Professor Chun joined the faculty of the University of Toronto in 2012, after teaching at the University of British Columbia. Her areas of expertise include work and labour, race, class and gender, migration and transnationalism, political sociology, and social theory. Her research is internationally comparative and has focused primarily on the changing world of work, culture, politics in the global economy. Her book, Organizing at the Margins: The Symbolic Politics of Labor in South Korea and the United States (Cornell University Press, 2009) was selected as the ASA Race, Gender and Class Section’s 2012 Distinguished Book Award, received an Honorable Mention for the 2011 Best Book Award from the ASA Labor and Labor Movements Section, and was a finalist for the 2010 C. Wright Mills award. She is currently serving as the President of the Research Committee of Labour Movements (RC44) of the International Sociological Association.
Professor Chun’s current research project builds on her previous research in labour, culture and politics yet explores a new avenue of inquiry: the emotional and subjective dynamics of challenging labor market inequality. She examines how low-paid immigrant women workers employed in two urban labour markets – Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area – experience and make sense of their social and economic subordination. She also examines the development of new strategies and organizational forms aimed at challenging overlapping forms of social and economic marginality. This project includes significant collaborations with community partners such as Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (AIWA) in the San Francisco Bay Area and various neighbourhood houses in Vancouver. She is also involved in various interdisciplinary research collaborations on topics such as the political economy of language among Korean youth, informal worker organizing across 8 countries and the relationship between migration and waterways along China’s Yangtze River and British Columbia’s Fraser River.