Department of Sociology


Jennifer Chun, Assistant Professor, PhD. University of California, Berkeley, 2006
Prof. Jennifer Chun concentrates her research on the employment discrimination faced by immigrant communities and migrant workers. Her recent book Organizing at the Margins: The Symbolic Politics of Labor in South Korea and the United States (Cornell University Press, 2009) examined how labour unions in two different national contexts attempted to organize workers on the bottom rungs of the urban service economy, namely immigrant and women workers in low-paid, insecure and non-standard jobs. Her next book project, Revaluing Immigrant Women’ Labour, examines how low-paid Asian immigrant women workers employed in two cities – Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area – experience and make sense of their social and economic subordination. She also analyzes the role of community organizations and labour unions in challenging the dynamics of labour market inequalities along race, gender and immigration status.

She is also involved in two interdisciplinary collaborations:

  • Waterscapes: Mapping migration along the Fraser and Yangzi Rivers – re-imagines the spaces and experiences of global migration along two major waterways in Canada and China.
  • Language Travels: Korean Temporary Residents in Vancouver – examines how Korean residents experience and produce knowledge about Vancouver and Canada through their short-term language stays (collaboration with Ju Hui Judy Han).

Prof. Chun is also extensively involved in the Immigrant Vancouver Ethnographic Field School project (see below.)


Immigrant Vancouver Ethnographic Field School
The Immigrant Vancouver Ethnographic Field School (IVEFS) offers students a unique opportunity to combine hands-on research with community-based learning to better understand how migration is transforming the city of Vancouver. As an intensive, fieldwork-based course, IVEFS immerses students in all stages of research, from design, to data-gathering, to analysis to dissemination. Vancouver is a city defined by its expanding and deepening connections with peoples and cultures from around the world. The dynamic growth of immigrant populations reflects the wealth of knowledge and experiences contained in the everyday life of the city.
As a fieldwork-based course, IVEFS trains students to conduct in-depth, community-based research on the social, political, cultural and economic lives of immigrants. By immersing themselves in qualitative research, students gain valuable experience linking hands-on research in the classroom to theoretical paradigms related to the study of migration, transnationalism, global diasporas and multicultural communities.

Students are placed in a local Neighbourhood House that works directly with immigrant communities. Students also develop a final project based on their experiences in the field.

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