Assistant Professor Myungji Yang


Myungji Yang is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa. She earned her PhD in Sociology in 2012 and spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Korean Studies Institute, University of Southern California, in 2015-16. Her research interests include the political economy of development, class politics and social inequality, democracy and civil society, globalization, and East Asia. Her work on the urban middle class and democracy in South Korea has appeared in Sociological Inquiry, Critical Asian Studies, and Korea Observer. Her first book, From Miracle to Mirage: The Making and Unmaking of the Korean Middle Class, 1960-2015, is forthcoming from Cornell University Press. Capturing the emergence, reproduction, and fragmentation of the Korean middle class, it demonstrates how the seemingly successful state project of building a middle-class society contained the seeds of that society’s decline. It argues that the current fragility of the middle class was embedded in the very development strategies and speculative urbanism that led its rise in the first place. She is now working on a new project about conservative politics and activism in South Korea. She is interested in how the right wing has maintained its hegemonic power and how it has shaped the post-democratization trajectory in Korea.


Curriculum Vitae