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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.

M. ChinEmail:  Twitter: @margaretmchin  Phone: 212-772-4842

She was born in New York City, and is the daughter of a former garment worker and restaurant waiter. It is fitting that her research interests focus on new immigrants, working poor families, race and ethnicity, and Asian Americans. She is currently working on a number of projects. They include: a project on the 1.5 and second generation Asian Americans who lost or changed jobs during the recent recession; an article on how new immigrant groups use the ethnic media to learn how to live their everyday lives in the US and a project on differences and similarities among Brooklyn’s Chinatowns, Flushing’s Asiantown and Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Professor Chin was a Social Science Research Council Post Doctoral Fellow in International Migration, and a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Junior Faculty Career Grant Recipient. Her publications include a book, Sewing Women: Immigrants and the New York City Garment Industry.  She received her BA in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University and her MA and PhD in Sociology from Columbia University.

She teaches the Sociology of the Family course, among others for the Department of Sociology.She also teaches the Peopling of New York Freshman Seminar for the Macaulay Honors College.

She was a co-Chair of the ASA International Migration Section mini conference in 2013. She was also elected Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society for 2015-16.

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
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