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Margaret M. Chin

Margaret M. Chin joined the Sociology Department of Hunter College in September of 2001 and in 2006 became a member of the faculty of the Graduate Center.





Margaret M. Chin was born and raised in New York City and is herself a child of Chinese immigrant parents. She is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center. Margaret received her BA from Harvard University and her PhD from Columbia University. Her publications include: Sewing Women: Immigrants and the NYC Garment Industry, an illuminating ethnography on the Chinese and Korean garment sectors.  She is currently a Faculty Associate of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, and a member of the CUNY Mapping Asian American New York group, and the CUNY Asian American / Asian Research Institute.

Margaret’s honors include an American Sociological Association’s Minority Fellows Award, a NSF Dissertation Grant, a Social Science Research Councils Post Doctoral Fellowship in International Migration, and a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship for junior faculty.  She is currently the Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society (2015-2016).  Her specialties include immigration, family, work, Asian Americans, and children of immigrants.  She authored Sewing Women: Immigrants and the NYC Garment Industry, an illuminating ethnography on the Chinese and Korean garment sectors, which received an Honorable Mention from the Thomas and Znaniecki Annual Book Award for best book on Immigration from the ASA International Migration Section.

Email:  Twitter: @margaretmchin  Phone: 212-772-4842

Sites to Peruse


Sewing WomenHer publications include, Sewing Women: Immigrants in the New York City Garment Industry (Columbia University Press 2005) which received an honorable mention from the Thomas and Znaniecki Book Award committee of the International Migration Section of the ASA. She published "Moving On: Chinese Garment Workers after 9/11" in Wounded City, edited by Nancy Foner (Russell Sage 2005) and, “From the Field: Asian and Latino Immigrants in the New York City Garment Industry,” a chapter in Researching Migration: Stories from the Field (SSRC 2007). For her publications on garment workers, she was honored by the Chinese section of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). Prof Chin has also published articles with Katherine Newman, "High Stakes, Hard Choices," in the The American Prospect, Summer 2002, and "High Stakes: Time Poverty, Testing and the Children of the Working Poor," in the Journal of Qualitative Sociology, Spring 2003.

Recent Publications:

Min Zhou, Margaret M. Chin, and Rebecca Y Kim. The Transformation of Chinese American Communities: New York vs. Los Angeles. In New York and Los Angeles: The Uncertain Future edited by Halle and Beveridge. Oxford University Press. 2013.

“Changing Expectations: Economic Downturns and Immigrant Chinese Women in New York City” a chapter in Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age edited by Guevarra, Florez-Gonzalez, Chang, and Toro-Morn.  University of Illinois Press. 2013.

“In the Factories and on the Streets: Studying Asian and Latino Garment Workers in NYC.” A chapter in The Handbook of Research Methods in Migration. Edited by Carlos Vargas-Silva. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2012.

“The Right Hand and the Left hand: Contradictory Social Policies in the Lives of the Working Poor.”  By Katherine Newman and Margaret M. Chin.  A chapter in American Democracy and the Pursuit of Equality edited by Merlin Chowkwanyun and Randa Serhan.  Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers 2011.

Latest Media Coverage:

March 3, 2014

Prof Chin discusses parenting and high achieving children on Sinovision.  Prof Chin on at 17:57; 18:35; and 19:50

Fall 2013

Prof Chin was featured on JustPublics@365

Nov 28, 2012

An article about the NAACP filing a complaint against NYC Public specialized high schools quotes Prof Chin

Aug 20, 2012

Newspaper in Barcelona quotes Prof Chin on the importance of Asian American political participation.

Aug 13, 2012

Chinese Television (SinoVision) spot discussing Chinese History, 1882 exclusion and US House apology for the exclusion. Prof Chin on at 1:39 and 3:47;

May 29, 2012

Chinese Television (SinoVision) spot where Prof Chin comments on the suicide of Pvt Danny Chen starting at 3:40.

Feb 27, 2012

Prof Chin is quoted in the World Journal,  a Chinese Language Newspaper on Jeremy Lin’s fame and influence on Chinese American parenting

Sept 2011

Prof Chin is interviewed in a special feature on Chinatown, Ten Years after 9/11

Feb 2011

Prof Chin discusses family structures among immigrant families and the prevalence of adult children living with their families.

Feb. 19, 2011

A New York Times article on plastic surgery quotes Prof Chin on the prevalence of plastic surgery in the Asian community

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Faculty Publications

Across Generations
Building Popular Power
Fighting To Learn
High Profile Crimes
New York and Amsterdam
One Out of These
Opting Out
Questioning The Veil
Sadomasochism In Everyday Life
Seeing The Light
Sewing Women
Strangers No More
The Unhappy Divorce of Sociology and Psychoanalysis
Torture Twilight of Empire
Immigration and Social Capital in the Age of Social Media
A Dream Denied
Being a Scholar in the Digital Era
Foucault's Orient
Oh Book Cover
Opting In
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