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Dr Tommy H L Tse

Honorary Assistant Professor

HKU Scholars Hub
Personal Website
Personal Website
Dr Tommy H L Tse
  • Dr. Tommy Tse is now an Honorary Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He specialises in East Asia’s media and cultural industries, creative labour, consumer culture and sociology of fashion.

    Tse completed his Bachelor of Arts (Hon) degree in HKU Comparative Literature, followed by his MPhil study in Gender, Literature and Film in the same department. After graduation, Tse first worked in various media and creative companies, and then decided to pursue a PhD degree at HKU Sociology, conducting ethnographic research on the intricate production and mediation of fashion in Hong Kong and across Asia.

    Before joining the Media Studies Department, University of Amsterdam​ as a tenured Assistant Professor in 2021, Tse taught at six different institutions: Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong; Faculty of Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University; Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London; the Culture and Media Domain, HKU SPACE CC; and Hong Kong Design Institute. Over the years, Tse also worked as a project-based copywriter for various global fashion, luxury and pharmaceutical brands.

    He is an elected member of the Amsterdam Young Academy (2020 – 2022), and he also serves the Editorial Board of Fashion, Style and Popular Culture (2021 – 2023), International Journal of Fashion Studies (2021 – 2023) and Work, Employment and Society (2021 – 2024). His work has appeared in Information, Communication and Society (Taylor & Francis), International Journal of Fashion Studies (Intellect), Journal of Consumer Culture (Sage), Journal of Cultural Economy (Taylor & Francis), and Sociology (Sage), in addition to his co-authored book Celebrity Culture and the Entertainment Industry in Asia: Use of Celebrity and Its Influence on Society, Culture and Communication (Intellect Books).

  • PhD Sociology
    The University of Hong Kong

    MPhil Comparative Literature
    The University of Hong Kong

    BA Comparative Literature
    The University of Hong Kong

    • Advertising and society

    • Celebrity culture

    • Creative labour

    • Cultural and creative industries

    • Cultural studies

    • Fashion

    • Gender and sexuality

    • New media and digital culture

  • De-Westernising Fashion: An Ex-centric Perspective on Creativity, Authenticity, Cultural Mediation, and Consumer Agency along Chinese-African Fashion Value Chains. HKU Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research.
    Project Date: 01/07/2020 – 30/06/2021.

    ‘Creative Workers in 2019 Hong Kong Protests: A Critical Investigation of the Causes, Motivations and Relations between Socio-Economic Factors and Political Participation.’ Funded by Public Policy Research Funding Scheme [Special Round] (SR2020.A8.028). (PI: Prof. Pun Ngai [HKU Sociology]; Co-I: Prof. Jack Qiu [CUHK Journalism & Communication]).
    Project Date: 01/05/2020 – 30/10/2020.

    Working in/out the Automated ‘Smart’ Cities: A Comparative Study of Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese Media Professionals’ Psychological Wellbeing. HKU Faculty of Social Sciences Strategic Research Clusters Seed Funding.
    Project Date: 01/06/2019 –30/11/2020.

    Digital Labour and Wellbeing: A Qualitative Exploration of Digital Workers’ Job Insecurity and Mental Health in Mainland China. University of Leicester Research Development Fund. (PI: Dr. Yimei Zhu [Media, Communication and Sociology, Leicester].
    Project Date: 01/03/2019 – 31/12/2019.

    ‘Cultural/Creative Labour and “Neo-Precarity”: Emerging Challenges and Responses of Precarious Workers in Chinese Cultural and Creative Industries’. HKU Seed Fund for Basic Research. Project Date: 01/09/2018 – 30/11/2018.

    ‘Food for Thought, Food for Globe – Reduction of Meat Consumption in Hong Kong’s Schools’. Funded by Knowledge Exchange Project Fund (KE-ID-2018/19-80). Project Date: 01/09/2018 – 30/06/2019.

    Green a Difference: Reduction of Animal Consumption in Hong Kong.’ Funded by Knowledge Exchange (KE) Impact Project Funding (KE-IP-2017/18-66). Project Date: 03/08/2017 – 30/06/2018.

    Size Does Matter: Reflecting Our Attitudes and Knowledge about Non-Human Animals in Urban Hong Kong.’ Funded by Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange (KE) Project Fund (KE-ID-2015/16-20). Project Date: 01/09/2016 – 30/08/2017.

