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Cho, Mun Young

Degree Ph.D, Stanford University
Research Interests Poverty, Development, Youth, Political Anthropology, China and South Korea
Tel 82-2-2123-5422
Email munyoung@yonsei.ac.kr

Cho, Mun Young obtained her Ph.D. at Stanford University in 2010. Before coming to Yonsei University, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Chinese Studies at University of California, Berkeley (2010-2011). Her research has focused on poverty, class, labor, and development in China and South Korea. Based on fieldwork in Harbin, Cho’s book The Specter of “The People”: Urban Poverty in Northeast China (Cornell University Press, 2013) examines China’s poverty management as the nation’s fast-growing market economy brings about deeper impoverishments of one-time socialist workers. Her book won the 2014 Anthony Leeds Prize from the Society for Urban, National and Transnational/Global Anthropology at the American Anthropological Association. Articles relating to this research include “Dividing the Poor: State Governance of Differential Impoverishment in Northeast China,” American Ethnologist (2012), “‘We are the State’: An Entrepreneurial Mission to Serve the People in Harbin, Northeast China,” Modern China (2011), “On the Edge between ‘The People’ and ‘The Population’: Ethnographic Research on the Minimum Livelihood Guarantee (dibao),” The China Quarterly (2010), “Forced Flexibility”: A Migrant Woman’s Struggle for Settlement,” The China Journal (2009), and so forth. Cho is currently conducting two research projects. One is to examine the class subjectivity of migrant youth in a Shenzhen’s Foxconn town in southern China, along with new state governance of mobilizing “the social.” The other is to trace the social experiences and trajectories of precarious South Korean sojourners in northeast China, who confound a familiar script of economic success and cultural modernity in migration processes. She has been appointed as the Underwood Distinguished Professor at Yonsei University (2014-2017).