visual sociologist


Terence Heng is a photographer and sociologist. He is currently a senior lecturer in Sociology at the University of Liverpool, where he is also an Associate with the Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts.

Terence graduated from the University of Oxford with an MSc in Management Research and a PhD in Visual Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London. Working on intersections between creative practice, cultural geographies and visual sociology, he investigates the making of ethnic identities and sacred space amongst Chinese individuals.


His research has been featured in journals like Area, The Sociological Review, Cultural Geographies, Visual Communication and Sociological Research Online. His first academic book, Visual Methods in the Field: Photography for the Social Sciences, was published by Routledge in 2016. He is currently working on his first visual monograph -Of Gods, Gifts and Ghosts: Sacred Spaces in Urban Places (Routledge 2020) - a collection of visual essays focussed on Chinese religion and sacred space in Singapore.


In 2015, he was the inaugural winner of the International Visual Sociology Association’s Prosser Award for outstanding work by beginning scholars in visual methodologies. In 2017, he was awarded the Sociological Review's 2015 Prize for Outstanding Scholarship for his article An Appropriation of Ashes - a study of ethnic identity negotiation through everyday religious rituals.


above: winter clothing festival - bukit brown cemetery


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