Sohoon Yi

Department of Sociology, Kyungpook National University
80 Daehak-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu, South Korea, 41566

2018 Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Sydney (Supervisors: Nicola Piper and Sonja van Wichelen)
2012 M.A. in Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia-Pacific), University of Sydney
2010 M.A. in Collaborative Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, University of Toronto
2008 Hon B.A. in Asia-Pacific Studies, University of Toronto (Graduated with High Distinction)
2019 Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Kyungpook National University (South Korea)
2018 T.T. and W.F. Chao Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Transnational Asian Studies, Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University (USA)
2018 Gender, Migration and the Work of Care Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto (Canada)
2017 Research Associate, Sydney Asia-Pacific Migration Centre, University of Sydney (Australia)
2014 Associate Lecturer, Master of Human Rights and Democratisation Program, Department of Sociology and Social Policies, University of Sydney (Australia)
Gender and migration, informal labour, transnational feminism, affect, socio-legal studies, ethnography, globalisation, politics of informal economy
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
Yi, Sohoon. (2021). 국가와 ‘국제결혼 소비자 피해담론’의 제도화 작업[“Victimized” Consumer Discourse in International Matchmaking Services and the State’s Systemizing Work.] Journal of Korean Women’s Studies 37(2): 129-166 [in Korean]
Yi, Sohoon. (2021). Suspicious Motherhood: Maternal Labor and Marriage Migration in South Korea. Social Politics 28(1): 71-93
Yi, Sohoon and Jennifer Chun (2020) Organising Day Labourers in South Korea’s Construction Industry International Comparative Sociology Journal 61(2-3): 122-140
Underhill, Elsa, Sherry Huang, Sohoon Yi and Malcolm Rimmer (2019) Using Social Media to Improve Temporary Migrant Workers’ Access to Information about their Employment RightsJournal of Australian Political Economy, 20(84): 147-174
Lee, Sohoon and Yi-Chun Chien. (2018) The Making of “Skilled” Overseas Koreans: Transformation of Visa Policies for Co-ethnic Migrants in South KoreaJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43 (13): 2193-2210
Lee, Sohoon and Nicola Piper. (2017) Migrant Domestic Workers as ‘Agents’ of Development in Asia: An Institutional Analysis of TemporalityEuropean Journal of East Asian Studies 16 (2): 220-247
Piper, Nicola and Lee, Sohoon. (2016) Marriage Migration, Migrant Precarity, and Social Reproduction in Asia: an Overview. Critical Asian Studies 48 (4): 473-493
Lee, Sohoon. (2012) Those Who Can Become “Foreign Koreans”: Globalisation, Transnational Marriages, and Shifting Nationalist Discourses in South Korea. Theory in Action 5 (3):1-30
Book Chapters
Yi, Sohoon. (forthcoming) Open, Sesame!: Korean-Chinese Kinship and Secret Codes that Buy Time in South Korea. In Minjeong Kim & Hyeyoung Woo (eds.) Immigration, Marriages, and Multicultural Families in South Korea:Reflections and Future Directions (under advance contract with Rutgers University Press)
Lee, Sohoon. (2013) Asian Democracy and the Problem of Membership: Rules of Exception and the ‘Legitimate’ Discrimination against Migrants in South Korea. in James Arvanitakis & Ingrid Matthews (eds.) The Citizen in the 21st Century. Inter-Disciplinary Press: Oxfordshire. 73-85
Policy Documents
Underhill, Elsa, Sherry Huang, Sohoon Lee and Malcolm Rimmer. (2018) Information Seeking Behaviours of Temporary Visa Workers in Victoria. Deakin University: Melbourne.
Cheng, Kuo-Sheng, Tina Davis, Sohoon Lee, Sora Lee, Yao-Tai Li (in alphabetical order) (2016) Vulnerabilities of Working Holiday Makers and Policy Recommendations. Submission to Senate Inquiry on the Impact of Australia’s Temporary Work Visa Programs on the Australian Labour Market and on the Temporary Work Visa Holders. Parliament of Australia.
Lee, Sohoon and Nicola Piper. (2013) Understanding Multiple Discrimination against Labour Migrants in Asia: an Intersectional Analysis. International Policy Analysis. Fredrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES): Berlin
Piper, Nicola and Sohoon Lee. (2013) Contributions of Migrant Domestic Workers to Sustainable Development: Policy Paper for the Pre-GFMD VI High-Level Regional Meeting on Migrant Domestic Workers at the Interface of Migration and Development. UN Women: Bangkok.
Lee, Sohoon, Juliette Mitchell, Bruce Amoroto, Petra Gimbad, Nicholas Leow, Nishandeny Ratnam, Ivone Rebelo and Haibin Zhou (2013) Rights without Borders: realising human rights for all workers irrespective of citizenship. Campaign for Australian Ratification of Migrant Workers Convention. Human Rights Council of Australia: online.
