Korean Millennials


lab-director-hyunjoon-park-croppedHyunjoon Park is Korea Foundation Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005. Park is interested in educational stratification and family in cross-national comparative perspective, focusing on South Korea and other East Asian societies. In recent years, he has studied changes in marriage, divorce, and living arrangements as well as consequences of demographic and economic trends for education, well-being, and socioeconomic outcomes of children, adolescents, and young adults in Korea. Park has published a single-authored book, Re-Evaluating Education in Japan and Korea: De-mystifying Stereotypes (2013 Routledge) and co-edited a book, Korean Education in Changing Economic and Demographic Contexts (with Kyung-Keun Kim, 2014 Springer), and two previous volumes of Research in the Sociology of Education (Vol 19. Family Environments, School Resources, and Educational Outcomes with Grace Kao, 2016; and Vol. 17. Globalization, Changing Demographics, and Educational Challenges in East Asia with Emily Hannum and Yuko Butler, 2010).

lab-fellow-grace-kao-croppedGrace Kao is IBM Professor and Chair of Sociology and Faculty Director of Education Studies at Yale University. Formerly, she was Professor of Sociology, Education, and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she taught for 20 years. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Chicago and her AB in Sociology and Oriental Languages (Chinese Literature) from University of California, Berkeley. She previously served as Vice President of the American Sociological Association. She has served on the Editorial Boards of American Sociological Review, Social Science Quarterly, Social Science Research, Sociological Perspectives, Social ProblemsSociological Forum, and Social Psychology Quarterly. Her research focuses on race, ethnic, and immigrant differences in educational outcomes. While her work is primarily based in the U.S., she has also done work on children of migrants in China and Mexico. She recently published a book (with Kara Joyner and Kelly Stamper Balistreri) titled The Company We Keep: Interracial Friendships and Romantic Relationships from Adolescence to Adulthood.


Seung-kyung KimSeung-kyung Kim is the Korea Foundation Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies within the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. Before coming to Indiana University, she taught at the University of Maryland, College Park for twenty five years. Her scholarship addresses the participation of women in social movements as workers and in relation to the state; the processes of transnational migration in the context of globalization and the experiences of families in that process, especially with regard to education; and feminist theories of social change. Besides numerous articles and book chapters, she is the author of Class Struggle or Family Struggle?: Lives of Women Factory Workers in South Korea (Cambridge University Press, 2009/1997) and The Korean Women’s Movement and the State: Bargaining for Change (Routledge, 2016/2014), and co-editor of Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives (Routledge, 2016/2013/2009/2003).


lab-fellow-joongback-kim-croppedJoongbaeck Kim is an Associate Professor of sociology department at Kyung Hee University. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin and was an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee before moving to Kyung Hee University. He has served as an assistant director of Center for Strategic Planning at Kyung Hee University and as a member of the board of directors of the Population Association of Korea. His research focuses on the formation of social trust in urban areas of Korea and its association with spatial structure, transportation, and public areas. He has published numerous articles in Social Science Research, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Community Psychology, and other social science journals.


lab-fellow-jaesung-choi-croppedJaesung Choi is an Associate Professor in Global Economics at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. His primary research interests are labor, education, public health and program evaluation. His research focuses on investigating gender and socioeconomic background as sources of inequality in childhood outcomes, with an overarching goal of developing effective policies to affect children’s development and lessen inequality. He is also interested in web scraping and text mining and is actively working on various web-based data collection projects on private supplementary education, professional labor markets, and human rights. He has published in journals such as Demography, Social Science and Medicine, and Annual Review of Sociology.



Phoebe Ho is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Korean Millennials Research Lab. Her research primarily focuses on families and their experiences with education and schooling in the U.S., with a particular emphasis on race/ethnicity, immigrant status, and social class. She is currently working on a book that takes a sociodemographic approach to examining diversity in the transition to adulthood among racial and ethnic minority and immigrant young adults. Her research appears in The Sociological Quarterly, Social Science Research, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, and Journal of Marriage and Family, among other venues. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 and holds an MA in Education from Stanford University and a BA (summa cum laude) in History and Chinese from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Kennan Cepa is a graduate student in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She studies the transition to adulthood and how education contributes to stratification in the United States. Her current work examines how students’ methods of financing college, specifically their reliance on college loans, may reproduce inequality. In addition, she is collaborating on a project examining the normative changes in attitudes about the transition to adulthood. Kennan’s past work includes research on how community college occupational programs prepare students for the labor market and whether implementing the Common Core improves students’ college-readiness. Prior to attending the University of Pennsylvania, Kennan worked for American Institutes for Research’s (AIR) Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research, and Chicago Public Schools. She earned her B.A. in History at the University of Chicago.

Yun Cha is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Born in South Korea, he graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. His B.A. paper focused on the relationship between student financial aid and college major choices, specifically with regards to how the cost of higher education shapes students’ entry into lucrative fields of study. At Penn, Yun continues to study social stratification, higher education, and college students' transition to the workplace. He is currently interested in stratification in/through graduate school.

Sangsoo Lee is a dual Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology and Demography at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Penn, he received his B.A. and M.A. in Sociology from Korea University. His broad research interests include family demography, social stratification, and education. Currently, he is studying changing family formation behaviors in East Asia.

Daesung Choi is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Hubert Department of Global Health within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He earned his Ph.D. in Demography/Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the international migration and health of Asian immigrants in the United States and East Asian countries. His most recent research investigates the role of health selection and assimilation in shaping the health trajectories of Asian immigrants in the United States. He is involved in multiple research projects including the WHO Healthy Cities project, Brain Korea 21 (Aging Society in Korea), and Korean Millennials.

Hyejeong Jo is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Sociology and the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. Her research interests are in social inequality, social mobility, education, family, and qualitative methods. Her dissertation, Diverging Paths: Three Essays on the Transitions of Working-class Young People in South Korea, is a qualitative study of diverging transitional experiences of working-class young people in South Korea. The results of the dissertation draw on a one-year of ethnography in a South Korean high school as well as the broader community which serves young individuals from working-class homes. In the dissertation, she interrogates the hidden costs of the college-for-all society by examining various struggles of working-class young people in their transition to college and work in a society where college education is glorified. During her fellowship, she is studying the social identities of educational elites using in-depth interviews with college students who are studying at elite institutions in South Korea.

Gowoon Jung is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University at Albany, SUNY. Her research interests primarily focus on gender/sexuality, religion, family and youth, and educational migration. Her work appeared in various journals such as Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, YOUNG: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, Sociology Compass, and Journal of Homosexuality.

Soo-Yeon Yoon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Sonoma State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her primary research interests lie in the areas of family, gender equality, and population changes. Much of her work focuses on the theoretical importance of the intersection of work and family. Her current research involves a comparative and critical understanding of families in East Asia.