Dr Yao-Tai Li

Dr Yao-Tai Li

Senior Lecturer

PhD (University of California, San Diego) MA (National Taiwan University) BA (National Taiwan University)

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Social Sciences

Yao-Tai is a Senior Lecturer of Sociology and Social Policy in the School of Social Sciences at UNSW. His research interests include Race and Ethnicity, Identity, Migration, Work and Labour, Contentious Politics, and Social Media. Prior to joining UNSW, Yao-Tai was an assistant professor of sociology at Hong Kong Baptist University (2017-2021). His Ph.D. dissertation examines under what circumstances and how migrants from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong draw boundaries within the pan-Chinese identity in Australia, as well as the cultural and economic meanings of co-ethnic exploitation in the Australian cash-in-hand labour market, and policy implications.

Recently, Yao-Tai has been conducting research into Hong Kong's contentious politics through various perspectives such as urban sociology, cultural politics, global networks, and data activism. His other work includes timely research related to the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting big data analytics to examine social media discourses.

Level 1, Room 123, Morven Brown Building
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Li YT; Chen ML; Lee HW, 2024, 'Health communication on social media at the early stage of the pandemic: Examining health professionals’ COVID-19 related tweets', Social Science and Medicine, 347, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2024.116748
    Journal articles | 2024
    Li YT; Whitworth K, 2024, 'Coordinating and doxing data: Hong Kong protesters’ and government supporters’ data strategies in the age of datafication', Social Movement Studies, 23, pp. 355 - 372, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14742837.2023.2178404
    Journal articles | 2024
    Li YT, 2024, 'Digital togetherness as everyday resistance: The use of new media in addressing work exploitation in rural areas', New Media and Society, 26, pp. 1851 - 1870, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14614448221080717
    Journal articles | 2023
    Ho MS; Li YT, 2023, '‘I became a Taiwanese after I left Taiwan’: identity shift among young immigrants in the United States', Identities, 30, pp. 237 - 256, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1070289X.2022.2109859
    Journal articles | 2023
    Li Y, 2023, 'Building Power to Shape Labor Policy: Unions, Employer Associations, and Reform in Neoliberal Chile By PabloPérez Ahumada, University of Pittsburgh Press, May 2023, 224 pp., ISBN: 9780822947691 (hardback), Price USD 55.00', British Journal of Industrial Relations, 61, pp. 984 - 986, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjir.12768
    Journal articles | 2023
    Li YT; Liao BJ, 2023, 'An “Unsettling” Journey? Hong Kong’s Exodus to Taiwan and Australia After the 2019 Protests', American Behavioral Scientist, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00027642231192025
    Journal articles | 2023
    Li YT; Whitworth K, 2023, 'Contentious Repertoires: Examining Lennon Walls in Hong Kong’s Social Unrest of 2019', Journal of Contemporary Asia, 53, pp. 124 - 145, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00472336.2022.2032277
    Journal articles | 2023
    Li YT; Whitworth K, 2023, 'Data as a Weapon: The Evolution of Hong Kong Protesters’ Doxing Strategies', Social Science Computer Review, 41, pp. 1650 - 1670, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/08944393221111240
    Journal articles | 2023
    Li YT; Whitworth K, 2023, 'Redefining consumer nationalism: The ambiguities of shopping yellow during the 2019 Hong Kong Anti-ELAB movement', Journal of Consumer Culture, 23, pp. 517 - 535, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14695405221127346
    Journal articles | 2023
    Li YT; Whitworth K, 2023, 'The right to information or data sovereignty? Sending unsolicited messages to Russians about the war in Ukraine', Big Data and Society, 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/20539517231156123
    Journal articles | 2023
    Li YT, 2023, 'Integration Based on Socio-economic Status? Everyday Interactions and Boundary (Un)making Between Mainland Skilled Professionals and Locals in Hong Kong', International Migration Review, pp. 019791832311715 - 019791832311715, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/01979183231171553
    Journal articles | 2023
    Li YT, 2023, 'Taiwan and the WHO: negotiating the deconstruction of racialized discourse during the COVID-19 pandemic', International Affairs, 99, pp. 321 - 336, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ia/iiac313
    Journal articles | 2023
    Whitworth K; Li YT, 2023, 'Visual Framing: The Use of COVID-19 in the Mobilization of Hong Kong Protest', China Quarterly, 253, pp. 19 - 34, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305741022001564
    Journal articles | 2022
    Li Y-T, 2022, '[Book review] Taiwan: Manipulation of Ideology and Struggle for Identity', International Journal of Taiwan Studies, 5, pp. 203 - 205, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/24688800-20211253
    Journal articles | 2022
    Li YT; Cheng M; Mkono M, 2022, 'Information Diffusion or Deviation? An Exponential Random Graph Model of Activism Against Discrimination on Airbnb', Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10963480221143911
    Journal articles | 2022
    Li YT; Fung KY, 2022, 'Donating to the fight for democracy: The connective activism of overseas Hong Kongers and Taiwanese in the 2019 Anti-extradition bill movement', Global Networks, 22, pp. 292 - 307, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/glob.12345
    Journal articles | 2022
    Li YT; Whitworth K, 2022, 'Reclaiming Hong Kong through neighbourhood-making: A study of the 2019 Anti-ELAB movement', Urban Studies, 59, pp. 1372 - 1388, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00420980211014448
    Journal articles | 2022
    Li YT, 2022, 'How important is English, Mandarin, and Cantonese for getting a job? Exploring employers’ perceptions of linguistic capital in Hong Kong', Chinese Sociological Review, 54, pp. 155 - 177, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21620555.2021.1964948