    Creative Industries in Flux: A Critical Investigation into the Challenges, Agency and Potential of Cultural and Creative Workers in Hong Kong.‘ Funded by Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (2015.A8.035.16A).
    Project Date: 01/07/2016 – 31/12/2017.

    Good Work, Bad Life? Demystifying the Glamour of Creative Labor in Advertising Industry.‘ Funded by HKU Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research.
    Project Date: 01/06/2016 – 31/05/2017.

    Co-creating Fashion in the Post-Industrial Society: A Comparative Analysis of Creative Industries in China and South Korea.‘ Funded by Early Career Scheme (ECS/27610115).
    Project Date: 01/09/2015 – 31/08/2017.

  • Books:

    Cheng, K., Leung, V. & Tse, T. [in alphabetical order] (2017), Celebrity Culture and the Entertainment Industry in Asia: Use of Celebrity and Its Influence on Society, Culture and Communication.Bristol, UK; Chicago, USA: Intellect.

    Cheung, D., Tang, J. & Tse, T. [in alphabetical order] (2006), Bodywise, English & Chinese, Hong Kong: Kubrick; Taipei/Kaohsiung: Ju liu tu shu gong si, 183 pages. [ISBN 988-992-462-5]

    Journal articles:

    Pun, N., Tse, T., Shin, V. & Fan, L.L. (2020). “Conceptualising socio-economic formations of labour and workers’ power in global production networks”, Sociology (published online first) [ISSN: 0038-0385].

    Shin, V., Tsang, L.T. & Tse, T. (2020, accepted). “Bridging structural and micro-level factors in cultural labour studies: A multilevel analysis of performing arts administration professionals in Hong Kong”, Social Transformations in Chinese Societies (the official journal of The Hong Kong Sociological Association) [ISSN: 1871-2673].

    Tse, T., Shin, V. & Tsang, L.T. (2020). “From Shanzhai chic to Gangnam style: Seven practices of cultural-economic mediation in China and Korea”, Journal of Cultural Economy. (published online first) [ISSN: 1753-0350]

    Iaquinto, B., Kim, J.E., Serban, F. and Tse, T. (2019). “Worlds of work: Implications of urbanisation, technology and sustainability”, The International Sociological Association E-Symposium (Sage), 9(3): 1–6.

    Tse, T. (2019). “Chinese styles in pluralities: Destabilising the Western-centric fashion discourse in ‘multiple China(s)’ [Book review: Fashion in Multiple Chinas: Chinese Styles in the Transglobal Landscape (by Wessie Ling and Simona Segre-Reinach, 2018)]”. China Quarterly. [ISSN: 0305-7410]

    Tse, T. & Tsang, L.T. (2018). “Reconceptualising prosumption beyond the ‘cultural turn’: Passive fashion prosumption in Korea and China”, Journal of Consumer Culture. (published online first) [ISSN: 1469-5405]

    Tse, T., Leung, V., Cheng, K. & Chan, J. (2018). “A clown, a political messiah or a punching bag? Rethinking the performative identity construction of celebrity through social media”, Global Media and China. Vol 3, No.3. 141-157. [ISSN: 2059-4364]

    Leung, V., Cheng, K. & Tse, T. (2018), “Insiders’ views: The current practice of using celebrities in marketing communications in Greater China”, Intercultural Communications Studies. Vol 27, No.1. 96-113.. [ISSN: 1057-7769]

    Pun, N., Tse, T. & Ng, K. (2017), “Challenging digital capitalism: SACOM’s campaigns against Apple and Foxconn as monopoly capital”, Information, Communication & Society (published online first). [ISSN: 1468-4462]

    Tse, T. (2016), “Four myths of fashion—An ethnographic research on the fashion media industry in Hong Kong and Mainland China”, The International Sociological Association E-Symposium (Sage Publication), Vol 6, No.1. 1-16.

