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Transnational LGBTQ Migration Study in South Korea


This project examines how lesbian, bisexual, and queer women and trans (LBTQ) people use skilled labor facilitating migration policies to navigate uneven transnational and domestic implementation of LGBTQ rights protections. From 2016 to 2018, doctoral candidate Chelle Jones collected 86 interviews with LBTQ migrants from around the world who reside in South Korea. South Korea does not recognize same-sex relationships nor protect against anti-LGBTQ discrimination but does not criminalize homosexuality. Research on LGBTQ migration considers LGBTQ rights and same-sex relationship recognition among the most important pull factors for migration, so why did the LBTQ migrants interviewed choose to stay in South Korea? How do LBTQ migrants maintain mixed citizenship relationships and build families in South Korea? How to transgender migrants to South Korea negotiate gender and access resources?


Work that will be assigned to research assistants:

RAs will assist with data processing by transcribing a set of English language interviews. RAs may also assist in searches for relevant research or write an annotated bibliography. Qualified RAs may also assist in preliminary data analysis by coding that set of interviews using Dedoose software. This project will equip students with practical experience transcribing semi-structured interviews, learning about research ethics, coding using qualitative software, and analyzing qualitative data (time permitting).


Application instructions:

Please email your resume, unofficial transcript, tentative class schedule, and a short cover letter to Chelle Jones by the first day of classes. Your cover letter should specify how many SURO credits you’d like to earn, provide contact information for at least one academic reference, briefly describe your qualifications and why you’d like to work on this project. Selected applicants will be invited for a brief interview. 


Desired Qualifications:

Research Assistants must have completed at least 1 sociology class on either gender and sexuality, socioeconomic class and inequality, or transnational migration prior to the start of their SURO experience. Research assistants do not need any specialized knowledge of South Korea or the Korean language.Familiarity with a variety of English language accents (American, Canadian, British, Scottish, Australian, South African, etc.) is a plus, but not a requirement.

Trigger Warning: The interview data in this research project may contain references to or discussion of violence, sexual violence, homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism and xenophobia. If you require accommodations, please speak with Chelle Jones.


Supervising Faculty Member: Barbara Anderson

Graduate Student: Chelle Jones

Contact information:

Average hours of work per week: 3-9

Range of credit hours students can earn: 1-3

Number of positions available: 2