    Journal articles | 2021
    Ho JM; Li YT; Whitworth K, 2021, 'Unequal discourses: Problems of the current model of world health development', World Development, 137, pp. 105176, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105176
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li Y-T; Liu JC-E, 2021, 'Auditing ethnic preference in Hong Kong’s financial job market: The mediation of white privilege and Hong Kong localism', International Sociology, 36, pp. 71 - 90, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0268580920957801
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li Y-T; Liu JC-E, 2021, '“Hong Kong, Add Oil!”: The Lennon Walls in the 2019 Hong Kong Movement', Contexts, 20, pp. 68 - 69, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1536504221997878
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li Y-T; Ng J, 2021, 'Moral Dilemma of Striking: A Medical Worker’s Response to Job Duty, Public Health Protection and the Politicization of Strikes', Work, Employment and Society, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017020981554
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li Y-T, 2021, '[Book review] The Sympathetic Consumer: Moral Critique in Capitalist Culture', Sociology, pp. 003803852110356 - 003803852110356, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00380385211035606
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li Y-T, 2021, '[Book review] Upsetting food: Three eras of food protests in the United States', Journal of Consumer Culture, pp. 146954052110499 - 146954052110499, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14695405211049925
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li YT, 2021, 'Accounting for “the social” in contact tracing applications: The paradox between public health governance and mistrust of government's data use', Big Data and Society, 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/20539517211054277
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li YT, 2021, 'Asymmetrical understandings of the value of time between Taiwanese Working Holiday Makers and the Australian government: Cultural exchange or serving time?', Sociological Review, 70, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00380261211062303
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li YT, 2021, 'One person, three identities? Examining re-politicization of ethnic, national, and Australian identities among 1.5-generation Taiwanese immigrants in Australia', Journal of Sociology, 57, pp. 541 - 558, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1440783320934157
    Journal articles | 2020
    Li YT; Song Y, 2020, 'Taiwan as ghost island? Ambivalent articulation of marginalized identities in computer-mediated discourses', Discourse and Society, 31, pp. 285 - 306, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0957926519889124
    Journal articles | 2020
    Li YT, 2020, 'Disharmonious Chinese ethnic business: intergroup stereotypes among Chinese migrant employees in Australia', Ethnic and Racial Studies, 43, pp. 732 - 750, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2019.1599132
    Journal articles | 2020
    Li YT, 2020, '“I was discriminated against because I was seen as PRC-Chinese”: The negotiation between ethnicity and nationalism among Taiwanese migrants in Australia', British Journal of Sociology, 71, pp. 1016 - 1030, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12786
    Journal articles | 2019
    Li YT, 2019, '“It’s Not Discrimination”: Chinese Migrant Workers’ Perceptions of and Reactions to Racial Microaggressions in Australia', Sociological Perspectives, 62, pp. 554 - 571, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0731121419826583
    Journal articles | 2018
    Li Y-T, 2018, 'Maintaining transnational ties and the convertibility of working holiday makers’ experiences in Australia', Current Sociology, 68, pp. 316 - 332, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011392118811003
    Journal articles | 2018
    Li Y-T, 2018, 'Mobilizing without the masses: control and contention in China', SOCIAL MOVEMENT STUDIES, 17, pp. 631 - 633, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14742837.2018.1482208
    Journal articles | 2017
    Li Y-T, 2017, 'Forget Chineseness: On the Geopolitics of Cultural Identification', CULTURAL SOCIOLOGY, 11, pp. 540 - 542, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1749975517731079c
    Journal articles | 2016
    Li Y-T, 2016, 'The Chinese Face in Australia: Multi-Generational Ethnicity among Australian-Born Chinese', INTERNATIONAL SOCIOLOGY, 31, pp. 599 - 601, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0268580916655969a
    Journal articles | 2016
    Li YT; Whitworth K, 2016, 'When the State Becomes Part of the Exploitation: Migrants’ Agency within the Institutional Constraints in Australia', International Migration, 54, pp. 138 - 150, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imig.12267
    Journal articles | 2016
    Li YT, 2016, '‘Playing’ at the ethnic boundary: strategic boundary making/unmaking among ethnic Chinese groups in Australia', Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39, pp. 671 - 689, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1080383
    Journal articles | 2015
    Li Y-T, 2015, 'Constituting Co-Ethnic Exploitation: The Economic and Cultural Meanings of Cash-in-Hand Jobs for Ethnic Chinese Migrants in Australia', Critical Sociology, 43, pp. 919 - 932, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0896920515606504
    Journal articles | 2015
    Li Y-T, 2015, 'Shaping a Stranger: City Culture and Its Effects on Taiwanese Sojourners in China', Journal of City, Culture and Architecture, 1, pp. 51 - 62, http://dx.doi.org/10.15340/2148193811214
    Journal articles | 2015
    Li YT, 2015, 'Regulating the market risks: The coalitions between occupational unions and CSOs in Taiwan', Development and Society, 44, pp. 295 - 317, http://dx.doi.org/10.21588/dns.2015.44.2.006
  • Reports | 2015
    Li Y-T, 2015, Vulnerabilities of Working Holiday Makers and Policy Recommendations, https://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/194892/subdr094-migrant-intake.pdf