    Tse, T. (2016), “Consistent inconsistency in fashion magazines: The socialization of fashionability in Hong Kong”, The Journal of Business Anthropology, Vol. 5, No.1. 154-179. [ISSN: 2245-4217]

    Chan, K., Tse, T., Tam, D. & Huang, A. (2016). “Perception of healthy and unhealthy food among Chinese adolescents”, Young Consumers. Vol. 17, No.1. 32-45. [ISSN: 1747-3616]

    Tse, T. (2015), “An ethnographic study of glocal fashion communication in Hong Kong and Greater China”, International Journal of Fashion Studies, Vol. 2, No.2. 245-266.[ISSN: 2051-7106]

    Tse, T. (2015), “Two different tales of fashion media industry development in Mainland China and Hong Kong”, Clothing Cultures (Intellect), Vol. 2, No.3, 257-274.[ISSN: 2050-0742]

    Tse, T. (2014), “Fashion media communication in Hong Kong”, International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education (Special Issue: “Fashion and Communication”), Vol. 7, No.2, 66-74. [ISSN:1754-3266]

    Tse, T. (2014), “Negotiations between fashion marketers and journalists in Asia”, Asian Journal of Business Research, Vol. 4, No.1. 30-42. [ISSN: 1178-8933]

    Book chapters:

    Tse, T. & Tsang, L.T. (2017). “From Clicks-and-Bricks to Online-to-Offline: The Evolving E-tail/Retail Space as Immersive Media in Hong Kong and Mainland China”, Retail Design: Theoretical Perspectives, edited by Anthony Kent and Ann Petermans, United Kingdom: Routledge.

    Tse, T. (2015), “Beyond Freudian narcissism and the cowboy myth” in Ways of Queering, Ways of Seeing, Edited by Jo Grzelinska & Jill Cox, Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 205-224.

    Tse, T. & Wright, L.T. (2014), “Luxury brands and deriving fashion meanings in a media context in Hong Kong” in Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets, edited by Glyn Atwal and Douglas Bryson, Palgrave Macmillan, 155-165.

    Media interviews:

    How Hong Kong’s Protest Uniform Changed a Market (Business of Fashion [BoF], 17 November 2019)

    Kacey Musgraves Faces Criticism for Cultural Appropriation after Wearing a Vietnamese Dress (CNN Style, 17 October 2019)

    Why Do Internet Challenges Like the Bottle Cap Challenge and the Harlem Shake Go Viral on Social Media? (Young Post [SCMP], 19 August 2019)

    Global Currents: Why Luxury Is Banking on Tomboy Influencers (Business of Fashion [BoF], 1 August 2019)

    Do Clothes Maketh the (Wo)Man? (#Legend [Rock Media Group, NYC], 18 July 2019)

    Rihanna’s Harper’s Bazaar China Cover Sparks Questions of Cultural Appropriation (CNN International, 14 July 2019)

    The First Lady Effect on Fashion: How Their Choices of Outfit can Transform a Label’s Fortunes (SCMP, 22 September 2018)

    Collaboration with UN ESBN Youth & Women Entrepreneurship Taskforce (Young Entrepreneurs/HKU Common Core Research and Innovation, 6 August 2018)

    Sphere of Influence (TVB Pearl, 30 July 2018)

    Makeup app showdown: Meitu versus YouCam (Abacus by SCMP, 9 February 2018)

    Celebrity Culture in the Modern Age (HKU Bulletin Vol. 19 No.2, January 2018)

    MeToo Has Reached China, but Will It Have an Impact? (The Hollywood Reporter, 8 January, 2018)

    From Hong Kong hit Bride Wannabes to the Kardashians and Love Island, what is our fascination with reality TV? (SCMP, 14 October 2017)

    Triple Alumnus in a Special Niche – Alumni Interview with Dr Tommy Tse Ho Lun (The HKU Graduate School Newsletter, P.7, August 2017)

    Why Start-ups Thrive behind China’s Great Firewall More than in Hong Kong, its Freest City, and How to Change That (SCMP, 19 January 2017)

    【腐女想甚麼?】BL漫畫「攻」「受」關係滿足女讀者情慾想像 (HK01, 18 August 2016)

    Emoji 尋性新語言?(HK01, 21 July 2016)

    Digital Natives in the Wild (China Daily, 22 April 2016):

    Living the Stream (SCMP, 14 March 2016):

    Melancholic Melody: Cantopop Remains in a Mist (China Daily, 19 October 2015)

    Love at First Click (China Daily Asia, 11 September 2015)

    The Anti-Intellectual Generation [反智世代] (MetroPop, 23 April 2015)

    Newspaper articles:

    Tse, T. “香港文創產業一片風光背後”, Hong Kong Economic Journal, 21 November 2015. Print.

    Tse, T. “搞「好」創意 談何容易?審視文化及創意產業的業內實況”, Hong Kong Economic Journal, Nov 28.2015. Print.

    See all publications in HKU Scholars Hub →

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