Remembering my special academic journey with John Urry

Chia Ling Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


I first encountered Urry’s The Tourist Gaze (1990) when studying in National Taiwan University in 1993 when sociology equalized Marxism and social movements. I was very inspired that such an interesting topic could also be a serious researchable sociological and geographical topic. The book is definitely a long-lasting classic that demonstrates John Urry’s academic spirit which always explores new issues and extends the territory of sociology while redefining what sociology could be. It is also a gem that reveals the grand social and cultural change through elaborating newly emergent social groups’ habitus and perceptions through some beautiful social episodes. His global research of the middle class and service class at that time with Taiwanese scholar Professor Michael Shaw also gave me great inspiration to study what newly emergent classes and social change can be traced in Capital, Labour and the Middle Class (1983) and Economies of Signs and Space (1994). Under the supervision of a Taiwanese mentor, Professor Ch-jen Yeh, I explored my MA on museums and social change in Taiwan, drawing upon Bourdieu’s field theory and John Urry’s globalization and cultural change theory. I met the inspiring writer Urry ‘virtually’ as a remote admirable reader then.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobilities and Complexities
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780429892707
ISBN (Print)9781138601420
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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