2024 Arts, Design and Architecture (ADA) Faculty Research Grant – Seed Funding Scheme

2024 School of Social Sciences Research Grant – Top Quality Publication Scheme

2023 Asia Study Grant, National Library of Australia

2023 School of Social Sciences Research Grant – Individual Research Strategy Scheme

2022 Arts, Design and Architecture (ADA) Faculty Research Grant – Seed Funding Scheme

2022 Arts, Design and Architecture (ADA) Faculty Research Grants Scheme (SPF02)

2023      High commended, ADA Early Career Academic Network (Category: Best Traditional Research Output), UNSW

2021      The Sigma Awards for Data Journalism (Project: Hong Kong Lennon Wall Collection), Google News Initiative 

2021      45th The Golden Tripod Awards for Publication (Digital Publishing category – Digital Content award), Ministry of Culture, Taiwan

2021    25th Human Rights Press Awards (Multimedia), The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong, Amnesty International, and the Hong Kong Journalists Association

2021      Best Presentation Award, European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) Annual Conference

2020      A. Noam Chomsky Rising Star Emerging Scholar Award, Society of Transnational Academic Researchers (STAR)

2020      Faculty Early Career Teaching Award, Hong Kong Baptist University 

2017      Dissertation Writing Award, Department of Sociology, UCSD

2016      Graduate Student Paper Award, Racial and Ethnic Minorities Division, Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) 

2016      American Sociological Association Student Forum Travel Award

2016      The Lee Student Travel Fund Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP)

2015      Young Scholar Award, China Times Cultural Foundation, New York 

2014      Summer Research Grant Awards, Department of Sociology, UCSD

2013–14 UC California Studies Consortium (UCCSC) Award, University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI)

2013      The Dean of Social Science Research Fund Award, UCSD

Book Project

Protest Walls: Co-authoring Contentious Repertoires 

Other Ongoing Projects

Channeling Exploitation? The Role of Co-Ethnic Agent

The Changing Rhetoric of Racial Discrimination against Chinese Migrants in Australia after 1973 (https://www.nla.gov.au/stories/blog/exploring-experiences-chinese-migrants-australia)

