Social Inequality and Precarious Work in Korea and Other East Asian Countries

Ju Kong (IRLE Scholar)

I have worked on various dimensions of social inequality in Korea and Japan, and I’m particularly interested in precarious work in the labor markets in East Asia. My recent research interest is to address how globalization, specifically with the two financial crises in 1997 and 2008, affects women’s employment in the labor force in four East Asian countries: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Mainland China in a comparative perspective. I would like to elaborate different trajectories of women’s employment depending on their socioeconomic status and ethnicity background in the labor markets. The focus will be changes of transitions from school to work and work trajectories throughout the life course including marriage and child birth from the first financial crisis to date. By visiting UCLA IRLE, I hope to deepen my understanding of the labor markets in East Asia, comparing them to their counterpart in the United States of America.