Jesook Song

Song, Living on Your OwnJesook Song (PhD, 2003, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Professor, St. George Campus;  Acting Director, Centre for the Study of Korea (2016-17)
(416) 946-3587
Office: AP 202

Research Keywords: Socio cultural anthropologist of contemporary urban transformation and welfare issues including homelessness, youth unemployment, single women’s housing, and psychological health support system;

Research Region: East Asia, particularly South Korea


ANT 347 – Metropolis: Global Cities
ANT 378 – Gift, Money and Finance
ANT 477 – Transnational Korea

ANT 6019 – Ethnography of Neoliberalism

Research Bio

Jesook Song received her B.A. in Education Science at the Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. She received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology with a minor degree in Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. She is currently writing a book on South Korean housing issues and family independent women.

Major Awards Include:

The Academy of Korean Studies Competitive Research Grant (2012-2013) on Speculative Practices and Their Impacts on Household Management.

The Academy of Korean Studies Distinguished Paper Award (2010) “Between Flexible Life and Flexible Labor: The Inadvertent Convergence of Socialism and Neoliberalism in South Korea” Critique of Anthropology. 29(2): 139-159.

SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2008-2012) on The Psychological Health Care System for People without Family Support in South Korea.

Korea Foundation Advanced Research Grant (2008-2009) for writing a book manuscript on family-independent women and housing in South Korea.

Connaught New Staff Matching Fund (2005-2007) on Family-Independent Women in South Korea.

The Academy of Korean Studies Award on the Encouragement of Research for an excellent journal publication (2007) “Family Breakdown and Invisible Homeless Women” in positions: east asia cultures critique 14(1):37-65.

American Anthropological Association The Sylvia H. Forman Prize, the best graduate essay in feminist anthropology (2002).

Recent Publications:

Accepted (provisional) “Gendered Care Work as “Free Labor” in State Employment: School Social Workers in the Education Welfare (Investment) Priority Project in South Korea” Special issue of “Youth, Labor, and Politics in East Asia” positions: asia critique

2014 Living on Your Own: Single Women, Rent Housing, Post-Revolutionary Affect in Contemporary South Korea, Albany: SUNY Press

2013 “Governmental Entanglements: The Ambiguities of Progressive Politics in Neoliberal Reform in South Korea” in Global Future in East Asia Stanford: Stanford University Press

2012 “Korea Through Ethnography” Special issue of Journal of Korean Studies, Volume 17, Issue 2, co-edited with Nancy AbelmannSouth Koreans in Debt Crisis Book Cover

2012 “Positioning Asia in a Global Future?: An Example through Rethinking Finance” in special issue of “Twenty Years After” positions: asia critique 20(1): 173-182

2011 “Situating Homelessness in the Post-Developmental Welfare State: The Case of South Korea”  Urban Geography 32(7): 972-988

2010  New Millennium South Korea: Neoliberal Capitalism and Transnational Movements. ed. by Jesook Song London: Routledge.

2010  Gender and Class in Korea and Japan: Sexing Class (edited by Ruth Barrachlough and Elyssa Faison, Routledge, 2009), Pacific Affairs 83(4): 799-800.

2010  Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation (by Anna Marie Smith, Cambridge University Press, 2007) to Feminist Review, 95: 16-18

2010  ‘A Room of One’s Own’: The Meaning of Spatial Autonomy for Unmarried Women in Neoliberal South Korea. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 17(2): 131-149

2009  Between Flexible Life and Flexible Labor: The Inadvertent Convergence of Socialism and Neoliberalism in South Korea. Critique of Anthropology. 29(2): 139-159

2009  South Korea in the Debt Crisis: The Creation of a Neoliberal Welfare Society. Durham: Duke University Press.

 Graduate Students

Photo of Kristina Alda
Kristina Alda
photo of Salvatore Giusto
Salvatore Giusto
Celeste Pang
photo of Sophia Jaworski
Sophia Jaworski