Azhar, Haris, Yuval Ginbar, Sohoon Lee, Atnike Sigiro, Swee Seng Yap (in alphabetical order) (2010) Hiding Behind Its Limits: Performance Report on ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development: Bangkok.
2018 Dean of Humanities Funding, Humanities Postdoctoral Fellows Writing Group
2017 Faculty of Arts and Social Science Research Scheme, Living Wage for Migrant Workers Project, University of Sydney (Collaborators: Nicola Piper and Matt Withers)
2016 Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Korean Studies Dissertation Workshop
2015-2016 Gender, Migration and Care Doctoral Associate, Centre for Global Social Policy, University of Toronto
2014-2016 Postgraduate Research Support Scheme, University of Sydney
2013-2015 Marriage Migration in East Asia Revisited through the Migration-Development Nexus Lens, National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2013K2A1A2054885), University of Sydney and Seoul National University (PI: Chin Sung Chung and Nicola Piper; Collaborators: Hyun Mee Kim, Sunju Wi, Keuntae Kim)
2013 Sydney Southeast Asian Centre Publication Grant, University of Sydney (Collaborator: Nicola Piper)
2009 Dr. David Chu Travel Award, University of Toronto
2018 Early Stage Family Scholar Award, RC06, International Sociological Association
2017 Best Postgraduate Paper Award, Korean Studies Association of Australiasia
2012-2017 University of Sydney International Scholarship (USydIS, Research Training Program (RTP)-level scheme)
2011-2012 Master of Human Rights and Democratisation Scholarship, University of Sydney
2010 Korean Canadian Scholarship Foundation Scholarship
2008 Dr. David Chu Scholarship for Masters Program in Asia Pacific Studies, University of Toronto
2008 Hon B.A. with High Distinction, Dean’s List, Univ. of Toronto
2006 Dr. David Chu Scholarship for Exchange Study (in Tsinghua University, China), University of Toronto
2021 국가와 ‘국제결혼 소비자 피해담론’의 제도화 작업. Department of Sociology Colloquium Series. 29 June 2021, Yonsei University.
2019 이주여성의 친족노동과 시공간 국경경험. Institute for Social Sciences Colloquium 26 September 2019, Kyungpook National University.
2018 ‘“You’re Family Only When You’re Rich”: the moral economy of visas, kinship and relational labour’. Transnational Asia Research Initiative Seminar Series. Chao Center for Asian Studies. 26 September 2018. Rice University
2018 ‘Suspicious Motherhood: Gendered Spatiality of Borders and Marriage Migration in South Korea.’ Feminist Seminar/Race, Ethnicity and Immigration Workshop Series. Department of Sociology. 25 April, 2018. University of Toronto.
2018 ‘Bordering Families: Kinship Migration and Immigration Bureaucracy in South Korea’. Centre for the Study of Korea Speaker Event. 2 March, 2018. University of Toronto.
2016 ‘Im/material Pay for Im/material Work? Theorising the Intersection of Reproductive Work, the Market and Law’. SSP (Sociology & Social Policy) Seminar Series. 5 September 2016. University of Sydney.
2015 ‘Transformation of Dongpo Visa System: Critical Approaches Co-ethnic Visa Policies after Implementation of Working Visit System’. Migration Policy Forum [yijujeongchaekporeom]. 16 September 2015. Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Seoul, South Korea.
2014 ‘Migrant Domestic Workers as Agents for Development?: Observations from the Southeast Asian Context’. SSEAC (Sydney Southeast Asia Centre) Seminar Series. 21 May 2014. University of Sydney. (Co-presented with Nicola Piper
2014 ‘Interpreting or Appropriating?: Understanding South Korean state’s interpretation of global migration and development discourse from gender perspectives’. Approaches to Social Reproduction: Gender & Migration Workshop. Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. 22-23 November, 2014. Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.
Conference Organised
2015 Marriage Migration in East Asia Revisited: Development, Culture and Policy International Conference & Workshop. 14-15 May, 2015. Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea. (Sponsored by the NRF Grant)
Panels Organised
2017 Gender and Politics of Space. Korean Studies Association of Australiasia Biennial Conference. 15-17 November, 2017. University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Papers Presented
2019 ‘Swindler or victim?: Analysis of international marriage victimhood discourse in South Korea’. Asian Association of Women’s Studies (AAWS) Congress 2019. 7 December, 2019. Ewha Women’s University, South Korea.
2019 ‘Becoming Reinvented: Intimacy and Feminist Ethnography’. Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) Winter Meeting. 7-9 February, 2019. Hilton Denver Downtown Convention Center, Denver, USA.
2019 ‘Criminalizing “Runaway” Migrant Wives: Commercial Cross-Border Marriages and Home-Space as Confinement’. Marriage Migration, Family and Citizenship in Asia Conference. 31 January—1 February 2019. National University of Singapore. Singapore.
