SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Tung-Yi Kho

B.Ec. (Hons.), University of New South Wales; M.Ec. in Social Sciences (First Class Hons.), University of Sydney; MA in Sociology, University of Oregon.
  • Overview


Tung-Yi Kho
Mr Tung-Yi Kho
Email address:
Thesis title:
In Search of the “Good Life” in Contemporary China: Stories from Shenzhen.
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


I was born in Singapore but have lived in Australia, Europe, the United States, China, and Hong Kong. I am interested broadly in the possibilities of and conditions for convivial human existence and am currently conducting field research in Shenzhen, South China. I have been trained in Economics, Political Economy, Sociology, Cultural Studies and, now, Social Anthropology.  

PhD Research

My PhD project aims to provide an ethnographic account of what it means to have a “good life” in China today. With China’s post-Mao era of the past thirty-odd years involving a structural economic transformation of epic proportions, it is becoming clear that a wholesale civilisational and cosmological shift in China has been under way. This has unsettled erstwhile Chinese ways of life as well as preponderant Chinese beliefs about what constitutes “the good, the true, and the beautiful”. Amidst such pervasive and profound change, I ask: what makes for a “good life” in today’s China? Indeed, what is considered to be “the meaning of life” in the PRC today?

I believe anthropological research is most potent in its capacity to contribute empirical, time-and-space-bound answers to such perennial philosophical queries. That said, my particular project should be seen as a more general attempt to make sense of Modernity and the Modern condition, especially in postcolonial societies. As such, I anticipate my project to touch on and contribute to discussions about modern Chinese history, Eurocentrism, Colonialism, Decolonisation and Decoloniality. My interests in the philosophy of science and social science should potentially also render my project a contribution to discussions about Methodology in the Human and Social Sciences.  



  • Kho, T. (2012) “Intellectual Property Rights and the North-South Contest for Agricultural Germplasm”, Agrarian South. December 1:255-290.  

Book Chapters   

  • Kho, T. (2009)”Eurocentrism, Modernity, and the Postcolonial Predicament” in R. Kanth (ed.), The Challenge of Eurocentrism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Edited Books:

  • Kanth, R., P.G. Rao, K. Ohnesorge & T. Kho (2012) Toward Immediacy in World Peace: Papers and Proceedings of the World Peace Congress 2010. New Delhi: Aakar Books.


  • 2013 ‘China’s Modernist Ascendency: At What Cost to Traditional Culture?’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Graduate Student Conference, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
  • 2012 ‘Germplasm Property Regimes and the Dilemma of Sovereignty’, 2nd South-South Forum for Sustainability, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.
  • 2011 ‘Eurocentrism, Colonialism and the Global South’, 1st South-South Forum for Sustainability, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.


  • Institute of Agricultural and Rural Development, Renmin University, Beijing.
  • Asia Research Exchange Network (ARENA).