Kyeyoung Park

Kyeyoung Park 박계영 is a Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at UCLA.

I am a sociocultural anthropologist.  The question of inequality, my life-long scholastic interest, is naturally tied to questions of social justice, social change, and social movement.  Accordingly, I heavily focus on culture in motion and the migration of people. Particularly I concentrate on cases of displaced people and their relation to structures of political economy and critical race and comparative ethnic studies and now, in a broad sense, their relationship to transnationalism and globalization.  I am also the author of a book, LA Rising: Korean Relations with Blacks and Latinos after Civil Unrest (2019), published by Lexington Books.  LA Rising develops neo-Marxist scholarship with intersectional analysis by examining multi-racial/ethnic tensions in South Central LA.  I define axes of inequality in the U.S. as they relate to race, citizenship, class, and culture.  My main objective is to explore how these axes of inequality have made an indelible impact on racial minorities and their relationship with each other.

My first book, The Korean American Dream: Immigrants and Small Business in New York City (1997), by Cornell University Press, is the winner of the Association for Asian American Studies’ Book Award.  This book examined why Koreans gravitate to small businesses and demonstrated how the structural imperatives of this process lead to transformations of concepts around gender, kinship, family, politics, and religion, and, more broadly, the transformation of cultural beliefs and ideologies.  Besides these two monographs, I have co-written and co-edited three more books: Korean Americans’ ethnic relationship in Los Angeles; Korean American Economy; 태평양을 넘어서: 글로벌시대 재미한인의 삶과 활동 (Cross the Pacific: The Lives of Korean Americans and their Socio-Political Engagement in the Global Age).  In addition, I edited/co-edited three special issues of peer-reviewed journals: Second Generation Asian Americans’ Ethnic Identity (Amerasia Journal 1999) and How Do Asian Americans Create Places?  Los Angeles and Beyond (Amerasia Journal 2008); Emigration and Immigration: The Case of Korea (Urban anthropology 2014).  My current research projects are about the Korean immigrant communities in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay and the second generation Korean American Transnationalism.  I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University (1998-99) and a fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation (1997-98).  I also served on the National Advisory Board of a multi-year national public education project sponsored by the American Anthropological Association and funded by NSF and the Ford Foundation on Race and Human Variation.