[alaya_dropcap]O[/alaya_dropcap]nce again, the faculty of the College of Social Sciences had the honor to welcome professors from different departments to its regular Happy Hour event inside the faculty lounge. Professor Wang Shinn-Shyr (王信實), Director of the IMES Program opened the evening and welcomed the first speaker, Professor Kao Ya-Ning (高雅寧). Professor Kao is an assistant professor in the department of ethnology. In recent years, she has started working in the field of USR (University Social Responsibility), led by Professor Wang Shinn-Shyr. Her current project for the USR is the establishment of an education center for new immigrants from Vietnam. According to her, the idea started a few years ago when she visited one of the subculture centers and noticed a lot of the problems immigrants from Vietnam face. The new education center includes Chinese classes free of charge, as well as general Taiwanese culture class in order to help facilitate the acclimation for the new arrivals. Additionally, to help the children still be connected to their own culture, Vietnamese language classes are also provided. Moreover, Professor Kao conducts seminars at NCCU for local students on how to teach Vietnamese or Chinese as a second language. In the future she is planning to further deepen her research on minority issues with the goal of designing policies better tailored to help immigrants with their circumstances and challenges they face.
After a short break, Professor Wang announced the next speaker: Professor Kuan Ping-Yin (關秉寅), director of the IDAS program. He just returned from the RC28 Spring Conference, hosted in Seoul by Research Committee on Social Stratification and Mobility (RC28), the International Sociological Association (ISA). The RC28 is quite productive and active committee at the ISA. It held conferences twice a year. This time 258 people attended the spring conference. The conference organized 59 parallel sessions with 201 papers presented. Interestingly enough, Professor Kuan points out that this conference is one of the few in the world where Taiwan is represented as a national association.
This meeting’s topics covered everything from gender, family and population in East Asia, as well as big data and inequality studies. While Professor Kuan argues, that surveys still have their usage, he admits he was impressed by the result big data can achieve and hopes that the Taiwanese government might make their data open to the public, so that researcher can use it and apply methods it other wise could not, therefore giving new insights and policy recommendations.
As Professor Kuan’s talk ended, Professor Wang opened the buffet. Fitting the theme of the first talk of Professor Kao, this week’s aptly themed food was Vietnamese, accompanied by Vietnamese beer. While enjoying a piece of Vietnamese culture, all participants of the Happy Hour had the opportunity to engage with the speakers to ask their follow-up questions, leading to some vivid discussions.
The College of Social Science’s Happy Hour events are open to all members of the faculty, including all professors and students. So next time, feel free to come by and join. We hope to see you soon!