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Paul O’Connor

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Anthropology Department, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Paul O'Connor is an interdisciplinary scholar based in Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Originally from the UK he has performed research on Muslims as minorities in both the UK and Hong Kong. He is author of "Islam in Hong Kong: Muslims and everyday life in China's world city", and is chiefly concerned with applying the social theories of everyday life and hybridity to ethnographic work. Currently working on a multi-focus project of rhythmanalysis, Paul teaches courses on ethnicity, Islam, world religions, and globalisation.


Related Articles
Applying hybridity: rhythms of the Hajj, Tumblr, and Snowden. By P. O'Connor

Abstract: Hybridity has long been a contested term, critiqued as elitist and contradictory. This paper begins by arguing that hybridity has been debated too often and applied too seldom. It takes the premise that hybridity is an everyday fact of life and accordingly it should be articulated in academic works as a mode of analysis. In acknowledging works that call for the utilization of hybridity’s analytical potential this work applies hybridity to the analysis of three disparate topics, the modern pilgrimage to Mecca or hajj, the social networking and blogging platform Tumblr, and the Edward Snowden affair. Hybridity is contrasted with Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis and applied as a conjoined conceptual focus on these issues. In each scenario a variety of hybrid connections are presented and situated in Bauman’s liquid modernity. These representations of hybridity highlight the manifold dimensions of the concept itself, that it can be superficial, political, celebrated, progressive, and mundane. Rather than dismiss the conceptual complexities of hybridity this paper calls for a harnessing of the broad scope of inference that hybridity presents in application. Working with hybridity thus provides a way to link topics and work organically between multiple disciplines.

Keywords: hybridity, haji, Tumblr, Snowden affair, liquid modernity.

Paul O’Connor
Anthropology Department, Chinese University of Hong Kong