2018 ‘Suspicious Motherhood: Marriage Migration, Borders and Precarity’. International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress. 15-21 July, 2018. Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Canada
2018 ‘Immigration as an obstacle to family justice: when there is an immigration penalty for breaking a marriage’. Law and Society Association (LSA) Annual Meeting. 7-10 June, 2018. Sheraton Centre, Toronto, Canada.
2017 ‘Contesting Borders: Market for Kinship and Kinship for Market’. Korean Studies Association of Australiasia (KSAA) Biennial Conference. 15-17 November, 2017. University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
2016 ‘Negotiating Ambiguous Standpoints: Transnational Research and Conducting Reflexive Feminist Ethnography in Socio-Legal Studies’. American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting. 19-23 August, 2016. Washington Convention Centre, Seattle, USA.
2016 ‘Turning Weakness into Strengths: Lessons on Day Labourers Organising from the Korean Construction Workers Union’ Precarious Work: Domination and Resistance in the US, China and the World. 19 Aug 2016. Seattle Central College, Seattle, USA.
2016 ‘Making of ‘Skilled’ Overseas Koreans: Transformation of Visa Policies on Co-ethnic Migrants in South Korea’. The Changing Face of Global Mobility: Celebrating 10 years of the International Migration Institute. 13-15 January 2016. University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
2015 ‘Suspicious Mother, Precarious Worker, and Impermanent Migrant: Transnational Childcare, Social Reproduction and Marriage Migration in South Korea’, Marriage Migration in East Asia Revisited: Development, Culture and Policy. 14-15 May 2015. Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.
2014 ‘Domestic Workers as Agents for Development?: the Migration-Development Nexus Debate Revisited through the Decent Work Agenda’.  ISA World Congress. 13-19 July 2014. Yokohama, Japan. (Co-presented with Nicola Piper)
2012 ‘International Migration and Development from Below: Experiences from Village Development in Indonesia’. International Indonesian Forum. 9-10 July 2012. Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Co-presented with Ratih Anwar)
Sociology, Kyungpook National University
SOCI251 Globalization and Asia
SOCI252 Sociology of Labor
SOCI523 Gender and Migration
SOCI538 Law and Social Change
Asian Studies, Rice University
ASIA295 Introduction to Transnational Asian Studies
Sociology, University of Toronto Mississauga
SOC444H5F Advanced Topics in Sociology: Gender, Migration and Borders.
Sociology & Social Policy, University of Sydney
HRTD 6909/6911 Human Rights Dissertation (Part 1 and 2). Semester 1, 2014 (MA-level)
HRTD 6910/6912 Human Rights Internship (Part 1 and 2). Semester 1, 2014 (MA-level)
2016/5/18 “What the ‘Backpacker Tax’ can teach us about democracy” The Huffington Post.
2016/3/26 “Backpackers are good to Australia, but is Australia good to backpackers?” The Huffington Post.
2014/6/18 “Long overdue rights for domestic workers” Jakarta Post, Opinion, p.6 (with Nicola Piper)
2017/4/21 “Work visas: students often forced to breach conditions, lawyers say” The Guardian.
2017/12/4 “Helper for working holiday makers Sohoon Yi says life in Australia is neither rosy nor gloomy” [인터뷰: 워홀러도우미 이소훈대표 “호주생활?장밋빛도 잿빛도 아냐”Yonhap News.
March 2020—Present Committee Member, Committee on Korean Studies, Northeast Asia Council (NEAC), Association for Asian Studies
Jan 2020—Present Editorial Board Member, Gyeongjewa sahoe [Economy and Society]
May 2013—Dec 2014 Editorial Assistant, International Sociology. May 2013 – Dec 2014
2015 Research Assistant, Informal Worker Organizing in Domestic Work and Construction (Ford Foundation Project): South Korean Case Study, University of Toronto

Role: Planned and conducted fieldwork for the construction sector. (PI: Chris Tilly, country lead: Jennifer Jihye Chun)

2013 Consultant, Emerging Markets Research Project: South Korea. Verite (March– June)

Role: Conduct in-country research on the general labour conditions in South Korea according to indicators.


Research Fellow, ‘Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Returned Migrants in East Java, Indonesia,’ Project (sponsored by Asian Development Bank), Dept. of Geography, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

Role: Assisted data collection, fieldwork & analysis and writing of the report (PI: Sukamdi)

2011 Research Assistant, ‘From Migrant to Worker: New Transnational Responses to Temporary Labour in East and Southeast Asia’ Project. Dept. of Indonesian Studies, Univ. of Sydney

Role: Drafted mapping report and conducted fieldwork for the South Korea section (PI: Michele Ford)

2010-2011 컨설턴트, Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) (Bangkok, Thailand)
2010 Intern, Policy Development Team, Rainbow Youth Centre (Seoul, South Korea)
Korean (native), Chinese (intermediate)
International Sociological Association/ Association for Asian Studies/