Islam in Hong Kong, Ask a Muslim Radio Show, RTHK DAB31, 11 January 2014.

Pilgrimage to Mecca Interview, Morning Brew Radio Show, RTHK 3, 15 October 2013.

Muslim Feel Free in HK but Left Out, Interview SCMP, 30 September 2012.

Ethnic Minorities, Islam in Hong Kong, Interview on Morning Brew RTHK  3, 5 September 2012.

Muslims in Hong Kong, Interview on Morning Brew RTHK  3, 8 November 2011.


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