Photo Credit: Elizabeth Shim
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Shim

I am Korea Foundation Endowed Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. I am a political sociologist and law and society scholar interested in questions of human mobility, inequality, power, and agency. I seek to develop a relational, processual, and agentic account of categorization and identification, particularly in contexts in which such practices have significant implications for inequality at local, national, and global levels. I push the field of international migration to expand beyond its usual emphasis on migrant-receiving countries in the West. My research takes a transnational and global perspective, and systematically considers sending and transit contexts by adopting a multi-sited approach to research.

Before joining the University of Michigan, I received my PhD degree from UCLA, was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton and Stanford, and taught at George Mason University for a year. I was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (School of Social Science) during the 2016–2017 academic year.

Featured Work

Contested Embrace: Transborder Membership Politics in Twentieth Century Korea (Stanford University Press, 2016)

  • 2017 Thomas and Znaniecki Distinguished Book Award from the International Migration Section of American Sociological Association
  • 2017 Book Award on Asia/Transnational from the Asia/Asian American Section of American Sociological Association
  • 2017 Allan Sharlin Memorial Award from the Social Science History Association
  • 2018 James B. Palais Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies (Honorable Mention)

“Migration-Facilitating Capital: A Bourdieusian Theory of International Migration.” Sociological Theory 36 (3): 262–88.

  • 2019 Theory Prize from the Theory Section of the American Sociological Association

Please see the publication page for more information.