Global Hong Kong Diaspora

Ad-hoc Reviewer for Journals

American Journal of Sociology, Asian Anthropology, Big Data & Society, British Journal of Sociology, Canadian Review of Sociology, China Perspectives, Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, Common Law World ReviewCosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Critical SociologyCurrent Psychology, Current Sociology, Development and Society, Economic and Labour Relations Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, European Journal of Social Psychology, Hong Kong Studies, Human Relations, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and PowerInternational Journal of Asian StudiesInternational Journal of Comparative Sociology, International Journal of Hospitality Management, International Migration, International Migration Review, International Sociology, Internet Research, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Journal of Labor and SocietyJournal of Mixed Methods Research, Journal of Youth Studies, Journal of Urban AffairsMass Communication and Society, Nationalities Papers, New Media & Society, Patterns of PrejudicePolitical BehaviorPolitical Psychology, Qualitative Sociology, SAGE Open, Social Inclusion, Social Science Computer ReviewSocial Movement Studies, Social Transformations in Chinese Societies, Sociological InquirySociological QuarterlySociological Research OnlineSociology of Race and Ethnicity, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, The Sociological Review, Urban Affairs Review, Urban Studies, Work, Employment and Society

2024–      Convenor, Master of Public Policy and Governance, UNSW

2024–      Editorial Board Member, Ethnic and Racial Studies

2024–27  Board Member, RC 31 Sociology of Migration, International Sociology Association (ISA)

2023–      Mentoring Program, International Migration Section, American Sociology Association (ASA)

2023–      SOSS Representative, ADA Early Career Academic Network (ECAN), UNSW

2023        Grant Proposal Reviewer for National Science Centre Poland

2023        Coding for 2023 Digital Society Project (DSP) Expert Cycle

2022–      International Advisory Board Member, British Journal of Sociology

2022–      Research Committee Member, School of Social Sciences, UNSW

2022–      Executive Council Member of the Australian Taiwanese Friendship Association (ATFA)

2022–      Workshop Facilitator for Year 10 Experience Day for High School Students, UNSW

2021–      Editorial Board Member, Work, Employment and Society

2022        Program Committee Member, International Conference on Social Media & Society (SMSociety22)

2021        Organizing Committee Member, Work, Employment and Society Conference

2021        A. Noam Chomsky Global Connections Awards Committee Member, Society of Transnational Academic Researchers

2021        Awards Judge for Networks 2021: A Joint Sunbelt and NetSci Conference

2020–      Expert Roster for Peer Review of United Nations Networks on Migration

2019–      Features Editor, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism

2019        Award Judge & Commentator for the 7th Global Social Sciences Graduate Student Conference, HKBU

2018    Discussant for a regular session “Encompassing Margins: Globalizing Race and Ethnicity” at the Annual Meeting of ASA. Philadelphia, PA.

2017     Graduate Student Paper Award Committee Member, Racial and Ethnic Minorities Division, Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) 

2014–      Executive Council Member of Taiwan Working Holiday Youth (T-WHY)

Professional Association Membership

Association for Asian Studies (AAS)

American Sociological Association (ASA)

Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN)

British Sociological Association (BSA)

Hong Kong Sociological Association (HKSA)

International Sociological Association (ISA)

Society for Hong Kong Studies (SHKS)

Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP)

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)

My Research Supervision

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Simon Metcalfe (PhD Social Sciences) The Affective Dimensions of Border Regimes: Australia’s Violent Border Policies towards People Seeking Asylum (Primary Supervisor)

Shutong Chen (PhD Social Sciences) Civic Participation of the A4 Revolution in Australia: Feminism, Queer, and Identity (Primary Supervisor) 

Roxarne Moon (PhD Social Sciences) Folktales and the Sociology of Belonging (Secondary Supervisor)


Yue Wu (Master of Public Policy and Governance, MPPG) Vulnerable in Australia: A Case Study of Asian Female International Student Workers in the Service Industry (High Distinction)

Honours Supervision (B.A., Hons.)

Jacqueline Price. The Moral Dimensions of a Movement: An Analysis of Doxing during the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Protests (First Class Honours), Recipient of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Honours Student Award




My Teaching

• ARTS 2870 Citizens, Action, and Dissent

• SOSS 2002 Quantitative Social Research

• SRAP 5021 Policy, Advocacy and Activism in the Digital Age