YOUBIN KANG

yk762@cornell.edu

CV


I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.

I am interested in thinking about capitalism as labor, the shifting ideas of deservingness and citizenship in racial capitalism, the performativity of market interactions, time horizons of solidarity and disenchantment, and the socio-materiality of infrastructure. I try to be true to my roots in my work through respect for community and justice.

My dissertation project completed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Sociology Department investigates subway infrastructure as a site of contestation. I examine the puzzle of perpetual public transit insolvency through a comparative historical analysis of labor relations in New York City and Seoul between 1974 and 2022.

Previously, I have written about regulating garment supply chains in Bangladesh.

Concurrent projects with collaborators include a quantitative study on driverless subways and writings on critical theory. I am also interested in writing for a broader audience about labor, aesthetics, and subjectivities.

I was born in Busan, South Korea and raised in New Delhi, India; Seoul, South Korea; and Cairo, Egypt. Prior to grad school I worked for a short while at the International Labour Organization. I am geeked about meditation, I can’t drive and I love everything about trains.



WRITING

“All aboard the moral panic” forthcoming in N+1 magazine.

“Exorcising the haunted desire for legibility in Dictee” (2024) in She Follows No Progression: A Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Reader. New York: Wendy’s Subway.

"South Korean Truckers Provide a Model for Labor Organizing Among Independent Contractors" in Jacobin Magazine. 2/21/2023

Infrastructure Aunties” in Truelove Y. & Annavarapu S. (eds.) Roadsides no.009: Gendering Infrastructure. 4/18/2023

"The power of the uncanny in contemporary political art" in The Amp. 10/2/2023


INTERVIEWS

Red Canary Song on Making Migrant Massage and Sex Workers Visible ”  in The Amp 2/15/2024

API LGBTQ+ Multimedia Project: Intergenerational Conversation & Healing, Interview with Clara Lee, with Kiwi (Dabney Park), PFLAG NYC, 2022

“Activism, Photography and Workers’ Collective Leadership: A Conversation with Taslima Akhter” in Asian Labour Review. 4/24/2023


BOOK REVIEWS

(2024). “Book Review: Queer Career by Margot Canaday.” ILR Review (forthcoming)

(2024). “Book Review: Race in the Machine - A Novel Account By Quincy Thomas Stewart.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.

(2022). “Book Review: Private Regulation of labour standards in GVCs By Sarosh Kuruvilla.” ILR Review 75(1): 342


ACADEMIC  WRITING

Underground Labor and the Politics of Circuits in the Subways of New York and Seoul, 1974-2022
︎︎︎ “The Meritocracy Habitus and the Classificatory Politics of Skills in the Seoul Metro” (R&R at Social Problems)

︎︎︎ “Collective Emotions and Controlling Images in Subway Strikes” (in preparation)

︎︎︎ “The Relational Work Behind Public Transit Insolvency” (in preparation)


Automation
︎︎︎ with Jungmyung Kim. (2023) “The spectacle of automation and status aspirations: adoption of automated metro systems around the world, 2000–2020” Socio-economic review


Regulation of global supply chains
︎︎︎ (2024) “Structural power and wage floors in Asian supply chains” (in preparation)

︎︎︎ (2021) "The Rise, Demise, and Replacement of the Bangladesh Experiment in Transnational Labour Regulation" International Labour Review 160 (3): 407-430

︎︎︎
(2021) "Access to justice after Rana Plaza: A preliminary assessment of grievance procedures and the legal system in the apparel global supply chain" in Delautre, G.,Echeverria Manrique E., Fenwick, C. (eds). Decent Work in a Globalized World: Lessons from Public and Private Initiatives. ILO: Geneva, 265-300


Critical Theory
︎︎︎ with Jaylexia Clark “Racial Capitalism to Study Labor and Labor Movements: A Critical Analysis” (in preparation)


Labor Law
︎︎︎ (2019) “Freedom of association and collective bargaining in minority trade unionsInternational Labor Rights Case Law Journal 5(2): 158-163



AFFILIATIONS
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2024-2025
Cornell University, ILR School


EDUCATION
Ph.D., Sociology, 2024
University of Wisconsin – Madison 
 
MPhil, 2016
University of Cambridge
 
B.A., 2014
Brown University
                          
B.F.A., 2014
Rhode Island School of Design